Following uproar, the former chairman of the Te Mata Park Trust has backpeddled on previous comments advocating for a longer walking track up the east side of Te Mata Peak.

Bruno Chambers was chairman of the Te Mata Park Trust for 20 years. He is a descendant of the Chambers family which gifted the 99ha reserve on the upper Havelock North hills, including Te Mata Peak, to the people of Hawke's Bay in perpetuity in 1927.

In September Mr Chambers and other trustees were briefed on Craggy Range's plans to construct a track on the eastern face of the peak, at which time he suggested extending the track to under the summit face of the peak be considered.

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This week Mr Chambers said he felt this comment had been taken out of the context of the wider discussion at the meeting.

Now, he said he believed with the health and safety risks, and the visual impact, such a track would have been "completely inappropriate".

"There was a conceptual discussion on the track but there was no way, we had no proposal put before us, there was nothing concrete it was all very much theoretical.

"That was thrown in as a comment to be investigated, and as a possibility to be investigated."

Questions have been raised since Hawke's Bay Today revealed this meeting, about why Mr Chambers took so long to express concern about the track - especially given his proximity to the peak as a nearby resident.

At the September meeting he said he did not realise the process to create the track was under way. Concerns first arose when he noticed construction in late October, or early November.

He said he had mentioned his concern to Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst around the time of her election to the role in late November.

"I made my concern known to some of the other councillors as well, but I'm not sure of the dates I did that."

When the controversy around the track began in December, Mr Chambers' partner Anna Archibald started a petition to remove the completed Craggy Range track from the peak. As of yesterday it had received over 6000 online signatures.

The former chairman said he had supported his partner's idea but had not been directly involved in this.

"I believe the current track badly scars that hillside and is completely unsympathetic with the hillside".

He slammed the process carried out by both Craggy Range, and Hastings District Council so far in relation to the track.

"I think the process to date has been completely flawed and with it being non-notified and the lack of consultation, I believe it should never have been created.

When asked who was at fault, he said he personally felt it was a combination.

"I think there's been a level of subterfuge which has been disappointing. No one's really laying all their cards on the table and been upfront about what was proposed, and how much council staff knew about it, we don't know.

"There's been a disappointing lack of clarity over the whole process."

Ms Archibald could not be reached for comment.