I haven't quite made my mind up about the new walking track winding its way up the other side of Te Mata Peak.

There has been much discussion in this paper about whether or not the track should have been built. Some have called in a "Zorro sign" while others think it is a great asset.

I love the peak and drive past and around it on my way to work every day, I would hate for anything to detract from its natural beauty, but I also want our region to attract as many tourists as possible. Walking trails like this do appeal to many tourists.

The $300,000 walking track, which is due to open early next year, was funded by Craggy Range Winery for the benefit of the community.


Winery chief executive Michael Wilding wrote a Talking Point in yesterday's paper where he was quite clear about the lengths they have gone to to make sure the track is world class and to minimise the impact on the environment.

He said they were keen for locals and visitors alike to enjoy exploring the trail all the way to the ridge.

At present there is no missing the track as it is a scar on the landscape. It has been interesting watching it being built, with a digger going higher and higher each day.

However, Mr Wilding and the designers say that the track will not always be so noticeable from the road. With time, it will settle into the landscape, with grass growing around it.

I am prepared to wait a while before passing judgement on the track. It is easy to be negative about new ideas, but if we knock everything then we will never have any progress.

As long as the environment is not permanently scarred or any tapu sites disturbed then it could be a good thing.

Part of the reason we all live in the area is the natural beauty and being close to it. We should be able to enjoy it and to have something that attracts tourists here to do the same. I remember the initial upset over the viewing platform in Napier and now everyone loves it.

A bold step has been taken and now it is time to give the track a chance.

It could be just the thing we need to enjoy the wonder of our region.