Cape Coast Community Plan

The area that encompasses the coastal villages of Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton is a special place of rich history and immense beauty.  Each village has its own distinct character and are well known for their lively and dynamic communities. When you consider the area’s natural beauty, vibrant art scene, wineries, world renowned tourist attractions and recreational activities – it is a superb place to live and visit.

We have developed a Place Based Plan for Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton. We received feedback from people living in the area through a series of community meetings in 2013, and a survey. The Cape Coast Plan was adopted by Hastings District Council 11 March 2014.

Read the plan

 Cape Coast Community Plan 1 MB

Gathering feedback

On 12 June 2013, a meeting was held with a number of invited community group leaders at Haumoana School where a number of key issues and opportunities for the area were identified. These were then used as a starting point for discussion at public meetings. In June and July, public meetings were held in Te Awanga, Haumoana and at Matahiwi Marae. The purpose of these meetings was to listen to the issues and opportunities shared by those in attendance. In September, a community workshop was held in Te Awanga and a further public meeting was held in November at Haumoana.

Methodology

At the public meetings, feedback was sought on eight topic areas:

  1. Enjoying our parks, reserves, and recreation
  2. Nurturing our natural environment
  3. Connectivity
  4. Growing community togetherness
  5. Promoting the special character, heritage and unique identity of the area
  6. Supporting local business and tourism development
  7. Good infrastructure
  8. Community safety

While these topics were provided, it was made clear that discussion was not limited to these areas and thoughts on other matters were encouraged. In addition to the topic areas, updates on matters of interest to the community, namely - Clifton, the Draft Hastings District Plan and the Haumoana Groynes proposal were provided and there were questions and discussion associated with these.  This report also captures feedback provided in relation to these matters.

The community workshop held in September focussed on developing particular initiatives arising from the first set of meetings. At the Haumoana meeting held in November discussion was guided by a Draft Action Plan.

Summary of feedback

Cape Coast Survey

In September and October 2013, a survey concerning Haumoana, Te Awanga, and Clifton was undertaken to inform the development of a community plan for the area. A total of 273 completed surveys were received.

Cape Coast Survey final report PDF 2 MB

Enjoying our parks, reserves and recreation

The shoreline and sea

The shoreline is used by many for playing, walking and exploring. One person asked whether more could be done to utilise this area. One suggestion was a designated walking track, separate from the cycle pathway that would provide some safety from motorbikes on the beach.

A number of people mentioned that Te Awanga is one of the best places for surfing in Hawke's Bay; especially for learners. The coastline is also good for windsurfing. One person in the community is looking to promote this through a website and there will be opportunities for businesses to be involved.

Reserves & playgrounds

The Te Awanga Progressive Association (TAPA) has put in a submission to the Hastings District Council 2013 Annual Plan process for the establishment of a skate park in the Te Awanga Domain. TAPA would also like more picnic tables, barbeque facilities and perhaps exercise machines. Space for community gatherings and fairs is also sought.

The need for more green space for children, especially in light of the number of young families moving to the area was highlighted by a number of attendees. TAPA would also like to see more useable green space, for example to be able to ‘kick a ball around’ and that an upgrade of the area around the Te Awanga Community Hall had been identified for this purpose. One person questioned whether the establishment of a skatepark in Te Awanga would remove green space from the area. Traditionally, it was noted by a number of people that in Te Awanga, the children have played on the roads and that the beach has been utilised as their ‘green space’.

Attendees at the Haumoana and Matahiwi Marae meeting noted that the Haumoana playground needs to be upgraded and that it should incorporate equipment suitable for a range of ages, including older children. One person suggested that an obstacle course would be appropriate – something that would provide a challenge.

The Haumoana Domain is seen as an area with huge potential. It was noted that the car park at the groyne and other spaces in this area would benefit from some attention.

Clifton Road Reserve is the largest and most popular of the Council reserves for overnight camping. You can stay for a maximum of two nights. The community appreciate the value campers bring to the area however they consider the area could be better maintained and benefit from improved facilities. A noticeboard (with rules of camping), picnic facilities and rubbish bins / recycling bins have all been suggested. Some see merit in extending the maximum nights of stay to three days.

Community members complained of dog droppings being left in local parks as well as the foreshore. They suggested that bags be provided in appropriate locations to minimise this.

A number of maintenance issues were noted. These have been passed on to the Hastings District Council Parks team to follow up on directly.

Nurturing our natural environment

Rivers & waterways

There was significant discussion concerning matters associated with the TukiTuki River, Maraetotara River and other local waterways. The importance of these waterways as resources for the community, both environmentally and socially were emphasised. There appeared to be a general interest and willingness for the community to be involved in different aspects of the river – water quality, re-vegetation, bird life, recreational use etc. The importance of having good quality water within the rivers was highlighted and concern was raised by some about the impact the Ruataniwha Dam could have on the quality of the water.

The Chairperson of Matahiwi Marae noted that one of their long-standing concerns has been the disappearance of the white bait habitat as the river has been dug out to a straight channel, spawning areas have been reduced.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council (HBRC) is in the process of developing ecological plans; and one for the TukiTuki River is planned over the next couple of years. This will include re-vegetation and bird life restoration around the Black Bridge area. Matahiwi Marae has approached the HBRC to work collaboratively, at Grange creek, a project that has been going for some time to increase wetlands and birdlife. HBRC advise that there are between eight to 10 species of native birds that are in decline or endangered, and they are looking at managing those, for example black beak gull – they are open to more involvement.

The TukiTuki River was identified by one person as the areas ‘natural gateway’ and that it would be good if the community looked after it. The potential for the community to come together to nurture the river was suggested. In particular, linking children with the elderly and working alongside the members of Matahiwi Marae.  The white heron as a taonga (treasure) among other wildlife was acknowledged. Building on the concept of the TukiTuki River as a gateway one person suggested that as part of this you could honour the local hapu and iwi, provide local history and highlight why it is a special place. 

Community members have observed that trailer loads of rubbish and noxious material are sometimes dumped alongside the Tukituki River. Council recommends that community members report this type of behaviour to them, preferably with a vehicle registration number. In light of the rubbish found along the TukiTuki River, an annual river clean-up day was suggested. 

Bird wildlife

One person stated that the Cape Sanctuary is the largest bird sanctuary in New Zealand and that Te Awanga is the gateway to it. This person has observed the increase in bird life in the area as a flow on effect of the sanctuary and considered this a great asset to the community.

The owners of Te Awanga Downs farm are working with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to create shallow waterways for wading birds. The local school and cricket club are also involved. Fiften hectares has been set aside for this purpose with the overall purpose of creating a wild life pathway leading to the Cape Sanctuary.  It was emphasised that there is an opportunity for others in the community to be involved in this project, through planting trees.

HBRC and DOC are currently developing a Regional Bio-Diversity Strategy. Planting trees in planned areas - based on bio-diversity areas identified in the Regional Bio-diversity Strategy would support local bird life.    

A community member noted that there has been a reduction in the size of the Maraetotara estuary / pond and that this seems to have resulted in a corresponding loss of bird life and corresponding increase in the number of rats.  

The shoreline and beach

A few years ago, Hastings District Council sponsored a beach clean-up day and provided bags. It was suggested that this become an annual event or twice a year. It was suggested that this would be a good way to bring the community together – young and old. The National Aquarium of New Zealand would be happy to talk to the group about the beach environment / marine life and the importance of a clean coastal environment. Council's support of a beach clean-up day would likely involve provision of gloves, rubbish bags and the disposal of rubbish. 

Connectivity

Cycle pathways

There was significant discussion about the cycle pathways and general agreement that they have been a very positive addition to the community. It was noted that they are well used and the cycle pathway network brings many people into the area.

It was considered that there is potential to add to the attractiveness of the cycleway to further promote the area and support local low-level commercial / tourism activity. Following on from this, there was one suggestion that an art trail could be established that could follow the cycle pathway and incorporate public art pieces reflective of the area.  This would promote local artists and tell local stories of the area.  In addition, more tables, seats and picnic areas that are well landscaped were suggested to provide more reasons to stop in the area and enjoy the scenery. Exercise stations along the cycle track were also suggested.

One person noted that they enjoy the history boards at Otatara Pa to Taradale and this led to the suggestion that a heritage trail along the cycleway could be created – this could involve Matahiwi Marae. Children’s artwork could be incorporated. Local stories such as Cape Kidnappers and Te Matau a Maui could be expressed.

In terms of the cycle pathways, one person with a physical disability noted that he uses a hand bike and the ‘kissing’ gates are a major hurdle.  It was suggested that future development of the cycleway could consider the gate system for hand cycles.  Also, it was mentioned that there would be great benefit if there was some form of separate cycle access across Black Bridge.  It was noted that motorbikes are not permitted on the cycleways as they cause damage.

The principal of Haumoana School has noted that the children at her school are very active, fit children who need areas for activities. She noted that the cycleways are amazing but that there needs to be a cycle pathway from Haumoana School that links into that network. This would encourage fitness and reduce traffic. Initial investigations undertaken by Council indicate issues with providing a cycle pathway along East Road. Given the 100km per/hour speed limit, it would be preferable to have a cycle pathway separate from the road. However, the road is narrow with deep ditches on either side. The community wish to be provided with feasible options for further consideration.

Signage

A number of Te Awanga residents commented on signage in the area. Some considered that there was too much signage and that not all were in keeping with the area. It was pointed out that the sign at Black Bridge, as you enter the area says ‘welcome to Hastings’ however it would be more appropriate to say ‘welcome to the Cape Coast’. It was noted that TAPA are currently working with Council officers to renew the signs. This work involves signs in the area but was not a ‘gateway’ project. It was noted that all in the community could become involved in this work if they were interested. A couple of people noted that they do not like the tsunami warning signage that has been posted around the area and that they have not noticed these in other coastal villages / towns.  

In terms of footpaths, while it was acknowledged that there should not be footpaths in the ‘old streets’ of Te Awanga it would be useful to have the footpath along Clifton Road extended (from the corner of Wellwood Road to Kuku St, along Clifton Road).

Transport

A number of people mentioned the need for public transport in the area that provides a link into the main centres. Such a service would be particularly useful for elderly people within the community and proposed development in the area would heighten the need for this. Alternatives were posed such as utilising the school bus and car pooling. It was noted that HBRC is developing a web-based platform for putting car-poolers in touch with each other. This would provide opportunities for community ‘networking’ as people commute to and from town.

It was pointed out that the children in Haumoana need bus shelters, at Hyla Road, Pederson Road, and next-door to the fire station, near the entrance to Memorial Park.

Growing community togetherness

A number of ideas to bring the community together and to ‘induct’ new people into the community were shared. Part of this could be to find ways to include elderly people who tend to be more at risk of being socially isolated.

Communications

TAPA put out a newsletter that is issued 2 times a year and they wish to grow that to a wider community purpose they have also started a Facebook site.  The existence of Haumoana.com was acknowledged as a good community resource however it needed to be kept up to date.  There is also a brochure called Kidnappers Escape and there is the community board at ‘the shop’.

One suggestion was to establish a local directory – to increase awareness about shopping locally and supporting local businesses.  One person noted that a local directory would be a really useful resource to provide to people when they are visiting and/or staying in the area.  For e.g. if they want to find out information about where to go for dinner or purchase a gift for example.

The use of social media, such as Facebook and a community website were considered effective ways of the community being informed about what is going on in their area.

Community facilities

While it was noted that the Te Awanga Community Hall is well used, there is still scope for more to happen. One person who works for Napier Kindergartens noted that she works with a lot of families who need a meeting point. One person suggested that a ‘Mothers group’ could be established in the Te Awanga Hall and that it would be useful if there was a noticeboard outside the Te Awanga Hall with details of functions and activities available.

It was noted by one person that the sound quality within the Haumoana Community Hall needed to be rectified. Also the heating is ineffective. Some consider that if the hall was upgraded it would be used more. Improvements to the Te Awanga Hall were also suggested.

The local school and play centre are hubs of the community, particularly for those with young families. Matahiwi Marae (as mentioned above) is also a community facility

Neighbourhood get togethers, community events & celebrations

It is apparent that there are, and have been, a lot of exciting neighbourhood or community events organised in the area including street barbeques, progressive dinners, beach clean-up days and fun activities for children and families. There appeared to be a general interest in building on these as a way of bringing neighbourhoods and communities together.

The importance of having a place where members of the community can meet, talk and share what is happening in the area was emphasised in the November meeting at Haumoana. A community café was one suggestion. One attendee indicated that she is looking to establish a ‘community hub / café’ in Te Awanga.

Other ideas to get the community together included – a planting day (could be organised through a school or a community planting day) and seasonal celebrations such as Matariki and Winter Solstice.

Matahiwi Marae

Matahiwi Marae is the local marae of the area and they would like the community to feel welcome. While a number of schools, including the local school, have noho marae (marae stays) it was considered that there would be benefit in opening it up to the community further. One suggestion was that the marae have an open day or orientation day, and invite the whole community to come along.

Ideas of what an open day at Matahiwi Marae could include were shared at the Haumoana meeting in November. Information on Marae protocol, a Maori arts and craft workshop and a totara post that people could be invited to carve throughout the day were some ideas put forward. It was considered that a welcoming invite from Matahiwi to everyone in the community would encourage attendance.

One person suggested that a nice way to involve the community in the marae is to celebrate some festivals together, for example, Matariki. Seasonal events could be selected and the community could be involved. The marae could also run cultural training for schools

Promoting the special character, heritage and unique identity of the area

Throughout the meetings there was a general sense that people loved living in Te Awanga and Haumoana and that they had chosen to live there for the particular lifestyle it provides – quiet seaside villages with a distinct ‘old school’ flavour.  It was apparent in the meetings that local residents value the special character of their settlements and wish to protect this aspect. In the past, residents in ‘old’ Te Awanga have advocated for no footpaths in order to maintain the distinct character of this area.     

While the special character is important to locals there also appeared to be a willingness to consider changes to reflect the changing needs of the community – for instance some young families appear to appreciate footpaths in certain areas of their settlements (on the main streets) and playgrounds and reserves that meet the needs of their children.

There were some comments that the sea and the coastline is the special character of the area and that it provides recreation opportunities such as fishing and surfing.

It is apparent that a priority for local residents is to ensure that any new residential developments in the area are in keeping with its special character.  This is discussed further in this paper under the heading Draft Hastings District Plan – Proposed Residential Zone in Te Awanga.

Supporting local business and tourism development

It was considered by some that enhancements to the cycle pathway could support local businesses and tourism in the area.

It was acknowledged by a number of people that Te Awanga and Haumoana are home to a large number of artists. One person had the idea of a local art facility to show, display and market local products. Also an art trail has been suggested (this is discussed further in the ‘cycle pathways’ section).

While it was noted that there are a number of attractions in the area, for example, Cape Kidnappers, that draw in visitors, one person considered that there would be merit in finding ways to attract people to the area in the off peak season, to help support businesses throughout the year.

One of the participants advised that she has started a community website communitysolutions.org.nz the purpose of which is to connect to businesses.  This person noted that she wishes to see community employment and support for business increased.  She also saw potential with future zoning changes in that they may provide new business opportunities.

Good infrastructure

Discussion on infrastructure focussed on wastewater in the area.  One person asked that the Council provide 5 years notice to any proposed changes to the status quo in this regard in order to plan financially for any changes.  One person noted that ‘we are happy with our septic tanks’ however, if there needed to be change, a separate treatment plant for the area would be preferable.  The need for the community to be informed of any future changes ahead of time was emphasised and that this would prevent spending that was not ‘future proofed’.  It was noted that emergency services also need to be made aware of any future infrastructure changes as this would impact upon their work.     

At this stage Council has no plans to change from the status quo and that the cost is often seen as the main barrier to change for communities.  It was noted that the old septic tanks generally work quite well as long as they are well maintained.  There may be a need for more information / education on maintenance to be provided.  Some concern was raised around the impact of the septic tanks on the local waterways.  The Hawkes Bay Regional Council monitors the local waterways to ensure public safety.  

Water quality

During the community consultation enquiries were made about the quality of water for Haumoana residents.  Residents were advised that the water quality issues are aesthetic in nature (the way it looks, tastes and smells) but this does not impact on the safety of the water.  While the Council is happy to consider options and costs should Haumoana residents wish to fund aesthetic treatment for their water supply the main focus of the Council involves improving water storage and source supply, which is outlined below.

Future water supply

The Council has taken steps to ensure that available quantities of water in the area are adequate to meet any increased water needs of the community in the future.  Council has secured a reservoir site off Raymond Road and established a new groundwater source at the corner of East Road and Parkhill Road.  The size of the reservoir will be determined on actual and predicted future growth and once constructed will replace the existing Haumoana and Te Awanga reservoirs and enable the existing source (located on Shrimpton Road) to be abandoned in favour of the higher quality source at East Rd.    

One person emphasised the need to maintain the recycling service for the area.

A couple of people wish to have high speed broadband provided in the area.   

Community Safety

Road safety

The 100km per hour speed limit along Clifton Road was a concern of a number of people in attendance at the Te Awanga community meeting.  It was noted that drivers often speed along this stretch and then the chicanes fail to slow them down and consequently speeding continues into the village area.  This issue has been raised by the community in the past with Land Transport New Zealand but their application to decrease the speed limit in that area was unsuccessful.  However, it was noted that a further application could highlight some new factors such as the increase in cyclists due to the cycle pathway.

Beach Road in Haumoana was also identified as a street where motorists speed.  There appears to be a lack of surveillance and the perception is that it is not local kids but people from out of town.  While speed bumps have been suggested by some others do not like them and they are not useful in times of emergency.

Some members of the community have voiced concerns about speeding motorbikes on the beach and the cycle trails.   They consider that they are a safety hazard and also cause damage to the coastal environment. Vehicles are permitted on local beaches; however the speed limit is 20kmp/hr. 

RoadSafe Hawkes Bay - is having a focus on coastal communities.  As part of this coastal communities are being encouraged to undertake safer road practices during peak seasons on and around the beaches.

Flooding

In 2011 Te Awanga experienced a significant flood and a number of people enquired as to whether this had been addressed.  In particular, one person was concerned as to whether the Maraetotara can accommodate the necessary outlet in a time of a future flood.    It was suggested that a storeway be introduced to avoid the sort of flood they had in Te Awanga in April 2011.

At the second Haumoana meeting attendees were advised that the storm water scheme has been completed and the flooding that occurred in 2011 will be largely mitigated in a similar sized event.  Localised flooding can and still will occur but Council is working on improvements to the local network in deficient areas. 

Other matters raised

Draft Hastings District Plan – Proposed Residential Zone in Te Awanga

At the Te Awanga meeting, clarification was sought on what the interface between the Draft Hastings District Plan and the Community Plan was.  The general feedback was that the Community Plan should feed into the Draft District Plan process.  The Council advised that feedback provided in the public meetings can be incorporated (where relevant) within the Draft Hastings District plan process.  However, once notified as a Proposed Hastings District Plan, feedback must be in submission form as required by statute.   

It was apparent from discussions at the meetings that residents are generally passionate about their area and wish to protect and maintain its special character.  Some attendees were clear that a new subdivision was not part of the areas special character and others appeared concerned that any new subdivision needed to be progressed in a manner that was in keeping with the areas special character.

Concern was raised by some around the process of how the development plans had been progressed.  A number of people considered that there had been a lack of consultation and future development of the area should be developed in conjunction with the community.

Potential positive effects of new residential development in the area were also identified including the potential for more local business opportunities and jobs as well as an increased demand for public transport.

The Proposed District Plan

At the second Haumoana meeting, attendees were provided with an update on the Hastings District Plan process.

The Proposed Hastings District Plan was notified for submissions on  9 November 2013. Submissions close 5pm Friday the 14 February 2014.

The Proposed Hastings District Plan has two residential zones for Haumoana and Te Awanga:

Haumoana-Te Awanga Residential Zone – This zone includes the residential areas of Haumoana and Te Awanga. These settlements have evolved over time and this has resulted in areas of informal character that are reflective of their coastal location. Both settlements are populated by modest bach-like homes, located on large sites in narrow streets with wide grass verges and abundant vegetation
Haumoana-Te Awanga Deferred Residential Zone – Some land has been identified for residential growth in these coastal areas.This will provide housing opportunities for people who want to live by the coast in the future
Before these new residential areas can be developed, a plan change will be required along with the development of a master plan. A master plan will ensure a long term plan for the wider area covering transport connections, community facilities and service infrastructure and that any development is in keeping with this.   Before development could occur in the Deferred Residential areas specific structure plans will also be required which will include the design concept for the street layout and green spaces, the infrastructure for the new residential area and how the development will integrate with the existing residential area. In the meantime, the deferred status provides for the continued use of the land for a wide range of rural activities.

A question was raised at the Haumoana meeting around the interface between the community plan and master plan. It was noted that a master plan is an over-arching guide, with the community plan feeding into this.

Managing residential development in the area

At the initial meeting of community leaders there was significant discussion and questions regarding a number of attempted and potential residential developments in the area. They were aware of a number of landowners that were looking to potentially develop their land. It was apparent from the discussions that the perception was that the various land owners were initiating their own plans in an ad hoc manner.

Involving children, young people and young parents

It was observed that there was a lack of young people at the public meetings and that they needed to be engaged in the process also.  The local school, kindergarten and play centre are hubs of the community that should be accessed.

In response to the above, Council designed a survey especially aimed at children, youth and parents of young children. Questions in the survey focussed on those things of interest to this demographic including parks, playgrounds, sports and recreational facilities as well as involvement in community initiatives. Haumoana School, Te Awanga Kindergarten, Haumoana Play Centre, Havelock North High School and Taikura Rudolf Steiner made the surveys available to their students / parents. The results of this survey will be reflected in the Community Plan. 

Erosion at Clifton Camping Ground

At one meeting clarification was sought as to whether damage incurred at the Clifton Camping Ground was considered ‘urgent’ or not. HBRC advised that a consent application is required from the Hastings District Council before any consideration can be given to what can be done.   At the Haumoana meeting held in November attendees were advised that the Council had successfully lodged an application (on behalf of the Clifton Reserve Society) to the HBRC for a temporary protection measure alongside 80m of the access to the campground that is most vulnerable to erosion. This application has been approved for a period of five years and is subject to certain conditions. This will allow time for a permanent long-term solution to be developed and agreed upon.