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Ranges protection needs community and legislation

Ranges protection needs community and legislation

Waitakere City’s Environmental Management Committee today voted to prepare draft legislation for consultation as part of a package of measures to further protect the Waitakere Ranges and Foothills.

The Committee emphasised that consultation with the community was essential in the process to achieve permanent and certain long-term protection of the Ranges and foothills for future generations.

The Council has a two-part approach to protecting the Ranges and foothills, : One part is non-regulatory actions including a community forum and networking group. The other is legislation.

Both involve the community and are designed to be complementary.

The committee voted to give a clear mandate to Council staff to prepare, for consultation, a legislative approach that does not affect current ‘permitted’ activities in the District Plan, is not too prescriptive and achieves the “permanence and certainty” objectives with “minimum effect on existing actual property”.

The Council will continue discussions with the Minister of Local Government to hold open the option of including the ranges and foothills in the Local Government (Auckland) No 2 Bill.

In the non-regulatory area, the development of a community forum similar to the one that formulated the West Coast Plan was suggested. This forum could discuss forming a trust or seeking World Biosphere Reserve status.

The Council is expected to agree on the package of ways to better protect the Ranges and foothills later this year. Once that decision is made, the details will be communicated to the community and consultation will take place.

Ends

For full report go to http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/abtcn/ct/pdf/envrmntl2004/070904ag.pdf

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