The Kawenata between Palmerston North City Council and Rangitāne o Manawatū was signed on 2 August 2019 and established the framework for co-management of Te Motu o Poutoa reserve. Te Motu o Poutoa – the place of Poutoa (also known as Anzac Park). Poutoa was an ancestor of Rangitāne. His descendants include Paewai, Te Awe Awe, Te Rangiotu and other families.
“Council is delighted to sit with Rangitāne as partners,” says Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith. “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. Tomorrow’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, and any other reserves that come under the control of the Kawenata arrangement in the future.
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 Te Rangimarie Trustees, is expected to be appointed as Committee Chair at tomorrow’s meeting, and Mayor Smith Deputy Chair. The other committee members are Cr Vaughan Dennis, Danielle Harris, Chief Executive Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Incorporated, Cr Karen Naylor, and Chris Whaiapu, Chair Ngāti Hineaute Hapū Authority.
In 2018, Council staff and Rangitāne began work on a development plan for Te Motu o Poutoa. The development planning 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 1962-63, 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, car park and picnic spot were formed. It has been colloquially known as Pork Chop Hill.
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 on Wednesday, 29 July, at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre.