Together with InSitu Heritage, Tauranga City Council has developed a conservation plan for the Monmouth Redoubt Reserve, located at the northern end of The Strand in Tauranga. This plan will guide how council manages and develops this unique heritage place, in particular the profile of the banks and ditches, as well as adjacent trees and vegetation. It will also ensure public access and appreciation of the site.
The development of the conservation plan started mid-2018 and in the meantime council has worked closely with key stakeholders, such as the adjacent residents, iwi and various partners (for example Police, KiwiRail, The Elms, Tauranga Historic Society, Heritage NZ) to ensure that their feedback and ideas were considered in the final plan.
Mark Smith, Manager Spaces & Places at Tauranga City Council: “It is vital to take care of this reserve as it provides important historic values relating to several time periods in Māori and Pākehā histories. It is also appreciated as a green space, for its landscape and views over the harbour, Matapihi and views to Mauao. That makes it a popular destination for the local community as well as tourists – it is even mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guide.”
The purpose of the conservation plan is to ensure that the archaeological and historic features are conserved for present and future generations to enjoy.
Significance to Tauranga
The Monmouth redoubt was built in 1864 by the 43rd Monmouthshire Light Infantry Regiment after arriving in Tauranga as part of the military force. Their task was to block supplies being sent from Tauranga in support of the Maori King forces in the Waikato. The redoubt was built on top of the archaeological features of the earlier settlement at Taumatakahawai.
This reserve is also unique in New Zealand due to location adjacent to the city centre, which provides excellent opportunities for public appreciation, interpretation and heritage tourism.
Now that the conservation plan is completed, council can take next steps in the management of the reserve. These include: the development of a detailed design for green retaining wall systems and a board walk on east side, removal of trees in order to build the boardwalk and to conserve the visible profile of the ditch, and the application for an archaeological authority to carry out these works. The trees that will be removed, will be replaced by four large native trees in the Wharepai Domain.