Baring Head – back in public hands

Greater Wellington Regional Council recently led a successful consortium bid to procure Baring Head Station, a 240ha property at the end of the Wainuiomata Coast Road that contains the Baring Head lighthouse.

Settlement date was Wednesday 30 June 2010. The property will be managed as part of East Harbour Regional Park and will be designated a Scenic Reserve (under the provisions of the Reserves Act 1977). That designation process has not yet commenced.

The property was purchased by tender for $1,775,000 (excluding GST). It has a rateable value of $1.7 million.

Contributions were as follows:

Funder Contribution

Greater Wellington Regional Council $675,000

Nature Heritage Fund $550,000

Department of Conservation $150,000

Hutt City Council $200,000

Private benefactor $200,000

Total $1,775,000

Greater Wellington’s first priority is to provide limited and safe public access to the coastal escarpment, the location of the Baring Head lighthouse. The public will be notified when such access has been provided.

Public access will initially be for people on foot or on bicycles. At this stage access will not be available for horses, dogs or motorised transport.

There are no public facilities at Baring Head. The area is exposed to the weather which can change quickly.

Visitors enter this property at their own risk and must take their rubbish away with them.

Boulderers and others wishing to conduct events at Baring Head will require a concession from Greater Wellington Regional Council and should contact the East Harbour Regional Park Ranger.

There is a private property adjacent to the lighthouse. Public access through this property is prohibited. Signage will be erected outlining the location and extent of this private property.

Car parking is available by the bridge at the northern end of the property and by the beach at the southern end. Parking is at the vehicle owner’s own risk.

Information signage will be erected at the main access points to the Baring Head block. A map and further information will soon be available from the Greater Wellington website

Greater Wellington Regional Council Officers will evaluate options for the future of this property, as part of a park management plan. Community groups, local authorities and Government agencies will be asked to comment, in a similar process to our current park management planning.

A stock grazing lease currently applies to Baring Head. GW will renegotiate that lease to allow safe public access to the area.

Funding for the development of further public access and environmental rehabilitation work will be sought as part of Greater Wellington’s Annual Plan and Long Term Plan processes.