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New regional park for the South Kaipara Peninsula

25 October 2005

A new regional park for the South Kaipara Peninsula

A 247 hectare property at South Head on the South Kaipara Peninsula has been purchased by the Auckland Regional and Rodney District Councils for use as a regional park.

The South Head property is an hour’s drive from west Auckland and about 80 minutes from central Auckland.

ARC Chairman Michael Lee says until now there has been no regional park in the southern part of the Kaipara and this park will provide public access to a valuable part of our region.

Cr Lee acknowledges the way in which the new park will complement Atiu Creek Farm – the farm across the Kaipara Harbour, on the Tapora Peninsula, that was recently gifted to the ARC.

“For far too long Auckland has had it’s back turned to the Kaipara but now we will have two fantastic parks on the Kaipara Harbour with quite different natural, cultural and recreation values. We are very pleased the ARC has been able to take this unique opportunity to bring another significant piece of land into public ownership.

“It is important that as the region’s population continues to grow, we provide high quality recreation settings and opportunities for Aucklanders and the ARC is committed to playing a lead role in this area.”

Parks and Heritage Committee Chair Sandra Coney says the property is unique because it offers access to one of the best beaches on the Kaipara Harbour and the major lake (Lake Ototoa) on the peninsula. Lake Ototoa is currently the best fresh water lake in the Auckland region.

“The South Head property is ideal for both day visits and camping. It is attractive for picnicking, fishing and allows safe swimming,” says Cr Coney.

In the short term the ARC will continue to manage the property as a farm. Although it will not be fully developed for some time, the public will be able to access it in the meantime.

“This year we instituted a parkland acquisition rate and this is the first park we’ve been able to purchase using this money.

“This is an important opportunity for the ARC to be able to protect this part of South Head for future generations and ensure it will not be subdivided or developed commercially.

“The South Kaipara Peninsula has been identified for some time as a desirable location for a regional park and is a high priority in the ARC’s parks acquisition strategy,” says Cr Coney.

The property, which is yet to be named, was purchased for $5.4million. Rodney District Council has contributed $1million of this and will work with the ARC to plan the future of the land as a regional park.

The mayor of Rodney District Council, John Law, has applauded the purchase, describing the South Head property as one of the most beautiful in the district.

He says the pristine property epitomises the values Rodney and New Zealand place on the environment and outdoor recreation.

The park will be of enduring value to the region for generations to come, he says.

Cr Christine Rose Deputy Chair of Parks and Heritage, and the ARC’s Rodney representative, says this symbolises a strong relationship between the ARC and Rodney District Council.

“Together with Rodney District Council we look forward to providing greater public access to the Kaipara Coast and recreational opportunities for local and regional communities to an area which has previously been largely inaccessible, “ she says.

As well as extensive recreation values, the property offers opportunities for restoration of forest and wetlands – projects that the people of the Auckland region are becoming increasingly interested in being involved with.

ENDS


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