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Council cans Whakanewha land swap

“Council cans Whakanewha land swap”

April 30, 2001

Auckland Regional Council today voted not to proceed with a deal to exchange park land on Waiheke Island.

The deal was promoted by the owners of an adjacent airfield who wanted 0.8 hectares of Whakanewha Regional Park land to extend their runway and were prepared to give the ARC 4.7 hectares of wetland adjoining another part of the park in return.

“There has been much debate on this issue and many wider issues raised but in the end, this council had a duty to decide whether the park would be better for it if the exchange occurred – no more, no less,” ARC Chairman Philip Warren, says.

“It is important to note that this was approved by representatives for both Waiheke Island Airfields Limited and the Royal Forest and Bird Society and supported by the Council’s legal advice as the basis of today’s decision.”

Cr Warren says the park land wanted by Waiheke Island Airfields Ltd for its runway extension includes an area of native bush atop a hill which lies close to the sensitive Cascades stream. On the other hand the wetland area in question remains protected both physically and legally despite the exchange not proceeding.

“The Council’s decision is one which ensures Whakanewha Regional Park’s flora and fauna and that of nearby areas will be given the greatest possible protection and the park’s conservation outcomes pursued without disruption.

“Unfortunately this was one of those issues we couldn’t turn into a win-win situation and one side was always going to be disappointed with the outcome. But having said that, debate on the issue has gone on for some years and I am glad it has been resolved by the Council today.”

For further information please call:
Simon Roche, ARC Communications, Phone 366-2000 ext 8100,

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