The Green Green Fields of Ōtaki

The new Greenfields picnic area near the Ōtaki River estuary lookout was launched with a barbecue for the Friends of the Ōtaki River members, families and friends
The new Greenfields picnic area near the Ōtaki River estuary lookout was launched with a barbecue for the Friends of the Ōtaki River members, families and friends

Greenfields, the new grassed picnic area alongside the estuary lookout, at the south end of Ōtaki Beach, has plenty of space for a game of cricket or to kick a ball around.

The Friends of the Ōtaki River group, with families, friends, Ōtaki Community Board’s Rob Kofoed and Kapiti mayor Ross Church attended a celebratory barbecue at Greenfields to mark the completion of the work and unveiling of the plaque, on March 2.

The two large picnic tables, made by member Barry Cole, have been installed and bollards set around the road frontage to prevent vehicle access. The family friendly picnic and play area at the estuary area was in the original plans from around 1999-2000, president Max Lutz told the gathering.

Fotor member, Eric Matthews told of how he envisaged the whole estuary area “many, many” years ago (it was 1999 at Ōtaki Recreational Fishing Club competition) and what could be done.

“Now there are several different areas of plantings along the river and I don’t know how many thousands of plants we’ve put in,” he said.

“Whenever we’re in council, (Councillor) Penny is always saying Ōtaki is the centre of the universe! So much is going on up here at the moment,” Mayor Church said. “It’s the volunteers that make things happen. Thank you from the whole of Kapiti.”

Fotor’s next project at the estuary is already underway with the building of a 40 metre boardwalk due for completion early April. They are also in the process of constructing an arboretum on the way to Chrystalls Bend, Fotor has received a $10,000 grant from the Philipp Family Foundation for this work.

Mr Lutz thanked the Eric Matthews for making the sign, Farmlands for timber for the tables, Ōtaki flood protection depot guys for their support and assistance clearing the area of scrub and rubbish, Winstones Aggregates who carted in “100’s” of cubic metres of soil for the picnic area and Greater Wellington Regional Council for installing the bollards and to all the volunteers who spend many, many hours working on these projects.