Stop the fighting over TECT park

By Editorial - by Graham Skellern

Why is it that when a bright development idea pops up locally, it is knocked down almost straight away?
Not long after the bush railway and sawmill museum was being mentioned for the TECT All-Terrain Park, rival factions were complaining about unfair treatment and wanting to stop it in its tracks.
Te Matai Motorsport, representing five clubs and 1500 people, is completing its lease negotiations for a drag strip with the park management and urged them to decline the bush railway proposal because of "conflicting interests" in the Te Matai block.
The bush railway and old sawmill is a damn good idea.
I'm sure most of us have visited Shantytown near Greymouth and relived the gold rush days and enjoyed the steam train ride through native rainforest.
The Rotorua-based Bush Railway and Old Sawmill Trust wants to preserve the history of the Mamaku Plateau.
Visitors will be able to relive the days of sawmilling and pioneers breaking in the land.
The 380ha All-Terrain Park, located on Pyes Pa Rd midway between Tauranga and Rotorua, is large enough to accommodate a variety of users.
The local region, keen to grow its visitor numbers, needs as many tourist destinations as it can get.
Even cruise ship passengers could take half-day tours to the All-Terrain Park.
Over the years, there's been plenty of debate and conflict over proposed visitor attractions - the museum, downtown waterfront and Mount hot pools developments, to name but a few.
Last weekend I was fortunate to visit the new Wynyard Quarter on the Auckland waterfront.
It went through 35 resource consents, 45 building consents, two district plan changes and 16 months of construction - but it opened last Saturday with a new events centre, two historic trams, a public plaza, cobbled walkway and a park.

The nine new restaurants and bars, discreetly designed to resemble old fishing sheds, opened up to the promenade that remains a working fishing wharf.
My mind wandered back to Tauranga and what we could do with the waterfront.
At the Wynyard Quarter, the future meshed into the past.
We now have the same opportunity with the bush railway and sawmill museum at the All-Terrain Park.
Don't let us miss this chance.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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