Kia Ora, Pukehina Residents & Neighbours
We have purchased the Taft farm that runs along about half of Pukehina Parade from Pukehina Beach Road to 192 Pukehina Parade.
We have a vision to create something special on that land; a vision that we have dreamed about for some time. We want to take that farm and create in its place a sustainable, ecologically friendly, community park and village.
But before we do anything, we would love to hear from you – the Pukehina community. What are your ideals and what would you like to see on this property?
Below is a snapshot of the vision we have. Please have a look over the information and give us your thoughts and ideas, no matter how big or how small, and what you think we should do. We want to hear from you and your family.
Pukehina International Peace Park & Pukehina Eco Village
LAND SIZE 165 hectares / 407 Acres
Our vision is quite simple; to re-purpose the 400-plus acres of the Taft farm to create the most sustainable and ecologically friendly park & community ever built in the South Pacific. We want to call it the International Peace Park and Eco-Village. The vision will involve recreating a significant natural wetland and habitat; something which has largely been lost to our Pukehina area. We see the wetland becoming a feature of national significance; set up and managed in way that will ensure unimpeded access and use of the open space by not just wildlife and nature-loving visitors but importantly, the local community. The large expanses of open water and revegetated areas will also help capture and filter the large volumes of stormwater from surrounding farms which currently discharge direct into the Little Waihi estuary.
The 150-home Eco Village would incorporate the latest Green Technology to ensure the protection and sustainability of our local environment and help in restoring and preserving the international reputation that this part of the Bay of Plenty deserves. The plan is for each house to be offset by the creation of one hectare of wetland. The Park itself could be one of the biggest private reinstatements of natural habitat in the Western Bay. We want to ensure the protection of our local wild life, our local eco system while providing an amazing place and opportunities to bring together all nationalities, cultures and families. It would be an iconic landmark place and a source of regional pride for generations to come. Resource consents for the wetland and village will be sought under the Western Bay of Plenty District plan which promotes the enhancing and restoration of ecological features within the district in exchange for subdivision development.
The village architecture will be designed with ease of living in mind; an inclusive community able to provide for the blind, the deaf and mobility restricted just to name a few. We think the location is perfect; next to a beautiful white sand beach, between three major cities and only five minutes from one of our country’s latest motorway links.
The Western Bay of Plenty could play home to the most sustainable community in New Zealand.
We think making our existing cities ecologically friendly, let alone sustainable, would be practically impossible. But our vision provides an opportunity to design and create a future community from a blank canvas – a community that is in harmony with its environment.
Everyone will have an opportunity to play a part in the design of the village; local councils, iwi and community groups, relevant government agencies and authorities and national and international experts.
But as our first priority audience, you are very important to helping us achieve our vision. We look forward to your input.
Pukehina Beach has NO sewerage disposal system; the Eco Village will use the world’s most advanced sewerage recycling and disposal system.
Whakatane, Tauranga and Rotorua are all only around 35 minutes’ drive. Bay Fair, the largest shopping mall in the Bay of Plenty and the fast-growing retail outlets of Papamoa are also only minutes away.
This is a new toll road. We think any increase in traffic using the Link will generate much-needed revenue for NZTA and that money can be used to fund other necessary roading projects like the elimination of black spots and other hazards.
Although our farm is currently viewed as being high producing, the operators have had a strict “Less is Better Policy” when it comes to the use of fertiliser and other dangerous soil additives. The intent has been to farm as organically as possible. However, we want to take organic to a new level. We will do this by returning most of the land to wetland so that it can again be the natural filter and water cleaning habitat that it once was. This will make a significant difference to our already fragile eco system by reducing nitrates and other pollutants from our farm and from the surrounding farms which drain into it. This in turn will benefit and enhance important local places such as the Little Waihi Estuary which has become badly degraded over the years from farm run-off.
Every home in the Eco Village will utilise solar energy, reducing our carbon footprint on our planet and the reducing the future need for large energy infrastructure. This could save billions for future generations. Alongside our wetland ecological initiative, the focus on solar energy means that the Pukehina Eco Village will be unique and the first of its kind in New Zealand. We look forward to incorporating into our Village concept new solar energy generation and storage products being developed by various companies working in the solar energy Research and Development space. Something to watch for!
Every Eco Village home will utilise solar hot water or a heat pump hot water system. This technology has been around for a long time and the saving on the environment is well documented. But the technology is not always used because of the initial high capital outlay. We will ensure all our homes utilise some form of solar hot water, otherwise we cannot claim to be a truly eco community.
Every home will have a water tank capturing rainwater from the roof that would then be used for domestic tasks such as laundry, garden watering, cleaning vehicles and flushing toilets etc.
Our country desperately needs more homes – but let’s not just intensify what we have already as in some parts of Auckland. No. The Eco Village will have the ability to deliver the future lifestyle that we all want; and a future we want for our children and our children’s children.
Sure, we could build 150 cheap square box-like homes but would people move there? Yes, probably – but only because there aren’t enough homes in desirable places. And we are in such a mad rush to build that nobody seems to be thinking about lifestyle, the environment or the future. Let’s change this by putting the environment first when we think about house design.
Ecology is the study of ecosystems, environment and surroundings. We will prioritise the use of native vegetation throughout the park and village. With the use of solar systems and rain water capture systems we can decrease the impact on our environment and help conserve precious natural resources.
Almost every town in New Zealand/Aotearoa has elements of Maori cultural heritage, but do we see this when driving through? Apart from Rotorua, for the most part the answer is no. With the assistance of local iwi, the Eco Village will proudly showcase Pukehina’s Maori heritage and culture with design elements that properly reflect the history of our community.
(CPTED) is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behaviour through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts. We believe we can implement the CPTED approach by creating a safe and friendly park and village for kids, pets and families.
We will work closely with you, with NZTA and the local Councils to ensure roads in and around the new park and village are both safe and efficient.
Creating a beautiful green and sustainable environment is very important to us. Pukehina will be a lifestyle choice, not just another subdivision.
Our PIPP will incorporate the philosophy of the International Peace Park Foundation formally set up in 1990 by the late Nelson Mandela. That was to seek out and secure designated areas of land for the protection of the eco system, wild life and to foster the bringing together of different nationalities and cultures.
A large percentage of parkland itself will be reinstated as close as possible to what nature gave us, with spectacular wetlands, indigenous vegetation and beautiful bird and fish life.
It’s not good enough to just give back to the planet, we must put systems in place to protect and support our new park for future generations. We are looking at multiple options and talking with different community groups about this and we believe a joint venture of some form may be the best way to foster local engagement.
We want to create the most sustainable and ecologically friendly community ever built in the South Pacific. The village will incorporate the latest Green Technology, all designed to protect, enhance and sustain our shared environment and help restore our international reputation. We look forward to your input and your support.