Craggy Range and Ngāti Kahungunu are taking positive steps over the controversial Te Mata Peak track but there are going to be a few stumbles.

The two parties plan to buy 28ha of land to enable an alternative track to be built on the eastern face of the peak.

The offending track will be closed, after the lack of consultation - formal and informal - raised the ire of iwi.

The first stumble after the new plan was announced yesterday were claims it runs counter to discussions at a hui-a-iwi on Saturday.


Florence Karaitiana, who has whakapapa links to Waimarama Marae, says that the hui korero was to have no track at all. She says a new track is a mistake.

Time - sooner rather than later, probably - is going to tell us how big a mistake.

Debate will continue, and the plan may change, but at least now the Pakeha-Maori rift is healing.

Yesterday's announcement wasn't just about setting the blueprint for changes.

It also exhibited some of the lack of depth of cultural understanding that led to the recent problems, when Craggy Range winery director Mary-Jeanne Hutchinson beckoned Ngāti Kahungunu chair Ngahiwi Tomoana to "do the nose thing".

The "nose thing' of course, is the hongi, and the lead-up to today, and the ensuing journey will provide Hutchinson with plenty of opportunity to learn more about Maori culture.

Local government have some "learnings" here as well. Just because you can legally do something, doesn't mean it's always the right thing to do.