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Maungawhau/Mt Eden Restoration Works Planned

NEWS RELEASE
30 March 2001

MAUNGAWHAU/MT EDEN RESTORATION WORKS PLANNED

The unique features of Maungawhau/Mt Eden will be restored and preserved through a staged restoration project planned by Auckland City Council.

The first stage, discussed at today’s Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, will deal with some immediate problems with track erosion of archaeological and geological features on the summit zone caused mainly by people, mountain bikes and stock used to graze the hillsides.

The council will work with interested groups, including iwi, community board representatives and the Friends of Maungawhau, to reach agreement on a summit restoration plan before seeking resource consents for any work.

The planned improvements will be carried out around the carpark edges and on the crater rim walk and crater access tracks. Possible locations and content for signs within the zone will also be considered as part of the project.

Other management issues on the mountain have been identified and will be dealt with through a longer, publicly notified and accessible process. These include decisions about the best form of vegetation control (grazing animals or other methods) and the identification and assessment of options for improving the visitor experience on Maungawhau. Meanwhile, the cows presently grazing on the mountain will be removed during winter on a trial basis.

Committee chairperson Councillor Bill Christian says Maungawhau/Mt Eden is one of the city’s most significant visitor attractions with more than one million visitors every year.

“It’s great that so many people visit the mountain and we want to encourage this public interest and do what we can to ensure that they enjoy themselves while protecting the special features of the summit area,” he says.
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“The council’s restoration project aims to stop the erosion and repair the areas that have suffered the most severe damage from foot traffic by developing formalised walking routes around the summit.”

Councillor Christian says Maungawhau is the ancestral home for iwi descended from Te Hua Kaiwaka and Kiwi Tamaki and restoring Maori presence to the mountain will be an integral part of the project.

“We are working on building relationships with iwi who have an ancestral association with the mountain so that we can do a proper job of telling the stories the mountain has,” he says. “We will be relying on these people to guide us in our interpretations of its history.

“In a sense we will be seeking their help in restoring mana to Maungawhau, which is a mountain of deep cultural significance.”

Councillor Christian says Mangawhau also has great community, recreational, geological and natural values and is an important landscape feature.

“We must protect the mountain and its history by ensuring there is no further degradation of its unique and special qualities,” he adds.

The council has allocated $100,000 for the first stage of the project in this financial year and a further budget is planned for the following year.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Councillor Bill Christian, tel: 527 8648 or 025 814 721.


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