Development plans for one of Palmerston North's most significant cultural sites restarts today following the inaugural Rangitāne o Manawatū Committee meeting.

The Kawenata between Palmerston North City Council and Rangitāne O Manawatū was signed on August 2, 2019, and established the framework for co-management of Te Motu o Poutoa reserve.

Te Motu o Poutoa – the place of Poutoa is also known as Anzac Park.

Poutoa was an ancestor of Rangitāne. His descendants include Paewai, Te Awe Awe, Te Rangiotu and other families.

Advertisement

Palmerston North City mayor Grant Smith says he is delighted to sit with Rangitāne as partners.

"We look forward to the development of this site that boasts the best geographical high-point in the city, as a representation of the strength of our relationship, while respecting its significance to the city and Rangitāne.

"We already have an excellent relationship with Rangitāne. Today's meeting is an advancement in that relationship.

"The committee lays out our relationship as partners in the development of culturally significant land in our city."

The committee which has delegated powers from Council, will oversee the preparation of a reserve management plan for Te Motu o Poutoa under the Reserves Act 1977.

Any other reserves which come under the control of the Kawenata arrangement in the future has delegated powers from the council.

Council established the committee in November 2019. It appointed three council members, and Rangitāne O Manawatū nominated three members who were appointed by council in December 2019.

Wiremu Te Awe Awe, chair if Te Rangimarie Trustees, is expected to be appointed as committee chair and Mayor Smith, deputy chair, at today's meeting.

Advertisement

The other committee members are councillor Vaughan Dennison, Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Incorporated chief executive Danielle Harris, councillor Karen Naylor, and Ngāti Hineaute Hapū Authority chair Chris Whaiapu.

In 2018, council staff and Rangitāne began work on a development plan for Te Motu o Poutoa but the plan was put on hold until the establishment of the new committee.

The land was purchased from the Kairanga County Council for Anzac Park in 1916.

It is assumed before this date the Patriotic Society renamed the park.

From 1962-1963, the site was changed significantly. A ridge was lowered 20 metres to form the plateau that exists today, and in 1964-65, a lookout station, carpark and picnic spot were formed.

The area was colloquially known as Pork Chop Hill.

Advertisement

In 1968, the land was vested in the Palmerston North City Council by the Kairanga County Council as a reserve.

The Palmerston North Astronomical Society observatory was built in 1971.

PNCC and Rangitāne will consider developing this site with a collaborative approach through this committee, so iwi and the wider community values are both represented and celebrated.

The committee meets at 2pm today at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre.