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ARC secures new parkland at Te Arai

ARC secures new parkland at Te Arai

5 August 2008

The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) has approved the purchase of nearly 50 hectares of land at Te Arai Point in the north east of the Rodney District.

The land, adjoining a Rodney District Council coastal reserve, holds high ecological, cultural heritage, recreational and scenic values. Highly sensitive dune lake ecosystems, wetlands, coastal broadleaf forest and regenerating forest cover the majority of the land.

ARC Chairman Michael Lee says securing this property for parkland guarantees the protection of a sensitive headland which overlooks a significant section of coastline and contains some of the region's most outstanding scenic and ecological features.

"This is an outstanding piece of land overlooking a superb beach and one of the longest (23km) and most scenic beach systems on the east coast of New Zealand. The ARC is in a race against time to secure and protect our coastal landscape for present and future generations of New Zealanders," says Chairman Lee.

As well as the important natural features of this land, Te Arai o Tahuhu, or Te Arai Point, is recognised as a landmark of significant spiritual, cultural and historical significance to Tangata Whenua.

Councillor Sandra Coney, Chair of the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee, says the Te Arai Point headland is recognised for its scenic values and neighbouring Te Arai and Pakiri Beaches are a popular location for recreation.

"It was important to protect this headland from development as, with the Rodney District Council owned land, it is the prominent landscape feature on this long stretch of relatively untouched coast, between Mangawhai and Pakiri, and can provide visual and recreational linkages with the ARC's existing parkland at Pakiri," she says.

The biodiversity values of this property are high due to the rarity of the habitat nationally and regionally, and the presence of threatened plants and animals.

"The land appears to have few plant pests or weeds," says Councillor Christine Rose, Deputy Chair of the Parks and Heritage Committee and Rodney representative.

"Our preliminary assessments have shown the presence of at least nine nationally threatened birds including the Australasian bittern, the grey duck and the North Island fernbird. We are also hopeful that the threatened Auckland green gecko, which is in gradual decline nationally, can be found here."

The property, at 698 Te Arai Point Road, was purchased for $4,751,000 by way of a public tender process. Future management of the property as parkland will be considered through a Regional Park Management Plan process. This will include consultation with Iwi, Rodney District Council and the public.


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