Planning Started: 2009
Construction Started: Late summer, 2011
Completed: Spring 2012
The Plantation Drain Reserve provides an attractive recreational oasis in the heart of a residential Napier area.
In the past, karaka and kawakawa were among native trees in the linear drainage reserve. Local hapu valued harakeke (flax) and harvested it to use in their weaving. That has given the reserve its new name – Harakeke Waterway.
In a joint project, the Napier City Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council upgraded the 800-metre long strip between Nash and Chamber streets by providing better drainage, more natural-looking landscaping and widened paths.
The former stormwater system has been replaced with a more naturally flowing waterway.
Some two kilometres of paths were created to form a scenic link in the Pathway network. Three metres wide and paved, the main path accommodates pedestrians and cyclists. The existing footbridge was widened and crushed limestone paths, 1.5m wide, formed to meander through the reserve, crisscrossing the main path and venturing towards the stream.
Native trees, shrubs and grasses, including titoki, totara. flax, toetoe, rushes and sedges, have been planted in the reserve. Landscaping features also include low gabion walls, bench seating and wooden bridges.
Three pou, carved by Hugh Tareha, represent the history of the area in depicting a whale’s tail, gannet and koru.
The project considered the culture and history of the site in planning these improvements. The landscaped public area extends Napier’s green corridor and is expected to encourage more bird-life into the city and suburbs.