Summary of feedback and questions from the Have Your Say site

Thank you to everyone who attended one of our meetings, visited the Have Your Say site, filled in a survey or asked a question. We appreciate your interest in the future of the Takapō Regional Park. We read every response and question and took them into account in our planning.

The Have Your Say page received 357 visits.
26 feedback surveys were completed on the page.
16 questions were asked on the page.

You can find all the questions asked (and our answers) on the ‘questions & answers’ tab on this webpage.

The most common topics we saw coming through the feedback forms and questions were:

  • replanting

  • recreation values, aesthetics and wildlife

  • harvesting

  • the need for a cautious approach

  • soil conservation and wind risk

  • fire mitigation

  • consultation/engagement process

  • other feedback

Below is a summary of the themes we heard from your feedback and questions, and our response to each of the topics. We haven’t responded directly to each piece of feedback, but please be assured that we have taken all feedback into account.

1. replanting

Themes included:
-begin planting natives asap, so they are large enough when the conifers are removed

-plant native trees, not shrubs

-replant with other types of exotics, not just conifers

-provide water drums so locals can water trees

-native plants will be difficult to establish and slow growing

-bring in a part-time park ranger to care for the plants

Although we don’t have a ranger based in the park, we now have two staff members regularly visiting the park. They will be at the park even more often during the harvest, replanting, and replanting-maintenance phases of the project.

The native and exotic plants in our replanting plan have been carefully chosen to balance aesthetic, recreational, soil conservation, biodiversity, and cultural values. We have incorporated native species suggested by mana whenua and exotic species suggested by the Lake Tekapo Recreational Park Society into our replanting plan.

We are aware of the harsh environment and soil conditions, and the risk this may pose to survivability of native and exotic plantings. Our planting and maintenance specifications have taken these factors into account and include contingency plans such as watering if necessary.

2. recreation values, aesthetics, and wildlife

Themes included:
-protect trails and tracks

-concern that forestry machinery will be noisy

-concern that the harvest area will be messy/weedy

-provide habitat for wildlife and birds

We are committed to protecting tracks and trails in the park and restoring any tracks that are disturbed during the harvest process.

The native species we plant will provide increased habitat for indigenous birds, invertebrates and reptiles.

We will be taking steps to ensure that all left over material and slash is chipped or removed from site. The post-harvest will be left as tidy as possible post-harvest, and emerging weeds controlled as part of our plant maintenance programme.

Forestry machinery will create noise in the park during the harvest phases of the project (approximately 3 months every five years). For Stage 1, we don’t expect the noise to travel far outside the park due to the remaining forest surrounding Stage 1 acting as a buffer. We have also restricted crew working hours to ensure no work occurs before 7am on weekdays and that no work occurs on weekends.

3. harvesting

Themes included:
-concern about the ‘clear felling’ approach

-use ‘selective felling’ to fell trees more gradually

-leave a border of trees/ shelter belt to provide shelter to new planting

-retain mature trees on the west side of the Lilybank Rd

-important to get rid of the spread of wildings

-wilding spread from the park is not extensive

-protect the non-pest species

-keep the existing trees

-keep the larch trees

Identified pest species, including larch, will be removed from the park as part of this project, as is required as part of the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme.

We are taking steps, including GPS marking and identification with harvest crews, to ensure non-pest trees are preserved as much as possible.

The approach of harvesting in stages was chosen as it is more economically viable than harvesting selected trees gradually. It allows us to target the removal of key pest conifer species first (contorta pine). While each stage will be “clear felled, some trees that aren’t listed as pests on the Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan will remain throughout the harvest.

4. the need for a cautious approach

Themes included:
- need for review after Stage One

- requests for examples of similar projects

- need for a ‘trial first’ approach

- consult ecologists with local knowledge

We have committed to reviewing the results of the Stage One harvesting/replanting, and adjusting timelines, harvest methods, and replanting species if required. Ecologists have been involved in the planning of this project and will continue to be involved throughout the duration.

5. soil conservation and wind risk
Themes included:
-concerns about the risk of soil erosion
-risk that wind will take out trees that have grown up sheltered by others

Soil conservation has been a priority throughout the planning of this project. Our staged harvest and replanting plan takes into account both soil erosion and wind risk. You can read more about soil conservation in ‘Soil Ecology and Conservation’ story on this page.

6. fire mitigation

Themes included:
-Improve access for fire/emergency response
-Improve couplings on current water tanks
-Introduce new fire break

Thank you for these suggestions. We will continue to work with FENZ to improve fire mitigation within the park.

7. engagement process

Themes included:
-insufficient time
-we were told what will happen rather than consulted
-lack of information available

Because this is not a formal consultation (the kind we run as part of the Long-Term Plan process), there is no requirement for formal submissions and hearings. We wanted to inform and hear feedback from those most affected by this project, which is why we focused on advertising in local publications, hosting stakeholder and community meetings, and inviting feedback via the Have Your Say page. We added more detailed information to the Have Your Say page in response to questions that were asked at the community meetings and on the webpage.

8. other feedback

-current operative management plan being ignored
-incorporate horse-riding trails
-need for new toilet at entrance

A new management plan for the park is currently in progress and will be published later this year.

We don’t have plans to incorporate horse riding trails into the park. There are horse riding trails available close to the regional park.

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