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Open Space A Priority

Open space a priority
June 17, 2004

North Shore City Council has recommended three areas of land be moved to the top of the list in the long term plan for a linked open space network across the region.

Its strategy and finance committee this week identified, in order, the Long Bay-Okura peninsula, Oruamo headland (Kauri Point) and Puketutu Island for future acquisition by the Auckland Regional Council.

North Shore City council supported minor amendments made to the draft Regional Open Space Strategy, which aims to help local authorities work together, but wanted these areas given priority.

North Shore City's strategy and finance committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says the strategy underpins the region's need to provide open space for recreation and access to natural areas, and protect the marine environment and cultural heritage features.

"We must provide open spaces that enhance everyone's quality of life, and by working together regionally we can do that better than by creating parks in isolation," he says.

Councillor Holman hopes the next step in the process - a protection, acquisition and management plan - will also help secure open space in North Shore City before it is too late.

He highlights North Shore City's commitment to parkland and its proven track record of acting in the regional as well as national interest to protect public open space. "North Shore City Council has invested heavily in buying parkland over recent years, including more than $28 million in 2002 alone. We also challenged the previous Government, successfully retaining most of Fort Takapuna as open space for the public.

"It is encouraging that resident surveys and submissions continue to endorse acquisition of public open space to help maintain the city's unique lifestyle."

ENDS


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