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Public meeting to be held on proposed new law

Public meeting to be held on proposed new law

The Auckland Regional Council and Waitakere City Council are holding a public meeting next week to outline the proposed new law that, if introduced, would provide long-term protection for the Waitakere ranges, parts of the foothills, and some coastal areas.

The meeting is to give those interested in the details of the new law an initial chance to go through the draft, ask questions, and hear more about what the new law aims to do. Councillors and staff from the ARC and Waitakere City Council will be attending.

When: 7pm * 9pm, Monday 14 February 2005 Where: Hopetoun Alpha, 19 Beresford Square (cnr of Beresford Square and Hopetoun Street), Auckland City

The new law is being drafted by the ARC and Waitakere City Council following an invitation from Minister of Conservation, Chris Carter. Over the past few months both Councils have been asking the wider community to provide feedback on whether or not legislation is the best way to go about ensuring the ranges and foothills area is protected from inappropriate development and subdivision. The ARC believes that legislation is necessary, and supports it's introduction.

Paul Walbran, Chair of the ARC's Regional Strategy and Planning Committee says that the Waitakere ranges, the foothills, and beaches such as Piha and Karekare are of significance to the wider region, and a new law specifically for the area would help ensure that the character that people value so much is not ruined or jeopardised through intensive development.

Fellow Waitakere representative, and Chair of the ARC's Parks and Heritage Committee, Sandra Coney, agrees and says that the new law wouldn't mean that people are suddenly no longer able to build a house, or make alterations.

"The new law will mean that people will still be able to develop their property pretty much as they are allowed to now, but the special values and character of the area will need to be taken into account. The new law wouldn't stop people from visiting and using the area as they do now. It's about ensuring that the valued experiences people have today are there tomorrow", Cr Coney says.

The new law will outline what these values are and how they should be protected.

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