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Queen Elizabeth Park Draft Management Plan

News release

12 August 2005

Queen Elizabeth Park Draft Management Plan

Submissions have closed for the consultation on the Queen Elizabeth Park draft management plan.

Cllr Chris Laidlaw, chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Land Care committee, says the process has sparked a great deal of interest around the whole region, not just the local community.

“It’s great to see people contributing to the review process and I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the debate by making a submission or attending meetings.”

A total of 420 submissions were received.

Cllr Laidlaw acknowledges that the question of trying to accommodate a motorsport facility in the park is one of the highlights that has come out of the review process.

“The draft plan puts motorsport in the ‘prohibited’ category, along with hunting, camping and other activities, but there is clearly a strong interest in changing motorsport’s status to a ‘restricted’ but permitted activity. When the Regional Council makes its decision on the management plan we will clearly take this matter seriously and carefully weigh up the strength of the various points of view. We aren’t able to please everybody and the decision we take will be based very firmly on what’s best for the park as a whole.”

Of the submissions received, 308 people indicated their support for motorsport at the park, while 87 were opposed.

Cllr Laidlaw says that the decision on the future of motorsport at the park will not be a numbers game, but based on a broad overview of the whole situation.

“All credit to the motorsport fraternity for marshalling signatures and active lobbying, but it has to be pointed out that most of the submissions supporting their point of view are more in the nature of a single issue petition than broad and reasoned submissions.”

Details of the submissions received are still being analysed by Council staff, with the next step in the process being a series of hearings at the end of October, where about fifty submitters will put their views directly to councillors.

The hearings will be publicly notified and a further newsletter summarising the whole consultation process to date will go out in September to everyone who has made a submission in both rounds of the consultation.

Greater Wellington Regional Council has managed the 638-hectare park on behalf of the Crown since the early 1990s, and with an estimated 415,000 visitors a year, it is the most popular of the five Greater Wellington regional parks.

The draft plan reflects the initial public consultation held last year on what should be included in the next five yearly management plan. This original consultation phase attracted 301 submissions.

ENDS

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