A major flood back in April has resulted in plans to relocate the ranger’s office, workshop and native plant nursery at Shakespear Regional Park.
The buildings in Te Haruhi Bay, adjacent to the car park, were inundated in the flood. The same event caused water to pool on the grassed area, resulting in damage to several pohutukawa trees.
Open sanctuaries senior ranger Matt Maitland says that it was not the first time that the buildings had been flooded, but this time there was water over knee height causing damage to framing, wall linings and electrical appliances. While investigating that damage, black toxic mould was found, which is a significant health issue.
The buildings are to be demolished, and new structures built on the top of the hill behind the YMCA Shakespear Lodge (along the ridge from the picture frame).
Matt says with a blank piece of paper in front of him and the planning process underway, it is hoped that a one-stop shop can be built to meet all the needs of rangers and volunteers.
“Our operations have grown in recent years,so sitting down and considering what we actually need is a real luxury,” Matt says.
Until that process is complete, the costs of the project are not known but Matt says he hopes that money will be allocated by Council next financial year.
In the meantime the team has been working out of portacom offices in Te Haruhi Bay and using parts of the outbuildings that have been deemed safe.
Shipping containers and portacoms are currently being placed on the new hilltop site and these will be fitted out and in use this summer.
“Once we’re in there, we will demolish the current workshop and yard and return that foreshore space for visitor use,” Mastt says. “It could potentially be suitable for parking.”