05.12.2000: New Walkways Planned


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LEADER, Tuesday, December 5, 2000

New walkways planned for Waihi

by Anita Postmaa

The Waihi Walkways group has been busy planting riverbanks recently, for the development of a new walkway.

The walkway will begin at Riverbank Terrace, down the end of Rosemont Road, and progress along the banks of the Ohinemuri River past the old railway bridge foundations and right through to the Victoria Battery.

Volunteers from the Conservation Corps, Waihi South School, the Walkways group and Andrew Jenks from the HELP programme have recently spent time establishing 270 native plants on the initial stage of the walk. The project has been greatly aided by a generous local who donated $600 worth of plants, and spent around 18 months spraying blackberries and clearing the site ready for planting. Another 70 plants were donated by HELP.

This latest project is one of many the group has planned for the Waihi area in the long term, although they are still at the proposal stages presently. Their ultimate aim is to formalise access to areas which will allow people to experience river and scenic qualities, and access historic and culturally significant sites. Future plans include tracks out to Komata Reef, Maratoto, Golden Cross, Wentworth Valley, Wharekirauponga, Waitekauri and Waikino. Eventually, they hope to have a walk that will link Waihi and Waihi Beach.

At the moment, the group are lobbying council to have about a hectare of land set aside from the proposed Lawrence Road subdivision for public use. Walkways spokesperson Eric Lens explains that a small area of the historically significant land has already been set aside in council plans, but they want more.

"This area [a triangle of land bordered by the Ohinemuri River and Waitete Stream] contains in a compact site the remains of the Waihi Dredging Plant, Rake line embankment, the site of Black Bridge, the lake behind the dam on the Ohinemuri, the Waitete Stream confluence, and many large, mature trees, all in a delightful rural setting," he says. In a letter to the council which pleaded their case, the group argued, "adding the extra land makes the reserve much more useful, improves enhancement and maintenance options, protects the many mature trees, and multiplies the amenity values of the reserve."

The proposed passive reserve will form part of the Victoria Walkway.

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

Send e- mail to: Waihi Walkways