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North Head Summit Open To The Public

10 NOVEMBER 1999


Conservation Minister Nick Smith today symbolically cut away a section of the 2.5 metre high netting and barbed-wire fence that has kept the public off the summit of North Head, at the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour, for the best part of a century. The fence was erected to protect military installations within the Historic Reserve.

"The removal of the fence symbolises the opening of this area to free public access. It is an area that has a long and rich history of fortification and occupation by tangata whenua and every stage of Imperial and New Zealand Defence History. From the summit you can see from downtown Auckland and the inner harbour to the Islands of Rangitoto, Motutapu and Motukorea, and beyond to the Hauraki Gulf. This is the gateway to Auckland."

After widespread community input, the Auckland Conservation Board approved the Management Plan for the Historic Reserve in August this year. The plan has canvassed the contentious issue of which buildings should remain on the Historic Reserve, and provides the basis for the ongoing dialogue with the community about the preservation and restoration of military artefacts of international significance.

"North Head Historic Reserve has always been an important lookout point. This summer it will be a popular venue for viewing yachts moving between the America's Cup Village and the Regatta Course. I am especially pleased that we have been able to open this venue at this time so the people of Auckland and visitors can enjoy the Regatta and experience something of the historic importance of North Head."

"While the remaining historic structures on the summit are protected, pieces of the fence will be given as souvenirs to those present to mark this historic occasion."


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