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ARC welcomes new ranges law

ARC welcomes new ranges law

5 July 2005

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill, jointly drafted by the Auckland Regional Council, Waitakere City Council and Rodney District Council is on its way to Parliament, and has been lodged in the District Court today.

Chair of the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee, and representative for Waitakere, Sandra Coney, was one of three ARC councillors on a working group that oversaw the development of the Bill, and says that the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill is crucial in order to provide the protection, status and recognition that the Waitakere ranges, foothills, and coastal villages deserve.

"The ARC has never wavered in its support for the Bill. It has been hard work and there is still a way to go on this journey to see an effective Bill passed into law."

Cr Coney says that while the Bill has tried to address the concerns of people in the foothills, some opponents may still try and seek changes that would undermine its intent.

"Protection is within our grasp, but it is not yet won," she says.

Cr Coney says that in addition to protecting the area against inappropriate development and subdivision, the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill will help strengthen the ability of the ARC to protect the landscapes, heritage, and ecological health of the regional park.

The Bill establishes the 'Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area', which covers 28,500 hectares and includes the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, the foothills area, coastal villages such as Piha, Karekare and parts of south-west Rodney district, including Te Henga.

The Bill states the national significance of the Heritage Area and defines its heritage features, specifies the objectives of establishing and maintaining the Heritage Area and provides mechanisms for more certain and effective planning, resource management and decision making, in relation to the Heritage Area.

The Bill has been lodged today in the Henderson, Auckland City and Warkworth District Courts and is available for public viewing until Monday 25 July. Copies are also available at council offices, libraries and online at www.arc.govt.nz .

The date the Bill will be introduced to Parliament has not yet been confirmed, but this must be within six months of being lodged in the district courts. Once the Bill has been introduced, it is expected to be considered by a select committee, who are likely to call for submissions from the public. Anyone is entitled to make a submission.

ENDS


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