A renewed Maungatautari Reserve Management Plan has garnered strong support from iwi, councillors and the wider community for its 'clear and forward-thinking' approach.
Maungatautari Scenic Reserve is a sanctuary for native wildlife and plants, such as kiwi, kokako, tuatara and more, with a range of great walking and hiking tracks to enjoy. Located 30 minutes south of Cambridge, the reserve plan covers the 2500ha of scenic reserve contained within Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari's 47km pest-proof fence.
Waipā District Council worked extensively with representatives from Ngaati Koroki Kahukura to co-create the plan which provides guidance for resources, activities and management of the maunga over the next 10 years.
Council's strategy and community services group manager Debbie Lascelles said the submissions received reflected the high level of engagement with key partners.
"We received 21 submissions that were overwhelmingly supportive of our shared vision for Maungatautari as a living treasure. We are extremely blessed to have this nationally significant indigenous forest in the Waipā district and the plan sets out how together we will protect and be guardians for this precious taonga tuku iho."
At council's Strategic Planning & Policy committee meeting, councillors Graeme Webber and Liz Stolwyk praised work that went into developing the plan.
"This a really important maunga for us, and when you look at the partners and look at what we have achieved over many many years, this is a particularly special place for people in New Zealand. I'm really impressed with the engagement we've seen from neighbours, local iwi, and other groups that have had an association and am absolutely rapt that everyone is happy with the direction were taking," Stolwyk said.
The plan acknowledges the significance of Maungatautari to mana whenua and provides for them to have a living and enduring presence on the maunga. Submissions resulted in some minor amendments to the plan which will be factored into the final version. The importance of re-establishing access to the northern enclosure was also noted. Council is negotiating access with landowers.
The vision for the plan is Maungatautari Scenic Reserve is a living treasure, a place where our cultural and natural history are respected, enjoyed and enhanced, where people work together as guardians of this legacy for future generations.
Council works closely with mana whenua directly and the Maungatautari Reserves Committee when making decisions related to the reserve land. Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust (MEIT) is contracted by council to look after the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the scenic reserve.
"If you haven't yet experienced the wonder that is Maungatautari, please make sure you do as it is a place you must visit to truly understand how peaceful and tranquil this majestic maunga is," Lascelles added.
• People wishing to visit Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari can head to www.sanctuarymountain.co.nz for directions, pricing and guided tours. There is also free access to the Over the Mountain Track from 99 Tari Rd, Pukeatua.