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Hahei working group formed to contribute to Proposed Cathedral Coast Walk

09 October 2014

A Hahei working group is now being formed to provide feedback and input into the Proposed Cathedral Cove Walk project.

The group, made up of permanent Hahei residents, non-permanent residents, the Hahei Business Association and Coastal Walkways will be the major forum through which the Hahei community and stakeholders can table views and issues. The group will report back to the Project Governance Group, which is made up of our Council, DOC and local iwi Ngati Hei.

"It's really important that we have local knowledge on this project and we want to thank the Hahei community for working with us," says Garry Towler who is our representative on the Proposed Cathedral Cove Walk project.

Constructed in several stages, the Proposed Cathedral Coast Walk is part of our Council's Coromandel Great Walks Project www.tcdc.govt.nz/corogreatwalks.  This is to create world-class walking routes throughout the Coromandel to broaden our economic base.

Stage 1A and 1B of the Cathedral Coast Walk is approximately 10km in length from the iconic "Blowhole," at Te Pupuha Recreation Reserve at Hahei through to the Purangi Estuary at Cooks Beach. It takes in DOC estate, Council reserve and QE2 Trust land.  A private section of land at Lees Rd is also being negotiated , which will help to provide additional car parking for anyone wanting to walk the route.


The route.

Map of proposed walking route.

The map of the route for Stage 1A and 1B is complete along with survey and quantity surveying work

Frame Group, which is one of the country's leading structural designers has finished its scope for six platforms and cantilevered structures to be placed along some of the most breath-taking viewing spots along the walk. The cost for these structures is approximately $500,000.


Car parking

The proposed car park at Lees Road will be essential to the success of the walk as it is centrally located within the proposed route and will help offset any further congestion problems around Hahei village and Grange Rd.

"We already understand from the feasibility study on the Proposed Cathedral Coast Walk that the number of visitors will increase exponentially," says Mr Towler. "There is already massive visitor growth coming into this area to experience Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.'

Meanwhile the old Waste Water Treatment Plant at Pa Road is looking to be converted into a 130 space car park to help manage visitors to Cathedral Cove.  Construction is expected to be complete before Christmas 2015 and will be a Pay and Display Park for the Park and Ride to Cathedral Cove.


Costs

The total cost for the construction of the walk is $4.77m. Our Council has ring-fenced $1.25m in our 2014/2015 Annual Plan and DOC is contributing $250,000, so an additional $3.2m will need to be sourced externally.

"So running in tandem to investigating the build of the walk has been work on how we fund and manage it," says Mr Towler. "External funding is critical to the future of the project, so funding will be sought from a wide range of sources".

Giblin Group, a consultancy specialising in major project funding has been working with us on a revenue generation strategy. This includes scoping out government investment, sponsorships and grants which will help pay towards the walk. Giblin Group is currently working on an application to the Lotteries Significant Projects Fund when it opens later this year.  Giblin Group is also looking at other avenues to apply for sponsorship and grants.

"As important as external funding is, we also need the support and buy-in from our communities," says Mr Towler. "During consultation in last year's annual plan we had 99% support for our Walks project because people see the value and benefit it brings to the district," says Mr Towler. "Not only does it promote the Coromandel as a visitor destination, it will help generate income to our businesses, provide volunteer and work opportunities, social and health benefits and recognises the importance and significance of our natural environment and cultural heritage.


Governance

The formation of the Project Governance Body is currently being finalised. This is a unique partnership with our Council, DOC and local iwi Ngati Hei as the facilitators and fundraisers of the project. A joint management agreement is being worked through, which will allow a Trust to be formed. 

"We have an extremely strong relationship with Ngati Hei and we're really fortunate to have worked with both Peter Johnston Snr and Peter Johnston Jnr over the past two years in getting this off the ground," says Mr Towler. 

"We also want to pay tribute to Peter Johnston Snr who passed away last week. As well as being an integral part of the development of this Proposed Cathedral Coast Walkway, he helped with the establishment of Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve, led by example and was a man many in the community looked up to".