Public input sought on Takapūneke Reserve in Christchurch

By Wikitōria Day
  • South Island

Christchurch City Council wants public input into a plan that could help make Banks Peninsula's Takapūneke Reserve a National Reserve.

The Council is currently seeking written suggestions to help draft a Reserve Management Plan for Takapūneke - a site of immense cultural significance to Ngāi Tahu and Ōnuku Rūnanga.

The first step in the draft plan is gathering public comments about how people would like to see Takapūneke developed as a reserve.

Councillor Andrew Turner says Takapūneke Reserve is a landscape of immense national significance that should be fully recognised and protected.

"Takapūneke was an important centre for trade between Ngāi Tahu and early 19th-century settlers, and was also the site of a massacre that resulted in the site becoming tapu.

This was one of the drivers in a series of events that led to the Treaty of Waitangi, which illustrates the significance of the site to Māori and to the general history of New Zealand."

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu CEO Mark Solomon says, "The events at Takapūneke and the nearby Onawe Pā were to have a significant effect on British policy towards New Zealand."

Takapūneke's site, which sits between Akaroa and the Ōnuku settlement in Banks Peninsula, was classified a historic reserve by Christchurch City Council in 2008.

In 2009, a Conservation Report was commissioned to identify the cultural heritage values of the site and to assist with preparing a Reserve Management Plan.

The Council agreed in 2012 to seek National Reserve status for the site. If it is successful, Takapūneke Reserve will join the Waitangi Treaty Grounds as New Zealand's only historic sites with this status.

A public consultation process is expected to take place early next year, once the Reserve Management Plan has been drafted.