Park old battleground too

19:41, Feb 06 2013
tuna place
TUNA PLACE RESERVE: The council owned reserve is a flat, two-tiered grass area at the southern end of Marlin Drive.

The Taupo Bay Progressive Association has withdrawn a resource consent application to develop a tennis facility on a council reserve at Taupo Bay.

The application was the subject of an appeal scheduled to be heard in March.

However that may not be the end of the battle, now in its fifth year.

Association chairwoman Diane Sinclair says the association will push on and rely on a certificate of compliance issued by the Far North District Council.

And in a new development, Taupo Bay Marae trustees are seeking approval to register Tuna Place reserve and two other council-owned reserves at Taupo Bay in a schedule of sites of cultural significance.

Taupo Bay Marae Trustees have asked for these sites to be registered to "offer a level of protection against inappropriate use, development and subdivision activities which have potential to damage, modify or destroy the cultural values associated with the sites".

Secretary Murray Moses says in his request to council that Tuna Place Reserve - a burial site dating back to a battle between Ngapuhi and Nati Awa - is wahi tapu (a sacred place).

"At the time the battle took place, sand dunes covered Tuna Place Reserve, including at least half of Taupo Bay. The battle between Ngapuhi and Ngati Awa was described by Ngapuhi as a massacre."

The association's proposal to develop a tennis court and a clubroom has divided the community, with both sides claiming support. The association says three surveys of ratepayers favoured the development. Those opposed say the support comes mostly from those who are not fulltime residents.