Kaiwaka residents to organise clean-up of McLean Park

An artist’s impression of one of the soon to be built footbridges.

The Kaiwaka Can residents group will undertake a clean-up of McLean Park in Kaiwaka, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.

Chair David Wright says the current state is unacceptable.

“Currently that park looks like a bit of a dump, and when dignitaries arrive in Kaiwaka to open new footbridges, we don’t want the bridges to lead to a dump.”

Last year, Kaiwaka Can and the Kaipara District Council succeeded in their application for funding to the Provincial Growth Fund for two new footbridges in Kaiwaka.

The project will provide a safe path from the northern to the southern ends of town and will link to the park.

David says tenders for the construction of the footbridges are about to be put out, and he understands they are expected to be completed in February 2022.

Kaiwaka Can wants to clean out pest plants from the park and put in natives along the river bank. It is hoping to apply to the KDC for funds from its next round of grants.

Its long-term plan for the park is to build toilets and a pontoon, which would allow kayakers to paddle down the river and through to the Kaipara Harbour.

“Kaiwaka is the gateway to Northland, and we want the state of the town to reflect that status,” David says.

There is also the possibility of a manned information centre in the park.

David says Kaiwaka Can also wants to get more involved with supporting community, groups and businesses.

“If you are not happy with something going on, or with Council, get in touch and we can work with you,” he says.

Kaiwaka Can had its annual general meeting last month where it appointed its first executive committee.

The committee consists of David Wright as chairman, Jean Guttery as secretary, Pablo Garcia as treasurer and vice chairman, and Amanda Grayson as media liaison.

Membership is around 50 members on the books, but paid subscriptions are down.

David says Kaiwaka is in growth mode, with several substantial projects on the way, and now is the time to get involved and take part in the town’s development.

Membership to Kaiwaka Can costs just $10 annually. Meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month in Archie Bull Hall.

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