Rata Reserve

Organisation or Group Requesting Funds
Karamea Community Inc
Contact Person
Dave Sanders
Email Address
What do you want funding for?
The Rata Reserve is situated on Buller District Council (BDC) road reserve. BDC is 100% behind this project and has contributed $27,000 toward the total project cost of $80,000. The West Coast Regional Council (WCRC) has contributed $5,000 and donated 20 rata trees which are being grown from seedlings by a local native plant nursery supplier, leaving a shortfall of $48,000 (GST Excl).

In July 2019 WCRC announced plans to remove the last four rata trees located beside the Karamea River which could be seen and admired as you drove into Market Cross. As part of their 1.3km upgrade of the stopbank (construction dates back to the 1930’s) WCRC confirmed these magnificent native trees must be removed as their technical advisors considered the tree’s root systems undermined the stopbank.

Locals took to social media in an effort to preserve the ratas, estimated to be300 years old. However our community lost the battle and the trees were felled toward the end of 2019. This prompted residents to find a locally led solution to replace the trees and explore the potential of creating a new rata reserve in partnership with BDC and WCRC. As a result a lead project group was formed out of the community association with the mandate to act on behalf of the wider community.

In 2014/15 Karamea Community Incorporated (KCI) undertook extensive community consultation resulting in the development and adoption of “An Urban Design for Karamea: A Town and Country Plan for Our Community”. The comprehensive plan includes opportunities to create cycle and walking tracks, a landscape strategy and design plan for the Market Cross/community hub area and allows for native planting and other environmental enhancements. Core objectives in this plan were incorporated into the overall community vision and plan.
How does this relate to our community plan?
In March 2020 KCI adopted the Rata Reserve Project on behalf of the community. The project is supported by the community, is included in the Karamea/Little Wanganui Community Plan, and meets five of the six stated goals in plan, ie, Environmental, Education & Learning, Health & Wellbeing, Social & Cultural and Infrastructure.
What is the start date / what is the end date?
Where will the benefit of this grant request be realised?
Karamea and Little Wanganui
What are the expected benefits/outcomes?
To beautify the entrance to Market Cross and replace our lost Rata Trees
To remove and replace non-native vegetation/trees
To create a green space for our community and visitors to enjoy – the Rata Reserve is in walking distance from our community hub, Market Cross area
A place to pause, rest, reflect and appreciate native and wetland areas
To restore, protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity
To support existing bird population

Funding support from both BCD and WCRC confirms the significance of the Rata Reserve project to all concerned parties. BDC has approved this project given the site is currently a road reserve. A copy of “Licence to Occupy” is attached and will become effective from the 1st March 2021.
Briefly describe your project or planned activities
Our proposal is to create a new nature reserve in our community with the key focus being to replant native rata and other native plants to enhance and beautify the road reserve. Our concept plan will enable our community and visitors to enjoy and experience a park-like environment which includes a picnic area, walkways and a wetland to encourage more bird life and nature to flourish.
How will you show you have achieved it?
Once our public Rata Reserve has been completed and accessible to our Karamea/Little Wanganui community and visitors to the area, we have absolute confidence this green space will be well received and utilised as intended.

This will be evidenced by a chronology of photos and videos, and monitoring bird life in the reserve before and after the transformation.
Select the ethnic groups or communities which will benefit from your activities or project
What is the total grant you are requesting, exclusive of GST?
Application Status
Amount Awarded

Karamea community members are invited to leave comments in support (or otherwise) of this proposed community-led development project. Comments will be visible to all. Please be aware that your comment may factor into Department of Internal Affairs decision-making regarding support for the project. We ask that you provide your real name on your comment, so that other community members may follow up with you, if needed. If you prefer, you may email the Karamea Community Incorporated secretary cbjones@farmside.co.nz with your comment, and they will post your comment on your behalf.