Sexism in Te Mata Park's trust deed will soon be gone, says the park's board of trustee's new chairman.

Mike Devonshire says he will work with fellow trustees to end the requirement the board must include a male descendant of the Chambers family.

The 99ha reserve on the upper Havelock North hills, including Te Mata Peak, was gifted to the people of Hawke's Bay in perpetuity by the Chambers family in 1927.

Mr Devonshire, a professional director appointed to the board last year, replaced Bruno Chambers at the park's recent AGM.


Mr Chambers has been chairman for 20 years and will remain on the board.

He said it was time for a fresh perspective.

"It has been a privilege and an honour to have served the board and community for the ongoing preservation of our park that is much loved by many," Mr Chambers said.

"My main motivation has always been to protect the integrity and special nature of our park for all users, and for future generations.

"I feel a great responsibility and connection to Te Mata Peak and am very privileged to have had the opportunity to contribute to this outstanding place of significance in Hawke's Bay."

He said the park was experiencing increasing pressure from a wide range of users.

"Trying to ensure a balance for all user groups, as well as preserving the park's distinctive features, has been a major focus for myself and the board."

Mr Devonshire acknowledged "Bruno's visionary leadership" and thanked him for his "incredible contribution towards ensuring that Te Mata Park is preserved for current and future generations".

Mr Devonshire also serves on several other companies and associations including Central Districts Cricket Association, Elwood Park, Hawke's Bay Wine Investments and Hustler Group.

"The challenge of building a sustainable model for the park, now and into the future, is what excites me. I'm humbled and honoured to now lead the trust board to steer this process and contribute to this amazing community asset.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for the park. We wish to build on the legacy that Bruno has left behind, and further cement Te Mata Park as an outstanding asset for all of Hawke's Bay to enjoy."

He said, like many trustees, he was "slightly shocked" to learn of the requirement of a male descendant. Part of the park's sustainability "is addressing issues like that".

"It is definitely not going to be something that is around for too much longer."

While plans for a multi-million dollar visitor centre at the park have been cancelled the park's development would continue, with the first project a car park development funded by Hastings District Council.