Opportunity for a Cornwall Park in South Auckland?
“The Geoscience Society of New Zealand is relieved to hear of the recent Environment Court decision which means that subdivisions for over 500 dwellings cannot proceed on the slopes and inside the crater of Auckland’s Crater Hill volcano” says Society President Dr Jennifer Eccles. “Crater Hill has an undisputed heritage ranking of national importance and is the best example in New Zealand of a tuff cone surrounding a large crater containing solidified remnants of a former lava lake.”
“In an assessment of volcanoes suitable for inclusion in a possible Auckland Volcanoes World Heritage nomination, Crater Hill was ranked as the eighth most significant” says Dr Eccles. “Crater Hill is located in the Manukau lowlands southern sector of the Auckland Volcanic field. In the last 50 years, 11 of the 17 volcanoes in this sector have been destroyed or badly damaged by quarrying and reclamation. Crater Hill is one of the least damaged of the remaining volcanoes of Auckland.”
“The present owners say they want to sell up. We call on central and local government to restart negotiations towards purchasing this last remaining piece of Auckland’s irreplaceable volcanic heritage for a regional farm park” says Eccles. “All New Zealanders deserve the opportunity to access, walk around and appreciate this amazing volcanic gem containing a freshwater crater lake – the potential Cornwall Park of south Auckland.”
“If we don’t act now” warns Eccles “the owners will likely sell it off as lifestyle blocks, as they are permitted to do. With a multitude of new owners each with their own house and access roads it would be almost impossible to bring the volcano back together into the public reserve it so richly deserves to be.”