Independent commissioner William Wasley has approved a resource consent application for the Te Mata Park Visitor and Education Centre.
Te Mata Park Trust chairman Bruno Chambers said the decision was "hot on the heels" of a $500,000 grant from the Department of Internal Affairs and the project had taken a leap towards fruition.
"The trust is thrilled to get the consent approved and now we are looking forward to getting on with the project."
The commissioner's report highlighted the benefits the development would provide, including employment, support for tourism and educational opportunities through the interpretation of the park features.
The consent was granted with conditions, including the removal of Peak House within 12 months of the centre opening, controls around traffic flow and guidelines relating to building materials, colour schemes, reflectivity and landscaping to ensure the natural character of Te Mata Peak was retained.
Existing submitters had until August 9 to appeal. More than $2.7 million of the trust's $4 million target has been raised, including commitments from the Hastings District Council ($1.1 million), Hawke's Bay Regional Council ($500,000), Napier City Council ($250,000) and a further $420,000 committed from private philanthropists and charitable trusts.
The trust is still to hear the outcome of other applications for funding being considered by the Eastern and Central Community Trust and a number of gaming trusts. It hopes to secure the remaining required funds from local business and philanthropic individuals.
People can donate either by cheque or by bank deposit, details are at www.tematapark.co.nz