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Tawharanui Interpretation Plan WJBevil 2010


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Tawharanui Interpretation Plan WJBevil 2010

  1. 1. Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  2. 2. 1 Table of Contents Part 1: Planning Context Introduction A Sense of Place Background and Context Purpose of the Plan Who’s Involved Situation Analysis Park Management Framework Significance Statements Visitor and Market Analysis Part 2: Delivery Concept Interpretive Approach Guiding Principles Media and Techniques Interpretive Themes Programme Logic Model Thematic Zones Part 3: Proposals Proposed Enhancements Koru and Main Entry area Notice Boards Campground and Surrounds Ecology Trail Heritage Walk Marine Protection New Media and Public Events Part 4: Implementation Action Plan Implementation Process Production Process Training Needs Evaluation Appendix i. Recommended Reading ii. References / Research iii. Interpretive Media Matrix Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Printed on 100% recycled paper.
  3. 3. 3 Tāwharanui Regional Park is regarded as one of New Zealand’s precious places, with spectacular beaches and coastline featuring panoramic views of the northern Hauraki Gulf. Beyond the surf are thriving wetlands, lush forest, rolling hills and golden pastures. It’s a landscape that has changed dramatically over the years, as have the values and lifestyles of those who live, work and play here. These changes, and the people involved, are at the heart of Tāwharanui’s stories. At one time, this pristine looking lagoon was a shingle quarry PART 1 : Planning Context Language of a Landscape Introduction It’s often said that beautiful landscapes interpret themselves, and certainly such places can be appreciated on purely aesthetic merits. However, the spirit of a place is more than just what’s visible on the surface and sometimes there are important stories to be told that are only hinted at by the scenery. Hidden at the heart of the park is a remnant of native forest Hundreds of hours of volunteer labour are behind these seedlings The hills were once the site of early Māori settlements and fortifications Nocturnal creatures of all kinds roam Tāwharanui after dark The human storyteller can best make a contribution in those places where the landscape is silent...but the story needs to be told. Capturing these elusive qualities isn’t always easy, but it is a worthwhile endeavor. How we choose to tell our stories requires a deliberate approach to ensure Tāwharanui’s special character isn’t negatively impacted. Care must be taken not to overshadow the landscape’s ability to touch people through its inherent beauty. A Sense of Place Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Photo:DylanvanWinkel Photo:TOSSI
  4. 4. 4 Planning Context Tāwharanui Regional Park is situated on Tokātu peninsula approximately 90 km north of Auckland. It covers an area of 588 hectares and presents an array of landscape types including pasture lands, native forest and bush, wetlands, dunes, rocky coast, and pristine sandy beaches. The park is remarkable because it integrates the conservation of native species on land and in the sea, as well as farming and public recreation. Background and Context In 2004, a 2.5 km long pest proof fence was erected to create a pest-free Open Sanctuary. Supported by an ongoing and intensive pest management programme, visitors are seeing the return of many rare and threatened native and endemic species. Photo:GeoffMoon more than just information. It’s a communication method that helps people discover and understand the significance of places, people and processes*. Interpretation opens the eyes and the mind, engaging the visitor through storytelling, explaining ideas, creating memories, fostering understanding and appreciation, encouraging exploration and self-actualisation, influencing attitudes and prompting action! Interpretation is... Interpreters... use a variety of media and techniques to translate knowledge, shaping and illustrating it, to make it accessible and relevant to people. * Adapted from a definition by John McFarlane, Heritage International Jan 1995 Vol 5 (1) Great interpretation... starts with best practice as outlined in the ARC Interpretation Guidelines (2006). This document provides useful advice for developing interpretive displays and signs, as well as general information about interpretation methodologies. The guidelines are supported by the Parks Interpretation Strategy (2004) which contains strategic directions regarding interpretive services.
  5. 5. 5 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park The Tāwharanui Regional Park Interpretation Plan was created to provide park planners, staff and key partners with a unified vision for the park’s interpretation programme over the next 10 years. The plan identifies opportunities for enhancing interpretation, taking into account both visitor experience and park management objectives. The plan includes recommendations for interpretive media and techniques, as well as themes and topics to be explored. The improvement proposals provided within aim to facilitate visitor experiences that are in harmony with the management policies for Tāwharanui and reflect the shared goals of ARC and its key partners. Purpose of the Plan Interpretation at Tāwharanui will enable visitors to connect - on their own terms - to the living, changing landscape through storytelling, opportunities for firsthand exploration, and learning experiences that are relevant and meaningful. Interpretation Plan Objectives Adoption by park management and partners of a planned, consistent approach to the development and implementation of interpretive services in the park consistent with interpretive and organizational objectives Determine the key messages and themes to be explored and establish a unified vision for interpretation services Identify target audiences, visitor characteristics and use patterns affecting uptake of interpretive services Identify priority sites for interpretation and suggest improvements and delivery recommendations Outline project planning and development processes as they relate to implementation Describe how staff training, evaluation and visitor studies will support best practice. A broad vision statement, underpinned by key objectives, supports this plan:
  6. 6. 6 Tāwharanui is one of 26 parks and reserves in the Auckland Regional Parks network. The parks serve a regional population of approximately 1.3 million people. The role of the ARC is to manage the parks for recreation, protect the natural environment and provide the planning framework. Who’s Involved in Interpretation Tangata whenua Tāwharanui is an important place to local iwi. The peninsula was home to Māori for well over 800 years and provided them with a wealth of food and resources. This was celebrated in the saying, “He wha tawhara ki uta; he kiko tamure ki tai” - “The flowering bracts of the kiekie on the land, the flesh of the snapper in the sea”. Waikokowai (Anchor Bay) was a source of kokowai or red ochre, which was used for decorative and ceremonial purposes. Until the 1870s, the park was occupied by a small hapu (sub-tribe) of the Te Kawerau people called Ngati Raupo. The many archaeological sites at Tāwharanui hold special significance to local iwi. They include several pā (fortified settlements) and shell middens. The stories of these earlier inhabitants and the history of Tāwharanui are intertwined and an essential element in defining Tāwharanui’s sense of place. Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society The Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society (TOSSI) is a non-profit group formed in 2002 to help the Open Sanctuary become a reality through fund raising and volunteer work. Planning Context Today, TOSSI continues to work in partnership with the ARC towards a shared vision that the park will be an Open Sanctuary free of plant and animal pests where native plants, birds and other animals can breed successfully. TOSSI raises funds, assists with pest monitoring and eradication, and sometimes provides public education programmes. Ngati Wai / Te Kawerau Ngati Wai and Te Kawerau have a long-standing association and close ties with park. These groups play a key role in identifying and sharing stories about Tāwharanui’s natural and cultural heritage. Roles and Responsibilities* The best interpretive services represent multiple perspectives, but it can be challenging to coordinate everyone towards common goals. Defining roles and responsibilities is vital to creating efficient and organised project teams. An ARC staff member assigned to each project team will coordinate the development and delivery of the work from start to finish.This includes overseeing contracts, bids, budgets and other resources. Partner organisations (such as TOSSI) play a leading role in fundraising and promotion efforts, building support in the local community, and (in some cases) providing guided walks. * See also Project Teams pg. 36
  7. 7. 7 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park The level of development and the type and scale of visitor services in regional parks are guided by the Regional Parks Management Plan (RPMP) Situation Analysis Park Management Framework The ARC parks classification framework is designed to ensure an appropriate spectrum of recreational experiences is provided for in the regional parks network, and that individual parks provide opportunities consistent with their natural and cultural values. Tāwharanui Regional Park is a mature park with established infrastructure and recreational patterns. Visitor expectations appear to be largely in line with current management objectives. Survey results indicate visitors want limited services in the park i.e. “keep it just the way it is” The management focus over the short to medium term can be expected to continue in this manner. Over the longer term, changing population demographics, proximity to a large population, and usage trends may influence management decisions. Tāwharanui Regional Park is classified as a Class I Park, which states the following conditions: Visitor facilities and services Settings provide a remote visitor experience. Management emphasis is on protection of natural and cultural resources. Informal recreation activities requiring minimal visitor facilities. Minimal development in terms of infrastructure and vehicle access. Limited facilities appropriate to the site may be provided including information boards, directional signs, interpretive displays, toilets, walking and tramping tracks, camping areas, car parking areas, etc. Photo:ARC
  8. 8. 8 Tāwharanui attracts 160,000 visitors per year (as of 2010) and offers many informal recreational opportunities including walking, beach-going, kayaking, surfing, fishing (outside the marine park boundary), camping, picnics, mountain biking, nature watching and quiet solitude. Tāwharanui is relatively close to Auckland and is a good place to raise public awareness of the importance of New Zealand’s unique natural heritage, its relevance to them, and their role in its protection. Tāwharanui has many ecological zones, e.g. sub-tidal marine habitats, rocky coast, sandy beach, dunes, coastal forest, lagoons, wetlands, freshwater streams, grasslands, and mature and regenerating native forest. The location, geography and landscape values of the park are ideal for a pest-free Open Sanctuary. Tāwharanui Regional Park is close to several offshore islands, notably Hauturu (Little Barrier) and is in the flight path of birds including kereru, kaka, korimako (bellbird) and many seabirds. Tāwharanui Regional Park Open Sanctuary provides scientists with a ‘living laboratory’ – a baseline for long-term studies - in which to conduct conservation management research. Tāwharanui provides important habitat for many re-introduced rare and threatened native species, including plants, insects, fish, reptiles and birds. Tāwharanui peninsula has several important historical sites including pā (fortified settlements), shell middens, farming structures, earth dams, historic homes and a former shingle quarry. The Tāwharanui peninsula holds special significance to local iwi with spiritual and historical connections to the land spanning generations over 800 years. The Tāwharanui peninsula coastline has been the site of nine shipwrecks that claimed many lives. Place names like Comet Rocks and Anchor Bay are an enduring reminder of these events. Tāwharanui features several working farm facilities that also serve as venues for public programmes, special events, volunteer meetings and functions. Tāwharanui features many geological points of interest, including exposed greywacke rock (rare on the Auckland mainland), unmodified beach and dune systems, and a very rare regional occurrence of Jurassic age fossils that are of national significance. Tāwharanui Marine Park was established in 1981 as New Zealand’s first Marine Protected Area, and is under review to become a Marine Reserve. Tāwharanui Regional Park is New Zealand’s first fully-integrated Open Sanctuary where farming, outdoor recreation and the conservation of rare and endangered native species (from land to sea) combine. Significance Statements What makes Tawharanui special? What makes a place special is more than a sum of its parts. However, it’s useful to do a stock-take of special attributes to get a sense of the big picture. These points of significance provide source material (topics) to support the interpretive themes. Planning Context Photo: TOSSI
  9. 9. 9 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Interpretation works best when it’s audience-based and follows marketing principles. Interpretive services and facilities should be designed for (and promoted to) those groups that are most likely to use and value them. This section provides snapshots of visitor groups and the implications for interpretation. Visitor and Market Analysis Visitation patterns at Tāwharanui are quite seasonal, increasing during the summer months with an influx of regional domestic visitors headed straight to the northern beaches. Surfing, swimming, snorkeling and beach picnics are common activities, but some people seek out other activities (e.g. walks, kayaking) Recreational day visitors represent the largest volume of park users - a tantalising group for engagement. However, it’s important to note that activity choices are largely pre-determined by habit and not subject to impulsive changes. They know what they want, where it is, and go straight for it. Promotion of interpretive services should be done in a way that ensures awareness without being intrusive. Day Visitors Overnighters Overnight visitors such as campers and those staying in the cottage are a priority audience for interpretation because they: Tāwharanui Regional Park attracts around 160,000 visitors per year. These numbers are sustainable and park management isn’t seeking to increase that number. Even so, higher visitation can be expected in the medium to long term as Auckland’s population grows in size and proximity to the park. Annual Visitation Primary interpretation services: Introductory displays, minimal impact messages, marine protection, short stop activities (e.g. Heritage Walk, Ecology Trail, guided walks) Primary interpretation services: Sustainable parks, minimal impact & marine messages, nature walks, guided talks, special programmes (e.g. Jr. Ranger) Photos:ARC/TOSSI Photo:TOSSI Tāwharanui has one of the largest campgrounds in the ARC network, catering for up to 260 people. It also caters for campervans and vehicle-based camping. Tend to be loyal repeat visitors Stay a longer time in the park Have the greatest environmental impact Often include families with children Are receptive to a range of activities Are most likely to volunteer their time or make a donation in support of conservation programmes in the park
  10. 10. 10 Planning Context The park’s Open Sanctuary has led to increased interest and expectations in regards to services and facilities, particularly in regards to hosting large visiting groups. The challenge is to identify solutions that will have minimal impact while still meeting visitor needs. A small number of new visitor facilities, carefully designed and integrated into the landscape, would enable the park to meet these demands without compromising its management philosophy. Special Interest Groups Tāwharanui has played host to large groups of day visitors in the past, including school-age children and special interest groups. Large-scale presentations require gathering areas that provide some shelter from the sun and elements. Motivated by the Open Sanctuary, many people come to the park as day visitors seeking a nature-based experience. “Soft adventure” activities (e.g. walks and bird watching) are popular with this group. Those that have the time and/or financial resources tend to be receptive to receiving more detailed information via for-sale publications and donation-based services. Nature Enthusiasts New Zealand has a growing migrant population with over 25 significant ethic groups represented, each with its own distinctive traditions and preferences. Many ethnic minorities and new migrant groups are underrepresented as park visitors and there’s a huge potential opportunity to engage this emerging market through services such as interpretation. Additional research and strategy is required to identify the needs of different groups and investigate ways to attract and encourage visitation. Recommendations from this ongoing work might include multilingual delivery or targeted outreach initiatives. Interpretive services should be modified where appropriate to address these requirements. Young people are the decision-makers of the future. Park visits can offer memorable and positive experiences that influence their attitudes towards regional parks and the natural environment. Schools Groups A large segment of the population is now entering their retirement years. They will have increased leisure time but may also have reduced physical capabilities. Interpretive services intended for older audiences must match their needs and abilities, as well as their interests and expectations. Older Audiences New visitors Primary interpretation services: Special programmes, guided walks, group presentations, day-visit activities (Ecology Trail) Primary interpretation services: Easy-access short walks and talks, public presentations and special events Primary interpretation services: Guided walks and talks, special presentations linked to day-visit activities (e.g. Ecology Trail) Primary interpretation services: Cultural and natural heritage themed activities (Heritage Walk, Ecology Trail, marine topics) Photo:TOSSI Photo: ARC
  11. 11. 11 Links to Regional Attractions Many of Tāwharanui’s historical stories and contemporary topics are tied to events and places elsewhere. Where appropriate, Tāwharanui interpretation should link to regional sites of interest. This helps put Tāwharanui in context with the surrounding area and the bigger picture. A visit to nearby sites can also be a great extension of the interpretive experience at Tāwharanui . Kauri Wagon display at Parry Kauri Museum The 800-year old McKinney Kauri at Parry Kauri Museum Story link examples: Kawau Island is linked to the story of escaped Māori prisoners who were captured by British troops at the Battle of Rangiriri (1863). Their landing place near Bluebell Point became known locally as ‘Maori Beach’. Parry Kauri Park and Museum in Warkworth provides an opportunity to see mature kauri trees as well as historical forestry tools and equipment Goat Island (Motu Hawere) is spiritually significant to the local tangata whenua iwi, Ngati Manuhiri, which also have links to Tāwharanui. The surrounding Cape Rodney -Okakari Point Marine Reserve is a great place to see many of the same marine species that live in Tāwharanui’s Marine Park. There’s even a glass-bottom boat for visitors that aren’t able to snorkel or dive. Information is not interpretation, but all interpretation contains information. Interpretation should relate to the lives of your audience and their life experiences. The aim of interpretation is revelation and provocation, not instruction. Interpretation for children shouldn’t be a dilution of that for adults. Their needs are distinctive. Strive to involve people intellectually, emotionally and physically. Interpretation will be thematic. Interpretation will be appropriate to size, scale and materials, designed with respect to the natural and aesthetic qualities of the park. Different tools and techniques will be used to appeal to many learning styles and preferences. Whenever possible, use personal interpretation delivered by knowledgeable ARC park staff and key partners. Interpretation will respect and value the role of tangata whenua as kaitiaki (refer to RPMP 7.1.1) Guiding principles PART 2 : Delivery ConceptPlanning Context
  12. 12. 12 Delivery Concept Themes are the “Big Ideas”-- the key message or concept we want visitors to remember. Interpretive themes align with interpretation and visitor experience goals as described on page 15. This section identifies the most important strategic themes to be presented, as well as the intended methods/locations for delivery. Themes The Big Ideas Ka kore e rongo te ngakau; Ka ka kore e rongo te hinengaro Big ideas create the house; knowledge maintains it. Themes vs. Topics The words theme and topic are often used interchangeably, which creates confusion. A topic is the subject of your communication. A theme identifies the key message behind your interpretation. This distinction is critical. Themes provide visitors with the meanings behind the facts. Studies show that while visitors forget facts, they remember themes. This plan proposes one primary interpretive theme, supported by multiple sub-themes that are further supported by topics and stories that illustrate and reinforce the big idea. This plan provides a strategic framework illustrating how and where interpretive themes, sub-themes and topics will be used. It does not identify every topic/story to be explored. Details about topics and stories are refined during further content development and media design for each proposal (e.g. Heritage Walk). Every topic or story to be used should clearly support the primary and secondary themes. Themes are not necessarily the exact words that will appear on the finished interpretation (although they might be). Multiple themes, topics and stories may be interpreted at a single location. For more on using themes and topics, refer to the Auckland Regional Council Interpretation Guidelines (2006) Key Points Regarding Themes SUPPORTING SUB-THEMES: Primary Interpretive Theme: Tāwharanui Regional Park is a rare example of an Open Sanctuary where farming, outdoor recreation and the conservation of rare and endangered native species all co-exist. Sustainable Parks Sustainability in managing resources is critical to the park’s future, and every one of us has a role to play. Biodiversity is Important Having a variety of species is an indicator of health in Tawharanui’s ecological systems. Evolving Park By studying the tell-tale signs, place names and stories of Tawharanui, we can learn about our shared history and the people who have shaped this land. Everything is Interconnected Every living thing in Tawharanui, including people, is a part of an interconnected web of life. Restoration and Protection Our special places and species are under threat and we need to act to protect them. Distinctive Treasures Some things are found only here and no where else, and if they disappear they are lost forever. Nature is Dynamic By studying causes, patterns, signs and cycles we can better understand how nature constantly changes. ARC Needs Your Help! Protecting, restoring and conserving this special place is a big job that requires support from the local community, volunteers and people like you. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  13. 13. 13 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Planning is about making choices with limited resources. It’s essential to identify priorities and set targets for completion of each project. Determining Priorities Prioritising Criteria: Potential to interpret key strategic themes Potential to reach key target audiences and achieve interpretive objectives Frequency of use (high visitor numbers, natural gathering places) Significance of site (e.g. historic sites) Fragility or degree of threat at site (e.g. bird nesting) Proposal addresses a visitor management objective and/or meets a recognised visitor need Potential for Iwi, community group or other stakeholder partnership or support Ability of ARC and/or its partners to deliver outputs based on available resources (funding, staff, time) This section describes proposed enhancements to the interpretation program at Tāwharanui. Project Proposals Existing Interpretation Services Many of the proposals are actually enhancements or improvements to existing services and facilities. Where appropriate, a snapshot of existing services is provided alongside the recommendation to provide background and context. Links between projects Several projects link with one another. For example, fence structure from the koru display will be recycled for use as information boards and interpretive displays at other locations. Work projects will progress in stages and this will require that they be carefully timed to ensure minimal disruption to the visitor experience. Recommendations for the Ecology Trail include new directional signs and interpretation about Kauri dieback disease. Pg 14-23 of the ARC Interpretation Guidelines provide detailed guidance about a range of interpretive mediums and techniques. The most commonly-used types to be used at Tāwharanui include: Media and Techniques Guided Walks and Talks School or public groups led through the park by ARC staff or trained volunteers. Talks should be tailored to a range of different audiences, aimed at sharing a particular theme and topic area, and encourage independent exploration. Panels and Signs / Outdoor Displays may be free standing or incorporated into a building or structures. Displays may be singular (interactive e.g. weta hotel) or part of a larger presentation (e.g. interpretive shelter, self-guided trail). Roving interpretation refers to informal interaction between visitors and park interpreters. Brochures and Publications e.g. trail guides, history booklets, and flora and fauna field guides Public events (e.g. Art in the Woolshed, symposia). Downloadable multimedia featuring sound, video, images, games and text that can be used online, or via PDAs and portable handheld devices. This is a new area of product development for the park. Part 3: Proposed Enhancements
  14. 14. 14 Proposed Enhancements ARC Strategic Themes People and places are connected Interconnections Three main nodes deliver extensive information about the Open Sanctuary, species recovery, restoration programme, management issues, and TOSSI / ARC organisational info including current work, research, events, and ways to get involved. Less-substantial information will also be located on park information boards. Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Information and interpretation This area highlights changes over time and the human stories that shaped those events. A key feature is the Heritage Walk which explores early Māori history at Tāwharanui, colonial-era settlement, resource extraction and returns via a restored wetland environment. History & Heritage Supplementary Sites These are sites of interest separated from the main zones. These are lower priority for site-based interpretation, but may be suitable for self- guided media (e.g. brochures, earthcaching/geocaching, mystery walks, Jr. Rangers). Marine Park interpretation focuses on protection of the marine environment and the relationship between the land/ sea ecological zones. Marine topics intentionally link with terrestrial topics discussed elsewhere. Techniques may include limited signs, a snorkel trail, self- guided media, and guided activities. Marine Protection This zone showcases ecological zones and habitats, unique native flora and fauna, and the challenges that ecosystems face in a modern world. Interpretation explains links between the Open Sanctuary and habitat restoration and increased biodiversity, return of species, current research, and conservation. Restoring Nature This zone focuses on sustainable park management topics and is strategically targeted for high-use areas (e.g. campground, Anchor Bay carpark and surrounds). Topics include low-impact recreation, bird nesting awareness, dunes management, recycling, composting, rubbish removal, care with fires, and conserving water, ‘farms in the parks’ and promotion of in-park volunteer opportunities and recreation activities. Sustainability & Management People and places are connected Sustainabilty ARC needs help Treasures People and places are connected Interconnections Treasures Nature is Dynamic Biodiversity Interconnections Treasures Biodiversity Distinctiveness Nature is Dynamic Interpretation Zones
  15. 15. 15 Provide focal points at natural gathering places for sharing important stories, social interaction, and as launching points for further exploration. Inspire and facilitate visitor exploration of park features (e.g. range of habitats, landmarks, historic features) on their own terms by providing opportunities for exploration and discovery. Increase visitor understanding and mindfulness of sustainability in the parks, empowering them to follow low-impact practices (e.g. Leave No Trace) and conservation of park resources (e.g. water). Encourage ongoing commitment from visitors by provoking further thought and action. Provide interpretive experiences that are satisfying to repeat visitors by sharing the latest news and topical stories about park developments. Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Establishing goals and objectives is critical to planning and implementing interpretive products and services, and a vital part of measuring success. It’s important that objectives are specific, measurable and achievable. Visitor surveys, monitoring programs and formal evaluation (see pg 38) are essential tools for quantifying outcomes - such as changes in visitor behavior, knowledge, awareness and/or participation. Logic models (pg 16-18) are an effective way to illustrate links between actions/products/services (the outputs), the measurable events or changes that occur as a result (outcomes), and the long-term effects on the park and its resources (impacts). These logic model shows how interpretation helps the park achieve its goals, both in terms of interpretation and other aspects. It’s important to note that the degree of success or failure in delivering outcomes may hinge on more than one output. Similar to stories, additional specific objectives must be identified and refined for each project proposal. Each objective should closely align with the interpretation and visitor experience goals in this plan, as well as those stated in the Park Mgt. Plan. Planning for Success Setting Goals, Measuring Outcomes Interpretation Zones Dividing the park into zones (pg 14) is a management tool for organising stories and targeting content to key visitor groups at the best locations. Each zone represents an ideal place (due to site- specific characteristics, visitor use patterns, or other conditions) to showcase certain interpretive themes. It’s important to note that zones are not topic- exclusive, and the stories aren’t isolated. Multiple themes, topics and stories are likely to be interpreted at many locations. Visitors typically explore many parts of the park during their visit and interpretation in each area should complement the larger whole. The zoning map shows considerable areas with little or no interpretation. This is a conscious decision consistent with the park management philosophy. Tawharanui’s rocky northern coastline is an ideal place to interpret marine conservation and related topics. Visitor Experience Goals To build personal connections and awareness of the Open Sanctuary and to promote and encourage exploration of park features. Interpretation Goal pp
  16. 16. 16 Programme Logic Model GeneralProgrammeManagement Align all existing and new interpretive products and services with interpretive theme(s). OUTCOMESOUTPUTS IMPACTS ARC Northern Region Office to provide two interpretive guide trainings per year for staff, volunteers and partner organizations. Where possible and appropriate, include evaluation on interpretation projects (see pg. 38 for detail). Establish the use of formal Project Teams Interpretation project teams are led by an ARC project manager who is proficient in interpretive planning, along with relevant park staff, representatives from partner organizations, and other stakeholders. Interpretation projects are developed and managed consistent with organizational goals and objectives, in a way that is efficient, transparent and collaborative.Park staff, volunteers and partners charged with developing or delivering interpretive products and services are trained and knowledgeable in interpretation methods. All interpretive products and services are high quality, relevant to visitors, enjoyable and engaging, site-appropriate and evoke an accurate sense of place. New products and services are evaluated throughout their development to ensure alignment with stated themes, goals and objectives. Existing interpretation is modified (or phased-out) as required. VisitorInformation,Orientation&Wayfinding Visitor Information Notice Boards located: Park Entry / Ranger Station, Campground, Heritage Walk Trailhead, Anchor Bay / Ecology Trail Interpretive Shelter Notice Board Information is relevant, organized, site-appropriate and tailored to target audiences. 80% of surveyed visitors report adequate information to enable safe and enjoyable visits. Visitors explore and enjoy a greater range of park features and recreational activities during their visit. Increased visitor participation in volunteer activities, interpretive programs, and special events. Visitors are better-informed of park rules and regulations, resulting in fewer incidences of violations and less need for intervention. Visitors understand park sustainability issues and their role (and options) towards conserving natural resources. Majority of surveyed visitors display understanding that the park is managed for multiple use: farming, conservation and recreation. Sign clutter is reduced and message delivery effectiveness improved. Visitors’ overall experiences are satisfying and positive. All notice boards to include detailed park map with recreation activity information, trail descriptions, outdoor safety guidelines, park rules and regulations, official contact information. Changeable displays provide news about current/future events and activities. Notice Boards use recycled pest fencing Distribution points for printed publications Notice Boards Proposals pg 21-23 Pre-visit planning information (e.g. website) is updated and maintained Poorly-sited regulatory signs are removed People find personal and lasting value in their relationship to parks. People practice healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation. People are confident and knowledgeable about pursuing outdoor recreational activities. People understand and participate in natural resource conservation in their everyday lives. Park resources are protected and conserved for the benefit of future generations
  17. 17. 17 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Programme Logic Model Build a multi-use interpretive shelter at the trailhead for visitor information, static interpretation and presentations/talks. Seasonal guided walks offered each weekend during peak season. At least 50% of surveyed overnight visitors use the Ecology Trail. At least 15% of surveyed peak-season day visitors use Ecology Trail. Visitor satisfaction and enjoyment of Ecology Trail experience at 95%. At least 75% of surveyed Ecology Trail visitors display basic awareness and understanding of the Open Sanctuary concept and programmes. The Ecology Trail guide will be available online as a free download, or in the park as a printed brochure based on a cost-recovery model. School group visits increase 25% tied to Ecology Trail usage. Minimum 95% compliance of Kauri Dieback control measures Majority of surveyed visitors display understanding that the park is managed for multiple use -- farming, conservation and recreation. Ecology Trail Proposals pg 26-30 People appreciate New Zealand’s unique natural landscapes and native flora and fauna. The Open Sanctuary receives volunteer, financial and political support from the public. People enjoy positive, engaging and memorable experiences in the park. EcologyTrailProposals Install interpretive panels and interactive exhibits at key points along the trail Install bird / wildlife viewing hide Relocate Koru outdoor exhibit to Ecology Trail. Recycled interactives, redeveloped content. Offer seasonal and themed guided nature walks led by TOSSI and ARC Rangers. OUTCOMESOUTPUTS IMPACTS Develop a new printed trail guide. Kauri Dieback information signs and control measures to be posted at all trail entry points. People have the opportunity to enjoy learning experiences in natural outdoor settings. People want to help preserve and protect the park and its resources for future generations. Visitors have multiple media options for accessing interpretive content including on-site panels, print/publications and multimedia. Visitors gain better understanding and awareness of how historical events shape the landscape and natural environments of the park. The experience is easily accessible for diverse audiences, including children, visitors with disabilities, elderly, and international visitors. 1-2 on-site Living History presentations are offered per quarter “Tawharanui: Our History” distributed to every school in the region. 20% of surveyed day visitors use Heritage Walk; 40% overnighters. Heritage Walk Proposals pg 30-33 People find personal meanings and appreciation in shared heritage. HeritageWalkProposals Install interp panels at limited sites along the walk Install wetlands boardwalk “Tawharanui: Our History” booklet reprinted; for sale at Ranger Station and distributed to local schools. Self-guided brochure and trail map. Downloadable multimedia self-guided tour Park features are accessible and enjoyed by those with limited time or reduced physical capabilities. New media tools are increasingly used for interpretive purposes. Relationships are enhanced between the park and local community groups.“Living History” public programmes
  18. 18. 18 Proposed Enhancements MarineConservationProposals OUTCOMESOUTPUTS IMPACTS Strategic placement of marine regulation signage and enhanced marine-focused information services Continued deployment of minimal impact signs Develop a snorkel trail activity at Anchor Bay Install interpretive panels at the East/West Marine Park Boundaries Deliver annual Seaweek special events in collaboration with NZ Department of Conservation Sign clutter is reduced and message delivery effectiveness improved. Marine resources are protected and conserved for the benefit of future generations Visitors are informed of low-impact behaviors in relation to sensitive coastal habitats, shorebird nesting areas and dune erosion issues. Visitors are better-informed of marine park regulations, resulting in fewer incidences of violations and less need for intervention. Park visitors understand and observe marine park regulations. Recreational users adopt low-impact behaviors when visiting beaches. 10% of peak season visitors to Anchor Bay try the Snorkel Trail. Visitors explore and enjoy a greater range of park features and experience the underwater wonders of our coastline. 20-25 school groups are hosted annually as part of Seaweek. Primarily recreational visitors are more aware of marine conservation topics and issues. Online/NewMedia Create a TOSSI Facebook page Create an ‘Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Blog’ with RSS feeds so people can subscribe to posts Create an online photo group (e.g. Flickr) where visitors can share images and stories Upload videos from special events (e.g. species translocations) on YouTube or similar sites. 100 “friends” within the first year on Facebook. At least one blog post per month written about Open Sanctuary Publicize park events and interp programmes via online social media. Virtual photo or art competition hosted online with prizes. Online options for financial donations and support. Monitor and record visitor use of new media products; target 10% awareness after first year with aim to increase 10% each successive year. New and diverse audiences are connected to park resources -- on their own terms. Conservation news, messages and appeals are widely distributed Non-visitors gain an awareness of and appreciation for park resources. SpecialItems Redevelop the Mystery Walks; tie-in to interpretive themes and increase the sophistication of the activity, outreach to key target audiences. Enhance the Junior Ranger Programme; emphasis on outreach to key target audiences as well as schools and promotion via the web. Products provide a meaningful and engaging interpretive experience specifically designed for younger visitors and families. At least 10% of overnight visitors try at least one Mystery Walk. Junior Ranger programme participation increases to 150 children per season, with outreach effort aimed at overnight visitors. Junior Ranger program expanded to include schools and online. Young visitors gain conservation ethics that will have lasting influence. Opportunities are created for joint experiences between parents/kids. Increased awareness and interest in careers relating to park management. Marine Conservation Proposals pg 33 The Open Sanctuary is supported.
  19. 19. 19 2 - Notice Boards Project / Location Rationale Phase 1: Relocated information and interpretation at ranger station Phase 2: Recycled koru display for notice boards at anchor bay, campground, lagoon carpark 4 - Ecology Trail Phase 1: Updated self-guided materials (brochure, markers). Relocate/remove existing site interp. Pursue concept development for Phase 2 and 3 Phase 2: Install fence display and new site interps along Ecology Trail. Develop and trial guided walks. Phase 3: Design and installation of interpretive shelter; removal of existing information hut. Regular seasonal guided walks by ARC Rangers and TOSSI 5 - Heritage Walk Phase 1: Concept and design development; Install new return track; interpretation at woolshed and bach Phase 2: Installation of wetlands boardwalk; deploy self-guided media (brochures, mobile apps); site-based graphics panels; updated notice board interp Timeframe 2011 2011-12 2012 2013 2014 2015 2018 Summary of Major Proposals - Location, Timeframe, Rationale and Priority Breakdown PriorityThematic Zone Information is specific to target audiences is provided at the best locations Promotion of recreation activities and interpretation services Delivery of minimal impact, sustainability and regulatory messages Reduce sign clutter (e.g. marine signs) Opportunity to showcase key interpretive themes, park features and share conservation management success stories Enhanced self-guided visitor experience Opportunity to provide highly effective interp through guided walks and talks Potential opportunity for TOSSI to engage directly with the public, increase visibility Shelter provides self-guided interp, acts as staging point for guided walks and talks, gives visitors protection from elements Potential to increase repeat visitation and foster participation in a greater range of recreational activities in the park 1 - Koru display Staged dismantle of koru display; recycled parts used for information/interpretation displays at other sites 2011 Improved siting for info and interp delivery, increased visitor awareness Opportunity to interpret key themes closer to sites of interest within the park Cohesive look and feel for all notice boards throughout park; evokes sanctuary themes Recycling saves fabrication costs, links to sustainability objectives Potential for local iwi to tell their stories Opportunity to showcase key interpretive themes, historic park features, stories Excellent short-duration activity for day visitors and overnighters Utilises technology-based self guided interpretive media (potential to reach new audiences, learning styles) Potential to increase repeat visitation and foster participation in a greater range of recreational activities in the park 3 - Campground Sustainability-themed site interpretation near campground (e.g. composting, worm farm, farm structures, riparian planting zones, water faucets) 2012 Opportunity to deliver key sustainability messages and demonstrate park management practices to stakeholders Encourage environmental awareness and action among visitors beyond their visit Identify and explain sustainable farming practices in the park Encourage minimal impact / conservation behaviours during park visits Links to all zones; interp greatest impact at park entry and on Ecology Trail HIGH HIGH HIGH Links to all zones HIGHRestoring Nature Sustainable Parks MEDIUM MEDIUM LOW MEDIUM Evolving Park (heritage themes) MEDIUM 6 - Marine Protection Major initiatives are pending Marine Reserve designation. Marine Park regulatory information continues. Interim interp ideas discussed on page 33. PENDING
  20. 20. 20 The Koru Display (near main entry) This exhibit is located at the main entry and forms the park’s single largest interpretive display. Its structure and spiral shape emulate the Open Sanctuary’s actual pest fencing. The koru’s effectiveness is mixed. It works well with facilitated groups, providing a backdrop for interpreters to tell the Open Sanctuary story. However, it’s less effective as a self-guided experience. One problem with the koru is location. Arriving visitors are keen to get on with their fun and don’t stop at the gate. It’s out in the open on the side of the road, which isn’t particularly inviting. Parking is nearby but past the display. Visitors don’t backtrack to see it, and don’t stop on their way out of the park at the end of their visit. 10 years into the Open Sanctuary, is Tāwharanui still in intensive care? How have things changed, and how do we know? There is an opportunity to highlight current work and research. Colourful panels and interactive exhibits explain the sanctuary concept and compare the park environment to a sick patient in recovery following the pest eradication and startup of the restoration programme. Although interesting, much of the content is outdated and doesn’t reflect the latest developments in the park. Because it’s made of real fencing it looks like an ordinary structure, and the large ‘i” symbol suggests it’s an information board (which it partly is) rather than an interpretive display. These displays are more informational than interpretive. Interpretive panels on the Koru display On the day this photo was taken, over 100 cars drove by the Koru display without stopping in a 3-hour period. Photo:TOSSI Top: Researchers observing tui to learn about their mating habits Bottom: ARC Rangers investigate some suspicious tracks Making Science Relevant to Visitors A key ingredient for future interpretive services at Tāwharanui is that it reflects the latest information and shares stories about how current research is guiding our conservation efforts. Whenever possible, invite visitors to get involved and be part of the action. Keep a sharp eye out for opportunities to incorporate this approach into every new project. Proposed Enhancements
  21. 21. 21 Recycled exhibits will be chosen based on their appropriateness and how effectively they contribute to telling the Open Sanctuary story. Display at the main entryThe Koru Display Recommendations Re-use structure and parts, including interactive elements. Future interpretation focuses on updated stories, current research/work and things to see/do. Better distinction and separation between information and interpretation General park brochures and info at information kiosks This proposal recommends that the existing Koru display be dismantled over time and re-used as structure for displays elsewhere in the park. Using the fencing not only creates a consistent look, it is a continual reminder of the Open Sanctuary concept. A section of fence featuring limited interpretation and introductory information about the sanctuary will continue to be used near the main entry, but will be sited closer to the ranger station. A much larger stretch of fencing will act as a point of interest on the Ecology Trail, providing a more detailed look at the sanctuary story and linking with interpretive themes explored on the trail. Uses existing fencing structure (but smaller) Locate very near the Ranger station to capture visitors stopping there for information. Relocate general park information from the Koru interpretive displays to provide clearer distinction between the two types of information. Distinguish from regular ‘visitor information’ kiosk using attractive and interesting design Brief intro explains Open Sanctuary concept, ARC/ TOSSI roles, how to volunteer/get involved. Limited interpretation; Changeable displays with topical/staff stories, current research and work, news and updates, events, things to see in the park (seasonal/changing) 3-5 sections of fence and select interactive exhibits from the existing Koru will be used to create a new interpretive display on the Ecology Trail. Display on the Ecology Trail Sections of fence to be recycled and used for information notice boards at key information delivery points (campground, lagoon carpark, Anchor Bay) Fencing used as notice boards Dismantle existing exhibit; recycle parts Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  22. 22. 22 The Latest News Josie Galbraith investigates rosella ecology at Tāwharanui, which could provide important information about the spread of beak and feather virus among native parrots. Photo: TOSSI Notice boards are a great place to share the latest news and stories about what’s happening in the park especially current research and seasonal events. Wherever possible, give visitors the inside story and link interpretive content with recreational activities. The ARC’s Tāwharanu Regional Park brochure provides essential visitor information including a map, track descriptions, general overview and history, and basic information about the restoration programme. This brochure will continue to be distributed at park notice boards. Publications Entice visitors to explore the park, enjoy the sights and see the results of the work. Provide ‘insider’s tips’ that tell them about things to see and do, seasonal landscape changes, and the best places to glimpse native wildlife. Photo: Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Notice boards are important for orientation and wayfinding, faciliating recreation activities, and delivering other important information. They can direct people to points of interest in the park, including interpretive services and experiences (e.g. Ecology Trail, mystery walks, heritage walk). Notice boards are useful for promotion of guided activities, TOSSI events, volunteer workdays, and other functions. Messaging should be relevant and focused on specifically what we want the visitor to know and what we want them to do. Photo: W. Bevil Notice Boards Recommendations Brief intro explains Open Sanctuary and the vision Explain ARC/TOSSI roles News about current/future events (e.g. species re- introductions, public events, planting days) Directional information points visitors to the ‘things to see and do” and promotes exploration and activities (e.g. guided and self-guided walks, Junior Ranger Programme, special events) Tell people how to volunteer, get involved, support the Open Sanctuary through donations, etc. Information tailored to the appropriate audience at each location – e.g. campground: family groups, campers. Anchor Bay: beachgoers, walkers. Lagoon: birders, walkers, cultural explorers. Distribution of printed publications Key recommendations regarding interpretive content on notice boards: Additional printed publications (e.g. mystery walks, self-guided walking tours, wildlife guides) and special programmes info (e.g. Junior Rangers) may also be delivered at notice boards in locations where target audiences gather (e.g. campground). Proposed Enhancements
  23. 23. 23 Visitor information and interpretation is used throughout the park to raise awareness of (and influence behaviours in relation to) park management issues. Topics include dog and fire restrictions, marine no-take rules, dunes protection, bird nesting areas, and rubbish. Notice boards, signs and park publications are the main delivery methods. Temporary and semi-permanent signs are used near sensitive sites or in problem areas. Visitor Management Signs This marine park sign will eventually be removed with the aim of improving design consistency, reducing sign clutter and providing clarity around regulatory messages. The campground is a perfect place to promote ARC sustainable parks management practices and influence visitor behaviour (e.g. water conservation) and increase awareness of related services (composting and recycling facilities). Uptake of such services benefits the park and contributes to meeting wider ARC objectives linked to social and environmental well-being. Specific recommendations: Campground notice boards near toilet block provide information about activities as well as make visitors aware of regulations (e.g. fire bans, no dogs policy). In order to avoid sign clutter, rationalise the use of regulatory signs and only deploy where essential to help manage visitor behaviour. Interpretation near the recycling, composting and worm farm fosters sustainable behaviour in the park and gives visitors some tips on how to give it a go at home. Ranger / TOSSI guided walks should continue to be promoted and targeted to campground audiences. TOSSI volunteer programmes and events should be highly publicised to overnight campground visitors. Promote weekend events on notice boards and elsewhere, and consider incentives (e.g. weed swaps or prizes) to encourage participation. Continue to promote the Junior Ranger Programme and Mystery Walks at campground notice boards. Tāwharanui’s campers consist mostly of family groups. A large majority come from Auckland and the surrounding area, and many are loyal repeat visitors with a long-standing interest and greater personal investment in the park’s management and future. Their longer stay makes them more receptive to a greater range of activities. These factors make campers a great audience for interpretation. Campground Area Recommendations Sustainability Themes Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  24. 24. 24 Farms in Parks This topic links to several of the sub-themes, including sustainability and the concept of an evolving park. Site interpretation (e.g. panels mounted on farming structures) could enhance visitor understanding about this topic. Sustainable farming practices Cattle yard on the road to campground is a focal point and natural stopping spot Woolshed at front entry gate; could also explain its modern multi-use functions Livestock cisterns and pump house “Farms in the Parks” temporary signs can be placed at strategic locations to tell visitors about farming practices in the park and encourage exploration. Mystery Walks Tāwharanui’s two “Mystery Walks” are unique among the regional parks network and cater especially to visitors seeking a bit of challenge and excitement, encouraging exploration of areas of the park that are ‘off the beaten track.’ These self-guided walks are essentially a journey into the unknown, requiring the use of observational skills to spot clues and solve riddles as you chart a course through the bush. Brochures for the Mystery Walks are essential and are distributed at park notice boards and by ARC staff. Mystery Walks are a perfect fit for Tāwharanui visitors’ adventurous spirit and have great potential for further development as an interpretive tool. For example, link walks with larger interpretive themes - e.g. a pest predator has infiltrated the fence and visitors have to identify it before it does any damage. Clues could include tracks in sand or ink, scat, measure a hole in fence, setting traps, seeing results. Mystery Walk activities should encourage observation, clue hunting, measuring and analytical thinking. Mystery Walk clue In 2010, over 100 children, many of them repeat visitors, participated in Tāwharanui Regional Park’s Junior Ranger Programme. The Junior Ranger programme provides an opportunity for children (and their families) to connect with parks and engage in interpretive activities that foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of the park’s values. The programme involves a range of in-park, informal learning activities on ecological, cultural and park management topics. Activities promote co-operation between adults and children, are experience-based, and curiosity-driven. Special Programmes Junior Ranger Programme The Junior Ranger and Mystery Walks are two programmes worthy of special mention here because of their appeal to family groups and children (a major campground visitor group). These programmes were developed and maintained by the resident ranger and are distinctive among the ARC parks network. They’re ideal for Tāwaharanui because they don’t require physical infrastructure, encourage park exploration and social interaction. Proposed Enhancements
  25. 25. 25 The Tāwharanui Ecology Trail was developed over 15 years ago and was one of the first self-guided walks in the regional parks network. The trail begins near Anchor Bay, adjacent to the Hut, and takes visitors on a clockwise loop around the beach and rocky shoreline, up into lowland coastal forest, eventually meandering down to a isolated stand of remnant native forest - a mix of regenerating kauri, with significant mature puriri and nikau. Ecology Trail (existing) The scenery on the Ecology Trail is spectacular and provides an enjoyable exploration of several ecological zones. Interpretation could be used to draw connections between the restoration programme and the health of these ecosystems. Discovery Hut The Discovery Hut is located just behind Anchor Bay at the beginning of the Ecology Trail. It has two staircases on each end (no disabled access) leading to a porch area with double doors. It has several windows, a tall interior ceiling, and is in fair condition for its age. The hut has two rooms with assorted interpretive displays ranging widely in terms of age, materials and subject matter. It’s occasionally used for talks, however the lack of functionality makes it problematic for large groups. Given the lack lustre appeal of the old hut and the fact that the roof contains asbestos, a renovation of the facility seems unlikely to generate much excitement among supporters and sponsors. An alternative approach is to replace the hut with a new structure and interpretive display and to link it thematically to the Ecology Trail. The original Ecology Trail self-guided brochure An assortment of ARC interpretive panels are installed on the trail. They come a generic series that were designed to be appropriate for a range of sites and not specifically for this trail. Although attractive and factually accurate in terms of content, the existing panels not present a cohesive story and do not link with the Ecology Trail themes. The Ecology Trail was supported by a self-guided brochure (now out of print) that highlighted key features and points of interest along the way. The walk follows a series of trail markers, some of which are missing. The track is in good condition. The Discovery Hut sits next to a large pohutukawa tree overlooking a grassy knoll - a natural gathering area. Photo:TOSSI Photo:TOSSI Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  26. 26. 26 The Ecology Trail is a signature part of the park’s interpretive programme and a primary tool for telling the Open Sanctuary story. The walk explores ecology and habitat, NZ’s unique native flora and fauna, and the huge challenges that our ecosystems face in a modern world. Interpretation explains the link between the Open Sanctuary and habitat restoration and increased biodiversity, return of species, current research, and ongoing programmes. Ecology Trail Ecology Trail Route & Key Features Recommendations Anchor Bay carpark Directional signs and notice boards Interpretive shelter Introduction and official start of walk A 1 Ecology Trail Points of Interest 2 Anchor Stream, beach and coastal dunes 3 Ecology stream dam overlook 4 Pest exclusion fence exhibit 5 Bird Hide / retention pond 6 Pump house and transition zone 7 Mature native puriri forest Potential development points for interpretive stations utilised as part of a guided walk Additional stops and features This concept is “high level” and not highly prescriptive beyond identifying the first seven key stops and proposing content ideas. The detail about exactly what to produce and where it will go will come during detailed concept design. Additional physical interpretation, using everything from panels to living exhibits (e.g. weta hotels) could be used throughout the experience depending on the what the final concept design specifies. Proposed Enhancements
  27. 27. 27 The Ecology Trail begins in a grassy knoll just behind Anchor Bay, currently the site of the old Discovery Hut. In it’s place will be a new open- faced interpretive shelter. The shelter will be constructed from natural materials and designed to be in harmony with the landscape - providing a comfortable, shaded staging area for groups and individuals as they prepare to begin the walk. Interpretive Shelter Inspirational designs: Simulated leaf patterns Floating leaves Trellis arch / gateway Tension fabric & poles Rustic; planted roof Interpretive shelter design parametres: Open-face structure, capitalising on the nearby pohutukawa tree as a source of shade and to add interest to the design. Shelter design must be in harmony with the landscape, evoking a sense of place through natural and recycled materials, shapes, and forms. Partly visible from the beach, but not obtrusive Construction materials must be cost-effective but capable of withstanding the elements. Shelter design to include static interpretation, designed for changeability and periodic replacement. Interpretive content at shelter intended as starting point for larger Ecology Trail, but also capable of standing-alone for those who choose not to do it. Changeable displays discuss active programmes and research, latest discoveries, seasonal changes in the forest and things to look for. Some space allocated Open Sanctuary programme outreach functions – e.g. volunteer work days, species releases, social events, etc. Structure should provide some shade/shelter for medium-size groups. Seating, if provided, should use natural materials (e.g. log stumps, flat rocks) Shelter backdrop is newly-planted hillside – provides opportunities to interpret change over time, forest restoration and succession. 1 Replaces existing Discovery Hut. Phase 3, target completion date: 2014 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  28. 28. 28 The Ecology Trail is envisioned as a primarily self- guided experience, but includes features that could be used as part of a guided tour. Stops 1-7 (indicated on map) are permanent focal points that will have at least some site interpretation (e.g. signs, displays). Seasonal events and changes in the landscape will create additional interpretive opportunities. Anchor Stream outlet is a great place to highlight the presence of nesting shorebirds and note the changing landscape as it shifts from marine to coastal forest. The first dam overlook (#3) provides a focal point for site interpretation about freshwater ecosystems, fish migration and other marine-terrestrial links. Rail- mounted panels can be attached to existing structure. 2 The walk picks up where Anchor/Ecology Stream meets the sea (#2) overlooking the dunes and rocky coast. The gentle walk follows the stream past several points of interest including the first dam and overlook bridge, an exhibit about the Open Sanctuary, and a new bird hide at the retention pond(s). 3 4 The dam outlet’s grassy verge (#4) is the proposed site of a new outdoor exhibit that uses the pest fencing (recycled from the Koru at the main gate) as its structure. A series of graphics panels and interactive elements explain the Open Sanctuary concept, pest management and ongoing restoration programme. Following alongside Ecology Stream takes visitors through superior bird habitat. This location will be the site of a new bird hide (#5) to help visitors get an up-close look at patake, etc. 5 Interpretation at the pump house (#6) explains its purpose and links with farming structures seen later on the walk and elsewhere in the park. This also marks a transition zone going from coastal forest deeper into the mature bush. 6 7 Guided experiences would end at the bridge / puriri forest (#7). Site interpretation beyond the bridge will be much less frequent and more low-key. Visitors can return the way they came or continue on to form a loop walk, passing through regenerating kauri forest, farm paddocks and lowland coastal bush before returning to Anchor Bay. Proposed Enhancements
  29. 29. 29 Hidden Wonders This post includes a display of shells and other objects. Ground or ‘low slung’ displays are unobtrusive and also perfect child height. This panel is inset into an old log, blending into the landscape. Plant Labels Plant labels on the Nature Trail are more than just identification - they link thematically to the larger story and help visitors understand the role that plants play. Their design should be consistent with other site interpretation. Ecology Trail Signs and Panels In keeping with management policy in the park, site-based interpretive signs will be limited to those necessary to effectively tell the story. Careful design will help to ensure they are blend with the landscape. The Ecology Trail will feature many interactive elements that aim to spark curiosity, foster exploration and create a moments of discovery and revelation. ‘Living exhibits’ like this weta hotel attract and appeal to all ages. The act of opening the hotel door to see what’s inside creates a sense of anticipation. Similar approaches could be used to interpret other insect behaviour (e.g. puriri)Photo:F.Colquhoun Living Wonders Nature trails are an interactive experience in a living, changing evironment. Active listening, smell and touch are just as important to this experience as sight. Interpretation can be used to help visitors notice subtleties and use all of their senses. The Jim & Eve Lynch Track at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary features several trap-door boxes containing nests from various bird species. Visitors are startled to discover a (taxidermy) rat in one of the boxes! Photo:BarbaryO’Brien, Artwork as interpretation can be surprising and memorable Tactile exhibits can add to the sensory experience Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  30. 30. 30 Self-Guided Media Coloured markers/bollards provide orientation at track junctions or confusing locations. Track Markers Trail maps and brochures are useful for promotion, as orientation tools and to provide a higher level of detail for those who want it. A new brochure will need to be designed for the Ecology Trail. There is an opportunity to develop other self-guided interpretive tools (e.g. bird guides) using low- as well as high-tech media. These could be offered on a cost-recovery model through TOSSI. Australian birds decoder wheel Publications - maps, guides, etc. Fun stuff Self-guided walkers travel along the route at their own pace, reading interpretive panels, viewing exhibits or using a trail guide. Site- based interpretive signs will be limited to those necessary to effectively tell the story. Research shows that personal interpretation is the most effective and memorable delivery method. TOSSI has a knowledgeable and passionate member base and is an ideal partner for developing and delivering quality guided experiences, enabling the organisation to share its contagious passion for conservation with the visiting public. A volunteer guide explains the pest management programme to visitors at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary ARC Park rangers and TOSSI volunteers currently provide interpretive talks for visitors, schools and special interest groups. Examples include an introduction to the Open Sanctuary, “What Rangers Do” presentations, Farm Walks, Ecological Restoration and Care, and evening “Owl Prowl” guided walks. These experiences bring the place “alive” through the sharing of personal anecdotes, experiences and feelings. They also provide visitors with a new perspective on the park’s operations and management. For example, greenhouse tours take visitors ‘behind-the-scenes’ to see the hard work and organisation behind the restoration efforts. Personal Interpretation Walks and Talks (existing) Guided Experiences New Initiatives Consider additional special walks that capitalise on the park’s restoration successes e.g morning chorus dawn bird walks, night tours listening for kiwi, etc. Provide regularly-scheduled (varying seasonally) guided walks on the Ecology Trail. ARC to provide training for volunteer/staff guides to improve knowledge of interpretive techniques. Specific recommendations: Photo:TOSSIPhoto:TOSSI Proposed Enhancements
  31. 31. 31 The Tāwharanui Heritage Walk is a new loop trail proposal which highlights the park’s diverse and rich cultural history and changes over time. The walk starts at the lagoon car park area, follows the shoreline to Jones Bay, across the tidal zone and up the hill on the South Coast Track (visitors can turn back here if they choose). It then passes near the site of an early Māori settlement with fantastic views of the surrounding area. The trail returns through farm paddocks and restored saline wetlands. Heritage Walk Lagoon carpark – start of track with directional signs and notice boards Carved pou representing Manuhiri and ancestry of Ngāti Manuhuri. Lagoon – changed landscape, returning to nature Open Sanctuary display, pest exclusion fence exhibit, woolshed Historic cottage (Bach) - See page 33 for specifics Beach – shingle mining site A 1 2 3 Inlet crossing and tidal zone Wide view – Pā sites, defences, trenches View - Kawau and nearby islands Changing landscape – farming, native habit restoration Riparian plantings and sustainable farming practices Saline wetlands habitat restoration 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 This pou (carved by Vern Rosieur and Ringi Brown) represents Manuhiri, the ancestor from whom local tribal group Ngāti Manuhiri take their name, and their kaitiakitanga. The carvings on the base represent the treasures of the natural world and the special place that whales hold in local tradition. Heritage Walk Route & Key Features Recommendations Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  32. 32. 32 Heritage Walk Concept An Evolving Park Tāwharanui is an evolving place with a rich history involving many people that have left their mark here. Primary topics will concentrate on stories of the people who have lived here in the past, the evidence they left behind, how they affected the land – and it affected them. Histories shared by local iwi and their special connection to this place would enrich the experience greatly. Stories will link with environmental themes, exploring the potential to interpret some ecology topics within the larger context – i.e. lagoon not natural, but is now a home for fish and wildfowl, extension of wetlands and former defensive barrier for Māori Pā. In keeping with park management approaches, interpretive signs will be kept to the minimum necessary to tell a cohesive story and provide interpretation along the walk. Low tech self-guided media (a printed trail guide at the minimum) are recommended to enhance the visitor experience. Downloadable multimedia applications with narration, sound effects and recorded interviews would be an excellent way to share the tone, flavor and historical anecdotes of the park’s history. Public programmes might include ‘Living History’ events or activities designed to showcase storytelling, arts, crafts, food harvesting/ preparation, and other cultural traditions. Multimedia self-guided tours can be downloaded at home and played on handheld devices during the visit. Tours can include audio, video and still images, animation, maps, and sound effects. S.S. Kawau in Jones Bay, 1935 The walk returns via a boardwalk that cuts through the saline wetland east of the lagoon. The landscape is changing yet again, this time for the better. Here, we see volunteers planting and the same place just three years later. Photos: ARC / TOSSI ARC’s Tāwharanui: Our History is a useful reference and provides a solid narrative for many of the topics that will be explored on the Tāwharanui Heritage Walk. Specific recommendations: Proposed Enhancements
  33. 33. 33 The bach is also visitor accommoda- tion and an excellent location for heritage interpretation. Highlight the real stories and memories of people who previously lived in the bach Interpretive sign on gate to identify property and historical links with the shingle quarry Interior décor to include historic photos, reproductions of artwork and old park maps Audio on small heritage-themed MP3 player (secured) plays heritage radio, living history audio recordings, music, etc. Outdoor interpretation highlights the import of exotic plant species by settlers for landscaping and gardening Provide news/events information and “Tawharanui: Our History” booklets in bach The Bach Specific recommendations: Photos: ARC Marine Protection The relationships between marine and terrestrial ecosystems affects everything at Tāwharanui, so ‘marine topics’ are not really a separate storyline. However, there’s potential to interpret marine- specific topics within the Marine Park boundaries. Recommendations for (future) improvements: Reduce and rationalise the use of regulation signs to essential areas. Remove existing Marine Park tiled sign for consistency. Snorkel Trail - A self-guided snorkel trail would likely be a popular activity and well-suited to Tāwharanui’s visitors. The area near Flat Rock features swim- through tunnels, small air bubble caves, overhangs, and crevices where crayfish make their homes. “Surf, Sand and Sanctuary” - Low profile interp panels (overlooking the western and eastern boundaries of the Marine Park) could provide overview and context for marine park. Life from the Sea The return of seabirds (like this grey-faced petrel) is more than just adding another species to Tawharanui. The birds deposit marine nutrients (guano) on the land near their burrows. These nutrients build terrestrial fertility helping to sustain our native forests and farmland. Special events / public programmes (e.g. Seaweek, guided walks and talks) Recommendations Tāwharanui Marine Park is under review to become a Marine Reserve. Some of the ideas presented here may be feasible to pursue in the interim, but most interpretation projects are on hold pending the final decision. Existing Information Tools Marine Park regulatory and minimal impact signs (e.g. dunes, bird nesting areas) will continue to be delivered through notice boards, temporary and permanent signs, printed publications and the web. Marine Reserve Status Rock Pools are a favourite exploration spot for visitors. Laminated / plastic printed guides for identifying tide pool life could be provided as self- guided tools for visitors (picked up at the Ranger Station or through brochure dispensers on a donation basis). Photo: ARC / TOSSI Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park
  34. 34. 34 Proposed Enhancements There are a many isolated sites around the park with interesting stories worthy of interpretation. However, consistent with the management approach of this Regional Park the development of on-site interpretation for these locations is not a priority. “New Media” Recommendations Enlist the local Geocaching community to help create one or more “educational caches” at key sites: Shipwreck sites Tokātu Point – Perfect as an Earthcache Maori Bāy – story of prisoners from Kawau Island There is an opportunity to interpret these remote sites using Geocaching (or Earthcaching) - a fun, technology-based ‘treasure hunt’ activity that requires virtually no infrastructure. Specific recommendations: Geocaching is popular with families and children and is an effective and engaging way to encourage exploration. The activity could be developed in partnership with the local geocaching community. There is an opportunity to utilise online social media as a tool for connecting with new audiences. Having an online presence is increasingly vital to maintaining a diverse support base, particularly when courting younger, tech-savvy, urbanised audiences. Many of these tools have the ability to serve interpretive functions by providing visitors with a vehicle for self-actualisation and the forming of meaningful, personal connections to the park beyond their actual visit. They’re also great tools for communicating with visitors about news and events, park management issues, conservation programmes, and more. Online Outreach to New Audiences This park’s Facebook page features information about news and upcoming events, photo galleries, discussion forums, contact info and donation links. Ideas and general recommendations: Create a TOSSI Facebook page Create an ‘Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Blog’ with RSS feeds so people can subscribe to posts Create an online photo group (e.g. Flickr) where visitors can share images and stories Upload videos from special events (e.g. species translocations) on YouTube Online image libraries like Flickr are a great way for visitors to share their park photos, stories and information. Photo: Asheville PRNewswire
  35. 35. 35 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Art in the Woolshed is a biannual fund raiser organised by TOSSI (with support from ARC) that transforms the woolshed into a gallery and the surrounds into a sculpture park, with works by New Zealand painters, sculptors, ceramicists, photographers and glass artists. Exhibition items are sold with funds raised supporting the Open Sanctuary. The event attracts considerable community interest and support. Art in the Woolshed Species Releases Since the creation of the Open Sanctuary, Tāwharanui has conducted several species translocations. These are terrific opportunities to engage with the public and increase community interest, participation, and investment in conservation. Getting people up-close to wildlife creates a memorable experience, fostering greater empathy and inspiring lasting conservation awareness. Volunteer events can be an immersive and social experience for visitors, mixing actual conservation work with learning and ultimately providing a more meaningful experience. In addition to personal gratification and thanks from TOSSI and ARC parks staff, participants are rewarded with refreshments and a presentation by visiting researchers, TOSSI or ARC Rangers. The volunteer work days are promoted at park notice boards, on the web and through printed publications, and through word-of-mouth. Volunteer Days Public Events Portable Displays TOSSI has put together several exhibits for use at public events both within the park and off- site. These include tabletop exhibits depicting bird nests, taxidermy pests, and photo displays. These are great storytelling aids that should continue to be used whenever appropriate. Top: NZ dotterel portable nest and eggs exhibit Lower: Taxidermy pest specimens on display Photos: ARC / TOSSI Public events continue to be an important part of the interpretive experience at Tāwharanui Regional Park. Photo: TOSSI Photo:TOSSIPhoto:TOSSI
  36. 36. 36 PART 4: Implementation Process Project teams A project team should be formed at the start of each new interpretation project. Who’s involved will depend on the size and complexity of the project. Teams should meet regularly according to the needs of the project, but not everyone will need to be involved at every stage. Every project team will require: A team leader / project manager Clear roles and responsibilities Strong lines of communication Regular meetings Commitment of resources Interpretation Production Process This sections outlines the five typical stages that apply to interpretation projects. Simpler projects may require fewer deliverables. It’s fine to adjust this process according to the needs of the project, but avoid skipping whole stages as they represent best practice towards a solid delivery approach. Stage 3: Design Development Contractor brief for design development Concept plan Concept plan consultation Research / writing / graphic design Formative evaluation Final design approvals Stage 4: Production Contractor brief for production Production Delivery and installation Summative (final outcomes) evaluation Team debrief Stage 5: Ongoing management /maintenance Asset inventory Ongoing maintenance Depreciation and eventual replacement Stage 1: Planning This is the most important stage of the project, as it forms the basis for defining the project scope and sets the scene for successful delivery. Actions during the planning stage include: Options / preliminary scoping papers Terms of Reference, if applicable Site / landscape planning Front-end evaluation Business planning Stage 2: Content Development Contractor brief for content development Initial research and resource gathering Developed themes and topics The team leader role on large projects may be performed by an interpretation consultant who will lead the project and sub-contract expertise where required (i.e graphic designer, researcher etc). The consultant may also project-manage production of interpretive media. ARC contracts, bids, budgets and resources (including those covering the interpretation consultant) are normally managed by an ARC staff member who serves on the project team.
  37. 37. 37 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Example Production Process - Task Flow Chart* * Adapted from Lands and Survey Conservation Design Centre process (1992) This example flow chart presents a typical process flow chart for medium-large site based interpretation projects. Note that smaller or less complex projects may not require the same steps or milestones.
  38. 38. 38 Supporting Implementation Achieving Success Interpretation Training A solid knowledge of interpretive principles and planning processes are important for anyone expected to lead interpretation projects or deliver front-line interpretation services (e.g. guided walks). Measuring Success Evaluating Interpretation Services It’s important to measure how well interpretation meets stated objectives (outputs, outcomes and impacts--see logic model, pg. 16). Ideally, evaluation is also done in the formative stages of a project (not just at the end) to ensure things are on the right track. * Adapted Conducting Meaningful Interpretation: A Field Guide for Success, Widner Ward, Carolyn J. and Alan E. Wilkenson, 2006 FRONT-END evaluation is typically conducted during the planning stages of a project and aims to affirm decisions about the planning and selection of themes and topics, target audience, delivery techniques and goals/objectives. FORMATIVE evaluation, sometimes called ‘prototyping’, is done during the development or design stages of a project, and involves testing of concepts with real visitors to gauge their responses. Doing this can help spot problems before something is produced, after which it may be too late to fix. SUMMATIVE evaluation is an assessment of the finished product, determining whether the interpretive service or facility is achieving objectives. In the case of problems, evaluation can help identify ways to improve the situation. Conducting formative evaluation at Curio Bay (2008). DOC staff used panel mockups to test messages with visitors. The research findings suggested a need for clarification on some points and edits were made to the text before final production. PROJECT TEAMS (Team Leader at the minimum) should receive training regarding interpretation methodologies, content development, media guidelines and project management best practice. GUIDES (both staff and volunteer) should receive introductory training to assist in delivering personal interpretation services (e.g. guided walks and talks). Course topics to include interpretive content/messages, visitor interaction techniques, minimal impact behavior, group management skills and first-aid training. Additional training may be required for special tours (e.g. night walks). Project Management Personal Interpretation (Guides) Key Recommendations: Training Resource: Interpretation Network New Zealand offers one-off interpretation training and costs could be shared with local area attractions that also have an interest. Where possible and appropriate, include evaluation on all major interpretation projects. During the development stages of new services, gather visitor reactions and feedback through mock-ups and prototyping. Develop and test a simple visitor survey to assess the effectiveness of interpretation, using feedback to adjust and improve existing and future services. On an ongoing basis, utilise the findings of ARC research regarding visitation trends and motivations, identifying the implications for interpretation services and adjusting services accordingly. Key Recommendations: Photo:DOC
  39. 39. 39 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Research References The following were used in the development of this plan: Auckland Regional Council (2003) Customer Experience Monitor; Unpublished report prepared for Neil Olsen Crozier J. Skulduggery – Discovery as Interpretation, Interpretation Australia Association 2005 Conference Hughes, M. & Morrison-Saunders, A. (2002) Impact of trail-side interpretive signs on visitor knowledge, Journal of Ecotourism, vol. 1, pp. 122-132. Scherbaum, P. (2008) Handles: Helping Visitors to Grasp Resource Meanings / Survey of Interpretive Techniques U.S. National Park Service - Interpretive Development Program Bellamy, D. (1989) The Natural Wonders – A Review of a Key Part of The Tourism Resource of New Zealand NZTP, Tourism 2000 Conference Wellington pp. 30-32 Parker, K.A. (2008) Translocations - Providing Outcomes for Wildlife Restoration Ecology Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 204–209 Marion, J. and Farrell T. (2002) Management practices that concentrate visitor activities: camping impact management at Isle Royale National Park, USA Journal of Environmental Management 66, 201-212 Rimmer, A. (2004) Tiritiri Matangi: a model of conservation Tandem Press, Auckland Ham, Sam H... [et al.] Promoting Persuasion in Protected Areas CRC Sustainable Tourism (2009) Benton, Dr. G. (2009) Wearing four hats: Interpretation’s effectiveness in achieving multiple goals NAI International Conference Townsville, Australia Resources Free Online Resources DOC Interpretation Handbook & Standard (2005) A Sense of Place-an interpretive planning work book Carter J. (ed) 1997 Professional Associations Interpretation Network New Zealand Bibliography Most of these books are available through Brochu, L. / Merriman, T Personal Interpretation: Connecting Your Audience to Heritage Resources (2002) InterpPress Brochu, L. / Merriman, T Management of Interpretive Sites: Developing Sustainable Operations Through Effective Leadership (2005) InterpPress Ham, S. H. Interpretation A Practical Guide for People with Big Ideas and Small Budgets (1993) Golden, Colorado, USA: Fulcrum/North American Press Tilden, F. Interpreting Our Heritage (1957) The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill Zimmerman, R. Signs, Trails and Wayside Exhibits: Connecting People and Places (1994) The Interpreters Handbook Series, Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin. ARC Regional Parks Management Plan (2010) Auckland Regional Parks Education Strategy Auckland Regional Parks Recreation Strategy ARP Archaeological & Historic Sites Plan Auckland Regional Parks Conservation Strategy Maori History at Tawharanui Regional Park (1992) Tawharanui: Our History (2008) - Murdoch, G. Recommendations in this plan align with those from the ARC Interpretation Guidelines (2006) and the Parks Interpretation Strategy (2004). ARC Management Plans and References Appendices
  40. 40. 40 Interpretive Media / Audience Matrix To design the most effective interpretive programme and select the best interpretive techniques, it is critical to identify intended audiences (both existing and potential) as well as the key stories and delivery methods. This matrix is a quick-reference tool showing links between sites, themes, audience and delivery technique. Appendices Z O N E LO C AT I O N (S) T H E M E S / S TO R I E S TARGET AUDIENCE T Y P E I N T E R P E T I V E M E D I A DayVisitors Overnighters/Campers Families/Kids SchoolGroups SpecialInterestGroups GuidedActivities Self-GuidedActivities Orientation(NoticeBoards) On-SitePanels/Displays GuidedTours/Talks Brochure(general) Brochure(specific) SpecialProgrammes Booklet Multimedia(e.g.iPhoneapp) Website Other Main Entry Main entry notice boards and interp display Orientation and promotion of park activities Regulatory and minimal impact messages Introduction to Open Sanctuary ARC and partners (e.g. TOSSI) information Sustainable Parks Campground and surrounds Orientation and promotion of park activities Sustainability - identify ARC’s sustainable practices in parks and encourage visitor action. Interconnections - Everything is connected. People’s impacts can be slight or devastating. • Responsible camping / rubbish removal • Resource conservation (e.g. water, waste, recycling) • Sustainable farming practices / ‘Farms in Parks” ARC needs help! Community partnerships / volunteering Treasures - Our special places and species are under threat - we need to act to protect them • Wildlife/habitat protection (e.g. dunes, bird nesting) Green text indicates an ARC Strategic Theme Marine Protection Anchor Bay notice boards NOTE larger initiatives are pending Marine Reserve decision Orientation and promotion of park activities Interconnections - Regulatory and minimal impact Biodiversity, Nature is Dynamic, Treasures Land-sea ecological relationships
  41. 41. 41 Interpretation Plan 2010-2018 Tawharanui Regional Park Interpretive Media / Audience Matrix Themes and stories listed are strategic and do not represent the sum total of what will be presented in the finished product. Think of these as indicative targets designed to ensure focus and provide direction. The content and design development phases of each project will identify specific sub-topics that flow from these strategic themes. Z O N E LO C AT I O N (S) T H E M E S / S TO R I E S TARGET AUDIENCE T Y P E I N T E R P R E T I V E M E D I A DayVisitors Overnighters/Campers Families/Kids SchoolGroups SpecialInterestGroups GuidedActivities Self-GuidedActivities Orientation(NoticeBoards) On-SitePanels/Displays GuidedTours/Talks Brochure(general) Brochure(specific) SpecialProgrammes Booklet Multimedia(e.g.iPhoneapp) Website Other Restoring Nature Ecology Trail Treasures - Our special places and species are under threat - we need to act to protect them • Open Sanctuary and restoration Programme - get involved Biodiversity - Variety is indicator of the health of our environment Interconnections - Everything is connected. People’s impacts can be slight or devastating. • Impacts of introduced pests, etc., on native biodiversity • Pest controls and return of native species • Ecological zones and land-sea relationships Distinctiveness - Some things are found only here Nature is dynamic - natural places are constantly changing - explore different causes and patterns. • Things to see and look for - encourage exploration • Forest succession and regeneration Interpretive Shelter (links to Ecology Trail) People are connected to places - we leave tell-tale signs, structures, place names and stories. Explore these concepts to understand our shared history. • Maori and colonial heritage sites and stories • Sustainable farming practices / ‘Farms in Parks” • Place names linked to events (shipwrecks, etc.) Interconnections - Everything is connected. People’s impacts can be slight or devastating. • Sustainable farming practices / ‘Farms in Parks” • Resource use and extraction; modern restoration work Restoring Nature Heritage Walk Cottage / Bach (links to heritage themes)