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Owner Adds Private Land To Hauraki Marine Park

30 May 2002

Owner Adds Private Land To Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

The first private land to be vested into the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park will be signed over in a ceremony involving Conservation Minister Sandra Lee and Auckland businessman Rob Fenwick this Sunday.

Mr Fenwick's 360 ha [1000 acre] coastal property, one of Waiheke Island's largest private properties, will be covenanted under the Reserves Act to protect it in perpetuity from mining the high-quality aggregate that lies beneath it.

"This is an outstanding gesture to equal the outstanding landscapes and conservation values of this part of the Gulf that will now be protected," Ms Lee said. "Rob Fenwick has been particularly public spirited and has showed the way for others who own good quality acreage of native forest and wetlands."

Ms Lee said the coastal property had even greater significance because it was adjacent to the proposed Marine Reserve at Te Matuku Bay. It forms a link of regenerating forest across the southeast end of Waiheke that is now protected in perpetuity.

Landowner Rob Fenwick said the property was a prime target for mining because it contained a rich seam of blue metal used for roading and concrete. Mr Fenwick said he and his family could foresee a situation in a hundred years time when the pressure for metal in the region might be overwhelming, but the signing of the covenant would mean the land could never be mined.

He has also vested a pathway through the forest to Auckland City Council land, allowing the public to access the coastal property. The walkway has not yet been created and opened to the public.

Mr Fenwick, the founding director of the Living Earth Company and chairman of the Motutapu Island Restoration Trust, bought a landlocked 12 ha property in 1985 at the tip of the peninsula between Awaawaroa Bay and Te Matuku Bay.

It was characterised by native bush regenerating through pasture, and contained many remnants of archaeological features of Maori occupation. He purchased an adjacent 361 ha block two years later.

Mr Fenwick said he hoped his decision to covenant his coastal property would be followed by other landowners of properties of similar ecological significance in the Hauraki Gulf.


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