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Waitangirua and Whareroa farms saved for public

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

19 August 2005 Media Statement

Waitangirua and Whareroa farms saved for public


Almost all of the Waitangirua and Whareroa farms are to be purchased for $10.7m and permanently protected as parks for the people of the Wellington region, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"Waitangirua and Whareroa farms are spectacular areas of open space on the door step of our capital city. They are very popular recreation areas for local people, and the Labour-Progressive government believes they should remain in public ownership," Mr Carter said.

"After a great deal of discussion and negotiation, the government and local councils have brokered a deal to purchase almost all of both farms from Landcorp, which was seeking to subdivide them and sell them as part of its commercial operations."

More than three quarters of Waitangirua (1098 ha), located between Porirua and Hutt City, is to be purchased for $6.27m, $3.1m of which will be paid for by the government. A further $2.8m will come from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and $335,000 from the Porirua City Council, subject to final approval by the respective councils.

A decision has also been made to purchase all of Whareroa (446 ha), located near the Kapiti Coast, for $4.5m.

"The Labour-Progressive government recognises these properties are not central to Landcorp's commercial operation but they are important open spaces that have an intrinsic value to the people of Wellington, and enhance the experience of living in this region. They should remain in public ownership," Mr Carter said.

Waitangirua forms the main central core of the popular Belmont Regional Park. All cross-park walks and landscape values of the park are dependent upon the retention of public access to the farm. Whareroa has high landscape and recreational values. It has conservation potential as a corridor from Kapiti Island through to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Akatarawa and Tararua Ranges.

Mr Carter thanked the various community groups that had formed to save the farms, the 12,000 Wellingtonians who signed a petition to keep Waitangirua in public ownership, and the regional and local councils for their efforts.

"The people of Wellington have been vocal in their support of these areas, they have worked with us in a sensible and constructive way, and we have achieved a terrific outcome."

The properties will become reserves, and work is ongoing with councils and the community over the best form of management for them.

ENDS

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