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Greens’ road plan threatens Belmont Regional Park


Greens’ road plan threatens Belmont Regional Park

The Greens’ endorsement of the Petone-Grenada Road option has left United Future leader and Ohariu-Belmont MP Peter Dunne astounded, because of the threat it presents to Belmont Regional Park.

From the top of Winchester East Drive in Grenada, the four lane road would cross over Horokiwi Road north of Lincolnshire Road, and could traverse the eastern side of the hill to join State Highway 2 at Petone.

“Traversing the eastern face of the hill would put the road directly above Korokoro Stream and the popular walking track along this valley, one of the highlights of Belmont Regional Park.

“Family walks along the Korokoro Stream track would never be the same if the beauty and solemnity of this special corner of the Wellington region is shattered by the visual and aural pollution of a four-lane highway.”

Engineering drawings superimposed onto aerial photographs from the Western Corridor transportation study show that earthworks and support structures for the road would stray into the Park itself by extending down to the streambed, and across the other side.

As well as recreational usage, Korokoro Stream also holds important historic and conservation value.

Legend holds that the Korokoro Valley was the “throat” of Maui’s fish, when he fished up the North Island.

More recently it was part of a traditional Maori route from Porirua to the Hutt Valley via Takapu and Porirua Streams.

With its exceptionally pure water and air, the valley has long been a site for Te Ati Awa to collect rongoa (medicinal plants) and grow food.

The valley is also the site of the historic Korokoro Dam, the first gravity fed concrete dam in New Zealand, built to supply water for the Petone borough in 1903.

The Korokoro valley contains stands of original podocarp forest, including mature kahikatea, rimu, matai, tawa and rata trees and, in its lower reaches, regenerating lowland forest, and as such it forms a critical part of the ‘Hutt Valley bird corridor’.

Several freshwater fish, including giant kokopu, survive in Korokoro Stream and green forest geckos have been recorded in the valley.

“Locals hold a special attachment to the Korokoro valley for its environmental and recreational value, making the Greens’ support for the Petone-Grenada link road seem completely out of touch.

“Clearly we need to save the environment from the Greens,” said Mr Dunne.

Ends


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