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Auckland Wants Waitakere Ranges To Be Protected

Auckland Wants Waitakere Ranges To Be Protected

A new poll showing overwhelming support for special legislation to protect the whole Waitakere Ranges will be presented to the Waitakere City Council today.

The Colmar Brunton poll shows over 80 percent of Waitakere City residents and 77 percent of other Aucklanders support a Local Government Bill to give permanent protection to the Ranges, including the foothills.

Waitakere Ranges Protection Society President John Edgar says the poll shows the strong community support for long-term, permanent protection for the Waitakere Ranges.

"The Ranges are an iconic landscape, much valued by people within Waitakere City and elsewhere in the region," said Mr Edgar.

"People understand the Ranges are under huge threat as subdivision pressures build. It is very apparent from our work on the ground that the present rules are not capable of resisting those pressures.

"The Waitakere City Council has already undertaken extensive consultation and found that there is widespread agreement that the Ranges need to be protected. This poll reinforces the Council's own findings and shows the community wants legislation. We feel the Council misjudged community sentiment at its meeting last week when it decided to delay work on the Waitakere Ranges Protection project."

"We understand that there are difficult issues involved, but this poll is yet more evidence that people want the Ranges to be protected.

"Today we'll ask the Environmental Management Committee to reconsider the timeframe they recommend to Council and put the Waitakere Ranges Protection project back on track so a local bill can be introduced to parliament before the end of the year," Mr Edgar concluded.

The Colmar Brunton poll was commissioned by the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and conducted over 3 nights (25-27th May) and involved 500 respondents. The maximum error margin for the 81% result for Waitakere City residents is + 4.8%; for the 77% result for the rest of Auckland it is + 5.2%.

The Environmental Management Committee is meeting at 9.30am in the main Council Chamber at 6 Waipareira Avenue, Henderson, Telephone (09) 836 8000

For more information contact John Edgar, phone 09 8128 555 or 025 229 0169

Media Release

EDS Supports Protection For Waitakere Ranges

The Environmental Defence Society has backed calls from the local community for the Waitakere Ranges Protection Project to be put back on its original track.

EDS Senior Policy Analyst Raewyn Peart says that her work shows that there is a real need for local solutions to be found to address the problem of iconic landscapes under pressure.

"Our work, which involved 12 months research in New Zealand and overseas, shows quite clearly that special places in New Zealand are under massive pressure from development and that the Resource Management Act is not up to the job of protecting those areas.

"Our case study of the Waitakere Ranges - one of five case studies we did - shows quite clearly that the pace of subdivision has increased in recent times and there is a grave danger of the values that make the area special being badly degraded,' says Raewyn Peart.

"We identified a local bill as one means of affording better protection for the Ranges and have included a draft bill in our report (downloadable at www.eds.org.nz)

"We were disappointed at Waitakere City Council's recent decision to effectively defer a decision for 12 months. We are concerned that the impetus could go out of the project and the favourable political environment for action could change.

"So from an EDS perspective, we would encourage Waitakere City Council to have another think about the issue given the support evident in the wider community disclosed by this poll," Raewyn Peart concluded.

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