Waitangi Regional Park has been transformed from a dumping ground to a site of regional taonga. More than 100 people attended the official opening of the park yesterday morning at sunrise where the Celestial Compass was unveiled as part of stage one. The compass' north, south, east and west were marked by four pou carved by local artists. Hawke's Bay Regional Council and the Te Matau a Maui Voyaging Trust joined forces to develop the park into something with historical importance. Council chairman Rex Graham said they wanted to breathe new life into it after it became a place for rubbish dumping and poor vehicle use. Coincidentally Te Matau a Maui Voyaging Trust chairman Phillip Smith saw the sight as one of Hawke's Bay's most historical areas and was equally disappointed by the disrespectful land use. "We wanted to share our vision of cultural sailing experiences and traditional navigation while promoting respectable land use." He said in the past eight centuries people had been migrating there and acknowledged that site throughout history as a place for European and Maori settlers. "We think people need to become more connected to the land and respect their roots, as it is a place rich in culture." Mr Graham believes the collaboration between the council and trust was an example of a truly successful partnership. "We have worked together and created something marvellous that celebrates our cultural and settler history. We encourage people to go out there and understand their story and see the glory of it."