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First chance to see wonderful Waitawa

Media release

7 March 2014

First chance to see wonderful Waitawa

Auckland’s newest regional park opens to the public this weekend with two days of exciting activities and opportunities to explore.

Mayor Len Brown, iwi representatives and special guests attended a special opening ceremony on the park on Friday 7 March. Councillor Christine Fletcher, chair of council’s Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee welcomed the new park into the council’s network of parks.

“This park is unique in its dedication to recreational opportunities, but not at the expense of conservation and other important park values,” she said.

Regional and specialist parks manager Mace Ward says this is the first time people have been able to visit the whole park, and see the new developments, since it was purchased in 2004.

“Limited access over the last few years has whetted people’s appetites, but this is the very first time that people have been able to come through the gates and explore (almost) every inch of this 188 hectare recreational paradise,’ he says. “It is also fitting that we hold this opening during Parks Week.”

Unlike other regional parks that are largely focussed on passive recreation or conservation, Waitawa was purchased and developed as a place for Aucklanders to play.

“’Exploding Legs’, ‘Sheep Happens’ and ‘Pancake’ are just three of the creatively named mountain bike trails on the new park. Visitors can also horse ride, walk for miles or paddle in by kayak,” says Mr Ward.

The open weekend will showcase mountain biking, disc golf and exploring the park on foot. There will be pony rides, kite flying and food stalls. A shuttle service will drop visitors at key stops. Gates will be open from 8.30am – 6pm on both days.

We anticipate a busy first weekend and ask that visitors don’t bring large sporting items (like kayaks and fishing rods), horses, dogs and chilly bins, to avoid congestion on the shuttle, at car parks and on the roads.

Waitawa is the first regional park to be opened by the Auckland Council. It was purchased nine years ago by the Auckland Regional Council and, until 2013, was leased by the previous owner.

ENDS

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