Seeking feedback for the concept plan at Meri Te Tai Reserve 28 February 2019 We're looking to upgrade the Meri Te Tai Reserve in the heart of Whangapoua to improve the facilities and give it a better appearance and we want your feedback before any final decisions are made. A community meeting is being held tomorrow, 11am at Meri Te Tai Reserve, however, another community meeting is also being planned to ensure our absentee ratepayers and those who work during the day have the opportunity to comment on the draft concept plan. There's also going to be an online consultation process through our Council’s website and social media from 11 March to 29 March 2019. The final plan, taking in public feedback will be presented to the community around the end of May 2019. The concept plan The improvements will look at the toilet, the playground, the barbecue and picnic area, improved dune protection planting, the storage shed and the rubbish facilities. All these elements will be tied together in a comprehensive design that creates a revitalised reserve for all to enjoy, will be sensitive to the iwi and community aspirations and reflect Whangapoua’s serene coastal setting. Click on the illustration to see more details of what's proposed. In the proposal, the toilet will be getting an upgrade as it currently sits in a low point in the reserve, creating flooding issues. We're proposing to relocate the toilet and replace the effluent field, which does not cope with the usage over the summer period. The playground will also be refurbished with play equipment that has a natural look and feel. The draft concept also proposes pulling the vehicle parking back away from the dune crest and more recreational space. Landscaping of the reserve will improve pedestrian connections with the draft concept proposing planting with native coastal species throughout the reserve. Seating will be also be upgraded with robust attractive and functional selections. The IRB shed and shelter area, which are in poor condition will be replaced and shifted to an agreed area closer to the fire station. For more information visit the project page. History of Meri Te Tai Reserve The Meri Te Tai Reserve is named after Meri Te Tai Mangakahia, who was the first woman to speak to the Kotahitanga (maori) parliament, requesting the right for women to vote and be members of parliament. She came to the Coromandel with her husband in the early 1890's where they built a homestead on his land at Whangapoua and during the following years they had four children. You can read more about Meri Te Tai in our magazine here (page 109).