Community feedback guides tourism infrastructure improvements in Whangapoua 29 October 2019 Meri Te Tai Mangakahia Reserve in Whangapoua is getting a much-needed upgrade and thanks to feedback from the community we now have a finalised plan. (Landscape concept - pictured above) We received a total of $467,500 from the central government’s TIF (Tourism Infrastructure Fund) to do this work. The Mercury Bay Community Board also contributed $200,000 for the park improvements. We are also working with iwi around the possibility for a mural on the reserve. Click here to see a full plan of what we’ll be doing around the reserve. In response to the feedback received from the community, we have made some minor changes, which are: Upgrading and relocating the existing toilet block to move it away from the low lying flood area. Improved open space, more seating areas for formal and informal picnic areas for families. Additional car parking facing the beach. Protecting existing pohutukawa trees and the dune area. Upgrading the playground with new equipment. Relocating but retaining the waste facility to this area with a lay-by for ease of vehicle access and to maximise existing car parking. The new concept can be found on our website which summarises the feedback received and the changes made to the plan. Why upgrade the reserve? The reserve and the facilities are in need of improvement to meet the needs of the residents and visitors to Whangapoua. The improvements take in the toilet, the playground, the barbecue and picnic area, improved dune protection planting, the storage shed and improved waste managment. We are retaining the moloks but they will be relocated to other side of back dune by the new RIB storage. All these elements are tied together in a comprehensive design that creates a revitalised reserve for all to enjoy. The design is sensitive to the community’s aspirations and Whangapoua’s serene coastal setting. If you have any further comments please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by November 30. The current construction will be tidied up so that the existing toilet can be used ov er the summer period and work on the new toilet is scheduled to start in the New Year. Did you know? The Reserve is named after one of Coromandel's most famous people. Meri Te Tai was the first women to speak at the Māori Parliament, asking that women be given the right to vote and that they be eligible to sit in the Māori Parliament. She came to Coromandel with her husband in the early 1890s where they built a homestead on his land at Whangapoua. To find out more about Meri Te Tai Mangakahia click here.