Action call over untidy Moturiki

By John Cousins

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Popular Mount Maunganui attraction Leisure Island (Moturiki) should be tidied up and the former marineland pools area transformed into a family picnic spot.

This is the view of Mount Maunganui resident Josh Fitzgerald, who told the Bay of Plenty Times he was disappointed at the lack of maintenance, particularly on the quarried side of the island that used to feature the marineland pools.

He said the site was overgrown with weeds, the grass was patchy and empty bottles and cans were scattered around the area.

"It could be a sweet place for a picnic area with tables."

Mr Fitzgerald said it would make an ideal project for a service club such as Lions or Rotary and could be cleared and landscaped at little cost.

Taking the concept a step further, he said a small concert area could be developed if power was laid across to the island.

He said it was funny that the "Bring Back Leisure Pools" Facebook page had grown to more than 2000 "likes" but no one wanted to put any energy into the realistic option to make better use of a unique location.

"This is a unique asset that has been under-utilised. Even a tidy up would make a big difference."

Tauranga City Council parks ranger team leader Warren Aitken said the island was popular for fishing and a fair bit of rubbish was left behind like bait bags.

He said contractors using weedeaters kept the vegetation down over the summer but there was no all-year-round weeding programme. Rubbish bins were placed at the entrance to Moturiki in summer.

However, all reserves should be maintained to a certain standard and Mr Aitken intended to check out the complaint. If necessary he would call in a contractor to tidy it up. The council was about to begin a review of its coastal reserves management plan, including Moturiki, and the public would be invited to make submissions on the draft plan when it was released about the middle of next year.

"People will be able to put submissions into the council on their ideas for Leisure Island as part of the review."

Mr Aitken said there was no reason why the picnic area should not be an option for the old marineland area.

"It depends on public opinion on how the reserve should be managed."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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