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Hastings District Council give Guthrie-Smith rave reviews

Hastings District Council at Guthrie-Smith

CEO Ross MacLeod (2nd from left), and Community Board Chair Peter Kay (2nd from right) with from left Crs Heaps, Dixon, Lyons, Kerr, Nixon, Watkins, Lester, Hazlehurst, and Deputy Mayor Bowers.

Over the years, the Trust has developed a working relationship with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council around pest and land management, as well as environmental education, but has never actively worked with the Hastings District Council. It was with this in mind that on 18 November 2015, the Trust hosted several councillors, senior management, and community board chairman Peter Kay, for a tour of the Education Centre and Arboretum. Although the weather wasn’t the best they were able to get an insight into what we are achieving at Tutira. This visit was followed by a brief presentation by Trust chair David Allan and Trustee Terry Taaffe to a full Council Meeting on 28 January 2016.

Tutira lies within the Mohaka ward of the Hastings District – ward Councillor Tania Kerr continues………

In November 2015, councillors and senior management from Hastings District Council toured the northern area of the district. Sites visited included Whirinaki, Tutira including the Recycling Centre, various rural roads, Lake Opouahi kiwi crèche and Waipatiki Beach, but the highlight was the visit to Guthrie-Smith Arboretum and Outdoor Education Centre.

For those that had visited prior, the expansion and growth of plantings was impressive. Others were left with a sense of needing to return to explore some more.

We thoroughly enjoyed having a guided tour with the trustees who willingly shared their knowledge of the history of the land, the current planning and plantings, and the future plans for development and enhancing the numbers of visitors.

Comments surrounding the day were ‘jewel in the crown’, ‘sense of peace’, ‘highlight of my day’, ‘a desire to explore more’, ‘want to come back with family and friends…’

For me personally, the man, Guthrie-Smith, and his vision of ‘farming in balance with the environment’ intrigued me.

We as a community are slowly catching up to his vision!

A recent presentation from the Trust to the full council last week highlighted the work the trustees have done and what is still to do.

Together we all need to promote this amazing asset and encourage our family and friends to attend their open days, (every Sunday, October to May).

See you there!