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Public ownership of St John’s Bush grows

29 July 2004

Public ownership of St John’s Bush grows

Auckland City Council will purchase an additional hectare of St John’s Bush, one of the city’s most unique pieces of natural suburban bush land.

The council has agreed to purchase a further two lots of St John’s Bush, comprising 1.0865 hectares, from the St John’s College Trust for about $1.42 million.

In December 2000 Auckland City Council acquired the central three hectares of the bush land.

“I’m delighted that we could secure the additional lots to greatly improve public access to the central bush land purchased by council two years ago,” says Councillor Scott Milne, chairperson of the Recreation and Events Committee.

Funding will be provided via the Eastern Bays Financial Contributions Account, a fund administered by council for developing public facilities including parks and open spaces.

“This is an excellent example of the financial contributions account at work. Our aim in endorsing the funding for this purchase is to retain this unique piece of land in public ownership as a resource for recreation and education,” said Mr Milne.

“This piece of land is unique and important for the Eastern suburbs, providing open space for the surrounding area, home to birds, wildlife and even fish in the wetland system that runs through the valley.” The uniqueness of the land has encouraged a group of local residents to set up a group ‘Friends of St John’s Bush’ whose ongoing work with Auckland City is helping to conserve this environment through controlling weeds, maintaining public access ways and promoting the native and exotic vegetation and wildlife.

“Four years ago council realised the strategic importance of this land and knew if it didn’t fight for it now the opportunity would never be repeated. It’s great to have some wins now and again, and this is definitely a win for Auckland City. This is a classic case where the maths works to our advantage – one plus two is definitely greater than three.”

ENDS

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