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'Force for good' impresses home port

'Force for good' impresses home port

Predator-proof fencing in Birkenhead and a world-class heritage trail in Devonport were two of the ideas floated by 'Team Navy' during a goodwill visit to North Shore City Council.

Senior personnel from the Royal New Zealand Navy, led by Commodore David Anson, addressed the council's strategy and finance committee seeking a strategic partnership between the two organisations.

The link between the navy and council dates back to the days of the former Devonport Borough and a ceremonial charter already exists between North Shore City and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Committee chairperson, Tony Holman, thanked Commodore Anson for his "clear, forthright and challenging presentation" which covered a range of issues from environmental and heritage protection to proposed higher density housing for Naval staff.

"We've been looking forward to this visit and appreciated the full and friendly update on the Navy's plans," Councillor Holman says.

"It was great news to hear a while back that the Navy will stay in North Shore City where it has been a force for good in the community for many years.

"We share the Navy's desire to form a closer relationship to work through issues facing both our organisations."

Tony Holman says the plan to introduce predator-proof fencing at the Naval Armaments Depot in bush-clad Kauri Point, Birkenhead is a welcome contribution to the environment. The idea of the predator-proof fence came out of UJEAC (Uruamo Joint Environmental Advisory Committee), a co-ordinated effort from three landowners of the 200-hectare Chelsea headland (Navy, Council and NZ Sugar), the Chelsea Regional Park Association and Department of Conservation.

He also praised the suggestion made by Commodore Anson that the opportunity to create a "world class heritage trail" around and through parts of the Devonport Naval Base should be explored.

"These are fine initiatives which our city truly appreciates," Councillor Holman says.

"The Navy takes its leadership role in the community seriously and we're committed to working with them because we're both on the same side."

Other matters raised during the hour-long presentation and discussion were fund raising for the proposed Naval Museum at Torpedo Bay and naval housing options in Bayswater, Belmont, Devonport and Northcote. >

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