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Council to ask public about Kaikoura Is purchase

Council to ask public about Kaikoura Island purchase

Waitakere residents will be asked for their views on whether or not the City should contribute to buying Kaikoura Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Auckland’s mayoral forum, representing the region’s eight councils, has asked each of its members to consider the purchase. The forum has also asked central government to contribute at least half of the $6 million asking price for the island. There would also be initial costs for pest eradication and ongoing management and maintenance costs.

Waitakere’s City Development Committee considered the request and decided that the proposal to part-fund the purchase to the sum of $210,000 (calculated on a per capita basis) be a key issue for consultation in its 2004/2005 draft Annual Plan. No funding for the purchase is provided for in the Council’s current Long Term Council Community Plan.

City Development Committee chair, Carolynne Stone, says while the island would provide a magnificent asset for the people of Waitakere City and the wider Auckland region, the Council wants to make sure local residents are happy contributing to the purchase.

“On one hand, it is a great opportunity for a Hauraki Gulf island to be brought into the public domain for conservation and recreation purposes. But on the other hand, there is still so much to do here in Waitakere,” Cr Stone says.

“Purchasing Kaikoura Island is achievable with regional and government co-operation, but we must now decide whether it’s desirable. We want to give our residents the chance to have their say.”

Kaikoura Island lies just west of Great Barrier Island. Covering 564 hectares, the island is the seventh largest in the Hauraki Gulf. Its purchase is seen as an opportunity to create a sanctuary for endangered species that did, or can, exist on the island and provide an opportunity for Auckland’s youth to experience the wilderness of a remote Hauraki Gulf island.

Tiritiri Matangi Island, also in the Hauraki Gulf, is an example of how an island can be successfully rejuvenated. Pests have been eradicated and native animals and plants introduced to make the island a wildlife refuge popular with visitors.

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