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Transformation on Titirangi

19 Sep 2019

Transformation on Titirangi

Eight thousand cubic metres of fill has been carted away and a stable platform set for future development of Te Taumata o Titirangi Summit (Kaiti Hill).

Work to remove the earthquake-prone observatory building and stabilise the land began in August.

Project manager, Ranell Nikora says the knoll was made of fill placed at the time the gun emplacement was built. The material wasn’t engineered to support a building so needed to be removed before a new facility can be built to replace the observatory.

A joint Ngati Oneone and Council application to the government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) saw $6.1m committed to redevelop a multi-use facility on the summit to achieve community and cultural outcomes.

Council and Ngati Oneone will work in partnership to provide a destination for observation, education and tourism that incorporates matauranga Maori and telling the history of the maunga.

A business case for a facility was endorsed by iwi and Council in July which outlined the potential for a sustainable, revenue-earning tourism attraction that offered a unique visitor experience at one of the region’s most iconic locations.

The vision of Ngati Oneone and Council is to create a connection to the maunga, whenua, the sea and sky and the significant place Titirangi holds, for all people of Tairawhiti.

Results from a community survey undertaken at the end of 2018 will be incorporated into the redevelopment as the design process progresses.

Replanting and inspiring

Work to plant out the taumata (summit) is currently underway by the Whaia Titirangi(external link) team and volunteers from the community keen to get involved.

The team worked over winter to plant over 5000 native plants on the maunga with local school groups. Whaia Titirangi led planting days and wananga on kaupapa Maori to educate students in conservation and kaitiakitanga, enabling young people to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in guardianship of our environment and maunga.

Some of the work they do also involves removing invasive weeds such as honeysuckle, blackberry, yellow boneseed and holly leaved scenecio, and revegetation of native and endemic species.

Team leader, Jordan Tibble, says since planting they have noticed a natural regeneration of Karamu, Poroporo, Akeake and Ti Kouka.

People taking part in opening day of the Titirangi Mount Everest challenge on Monday 23 September will have an opportunity to help plant on the summit.

They’ll be onsite to run two sessions from 6am – 9am and 5pm – 7pm, equipment provided. Participants are welcome to bring their own gloves.

Road made safe

Repairs to the road surface are underway today on Titirangi Drive as part of the project scope of works.

During this time the road will be closed until Sunday 21 September at 6pm.

Queen’s Drive will remain one-way for vehicles for the duration of the Titirangi Mount Everest challenge to support safety for pedestrians.

Vehicles travelling up the hill will need to exit over the summit down Titirangi Drive to Endcliffe Road.

We ask drivers and people walking or biking up the hill to take extra care and be alert.

Feedback from the community to implement safer pedestrian options or a permanent one-way system along the road are currently being investigated by Council with safety engineers.

Drones will be used to fly the road this week to develop 3D concepts. Options are expected to be ready before the end of the year.