Creation of a new track on Titirangi Kaiti Hill started this week with Eastland Port footing the bill and its staff doing some of the work.

Eastland Port is giving Gisborne District Council a hand with the Titirangi restoration project by building a new track around the base of the hill to Kaiti Beach.

Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says the hill and the historic harbour below it have been intrinsically linked for hundreds of years.

“We’re proud to partner with the council helping look after the historically important landmark we operate beside. It feels all the more real for us as it’s our staff who will be working on the project.”

Gisborne District Council Tairāwhiti Navigations Programme Manager De-Arne Sutherland says Eastland Port has always shared its vision for a track to take walkers safely along the hill to Kaiti Beach.

“By having Eastland Port on board we’ve been able to offset some of the Titirangi restoration costs, and as a result carry out other work on the maunga. The port is a key stakeholder supporting the delivery of Tairawhiti Navigations which the restoration is a part of, and we’re pleased to have had their help with this community project.”

The new 500-metre track will go from the Waikahua Cottage site to Kaiti Beach. It follows the remains of previous tracks and passes a second cottage site and areas of archaeological interest. Road markings will help walkers safely cross Kaiti Beach Rd.

The track will be wide and level – easy to use for walkers, runners, people with prams, and people with disabilities. It will link with the soon-to-be-upgraded Puhi Kai Iti/ Cook Landing Site Historic Reserve via the 1000-year walkway bridge.

Some of it will be made from timber to get walkers safely over damp areas. There will be two areas where people can rest and take in the views across Gisborne and Turanganui-a-kiwa.

Gisborne District Councillor Larry Foster, who lives at the Kaiti Beach end of the track says he can’t wait for it to be finished.

“My wife Leigh and I walk Titirangi regularly with our two dogs, going along the road past the log yard,” says Councillor Foster,

“It has always been a dangerous stretch of road for pedestrians accessing Kaiti Beach. This new track will make that journey much safer and a lot more exciting. Finally, we can boast an awesome pedestrian entranceway to our beautiful Kaiti Beach.”

Mr Gaddum says helping extend the track network on Titirangi Kaiti Hill is something the port has been committed to for a number of years.

“As well as helping keep Gisborne’s export industries moving we can now also do what custodians of this land have always done – help look after the neighbouring natural areas. It’s exciting to see the work finally getting underway.”

“We have the technical know-how, as well as a lot of the right machinery for constructing the track. Port staff are looking forward to making a hands-on contribution.”

Gisborne District Council awarded consent for the track’s development in October. As part of the consent process, it was granted an archaeological authority by Heritage New Zealand.

Public are warned to stay off the track during construction. Signs have been erected at both ends of the developing track to help keep people a safe distance away.

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