Tauranga City Council has hit the pause button on part of the Wairakei Stream development in Pāpāmoa; the Wairakei Landscape Plan.
"We want to provide time for residents of the Palm Beach area to work with us on their section of this plan," councillors Leanne Brown and Steve Morris said in a written press release this evening.
It comes after more than 150 Pāpāmoa residents turned out this week to protest Tauranga City Council's Wairakei Landscape Plan that would turn their beloved waterways into shrub-heavy wetlands.
The plan would see 51 "sediment-retention" wetlands created along the Wairakei stream and stormwater reserve and a new path/cycleway along the edge of the waterway in Pāpāmoa.
The vegetation would "improve the ecology and create a safer environment", a council report said.
Protesters expressed their anger through a loudspeaker and two petitions circulated.
Pāpāmoa resident Helen Brooks had recently built on the waterways for the "tranquillity" of the area, but she was "horrified" that it could be taken away from her by the planting of wetlands and a cycleway just 2m from her front gate.
Eileen Burgess said there was "obscure consultation on the plan" and the hundreds of residents who turned up to protest had "not known anything about it", only becoming aware when grass areas started to be cordoned off near their properties.
This evening, the council has said it will move on to a different section of the planting project.
Brown and Morris will be available to meet residents of the Palm Beach area to provide an update on this decision on Monday, May 6, from 9am to 9.30am.
Councillors will be on the grass area between Montego Drive and Laguna Key, Pāpāmoa Beach, near the tsunami bridge.
TIMELINE OF PLAN:
2015 - PLANNING
The council prepared a draft landscape plan.
2016–2017 - PUBLIC CONSULTATION
The council met local residents, community groups and cultural and environmental stakeholders to discuss the proposed plan.
Project is approved and the tender process begins.
Following public consultation, the project was adopted as part of the final Long-Term Plan.
A blessing ceremony was held on the banks of the Wairakei Stream and five kahikatea were planted to mark the start of the plan.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2018
Work on the landscape plan started with installation of pathways and some park furniture.
Initial landscaping begins.
Planting and landscaping will take place in phases and will include community planting days.
FROM DECEMBER 2019
The remainder of the plan, through to Te Tumu, will be completed over subsequent years.
Source: Tauranga City Council