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Work Starts at Harbourview Park

Work Starts at Harbourview Park

The preservation of one of the last, large, open spaces in Auckland is one step closer to reality. After intensive planning for the development of the Harbourview Park at Te Atatu Peninsula, the time has arrived to implement “Stage One” of physical work, which includes access and parking facilities.

At 6.am on 3 February local Maori will conduct a whakanoa te papa (blessing of the grounds) after which MayorBob Harvey will turn the first sod of soil, to symbolically set the preservation programme in motion.

“This is an important step in making this park more accessible for people’s perpetual enjoyment of one of the largest coastal parks in New Zealand, on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour”, explains Mayor Harvey. The Harbourview Park comprises coastal and rural land within the urban environment of Te Atatu Peninsula.

“This fragile area of wetlands and mangroves is one of the few examples of combined fresh and saltwater wetlands in the Auckland region, and is therefore worthy of our protection and enjoyment,” says Mayor Harvey.

The park, which is bounded by the North Western Motorway and has sweeping views up the Waitemata Harbour, will cover approximately 80 hectares. It is also one of the largest parks in Auckland, compared to the Auckland Domain (75 ha), Auckland Regional Botanical Gardens (64 ha) and Western Springs Lakeside Park (60 ha).

“Stage One” will allow access to the northern part of the Park, from where people can view the lower terrace which comprises an important ecological habitat for native plants and animals, including the threatened Fern Bird.

Work will run until mid April 2003. It involves the construction of an entrance to the Park, a small car-parking area to serve the heritage building, creation of a large open and grassed picnic space, pathway connections to existing walkways, planting of swale drainage areas and placement of some specimen trees.

A community-planting event is being planned for 26th April of this year, to celebrate the opening of stage one of the Park. It is expected that the remainder of the Park will be officially opened during 2004.

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