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Opinion poll shows support for ranges legislation

Opinion poll shows support for ranges legislation

17 February 2005

An Auckland Regional Council opinion poll shows that 73% of respondents support the introduction of a new law to protect the Waitakere Ranges and foothills for the long-term.

The poll was undertaken earlier this month to give the ARC an additional indication of the level of support for a proposed new law from the wider region as well as within Waitakere City itself. The law, being drafted by the ARC and Waitakere City Council, would provide long-term protection for the Waitakere Ranges, foothills and coastal villages such as Piha and Karekare.

The poll shows that of the 73% who support a new law, the majority (58%) say that it is important to retain open space/parks. Other key reasons given for supporting the proposed new law were protection of the landscapes (31%) and because development is destroying the environment (29%).

For those opposed to a new law (8%), a number of reasons were given including that Government/Councils already have enough control, and that people should be able to do what they like on their own property.

16% neither support nor oppose a new law.

Chair of the ARC’s Regional Strategy and Planning Committee Paul Walbran says that the opinion poll results were taken into consideration earlier this week when the Council decided to support the draft law proceeding to the Parliamentary process.

“The opinion poll results, combined with comprehensive feedback received, not just over the past few months, but over several years, tell us that Aucklanders consider it essential that the ranges, foothills, and coastal villages are protected from inappropriate development.”

Fellow Waitakere representative, and Chair of the ARC’s Parks and Heritage Committee, Sandra Coney, says that 92% support for long-term protection, and 73% support for a new law to provide this protection sends a very clear message, that is in line with other feedback received in recent months.

“Even when you look at the breakdown of results by area, the poll indicates 67% support for the new law from within Waitakere City itself, and only 11% opposition. Those who live in the area, and enjoy the uniqueness of the area every day agree with Aucklanders across the region who think it is important that we put in place the mechanisms to ensure long-term protection over and above that provided by regional and district plans.”

“While we understand Waitakere’s decision to consult with residents on the specific details of the Bill before making a decision whether to proceed, we believe that there is a consistent message coming through from feedback, including Waitakere’s own recent survey, that a new law to protect this Auckland icon for the long-term is well supported,” Cr Coney says.

The ARC’s opinion poll canvassed 500 people from throughout the region - 40% from within Waitakere City, and 60% from throughout North Shore, Auckland and Manukau cities and Rodney District. It has a maximum margin of error of ± 4.4%.

ends


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