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Ranges protected from political exploitation

3 April 2008
Greens delighted Ranges protected from political exploitation

The passing of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill into law should be a huge relief for everyone who loves the Waitakere Ranges, the Green Party says.

“It’s vital we protect our precious landscapes from short term political decisions. As the National Party’s new housing policy demonstrates, privately owned land is very vulnerable to reckless political and economic exploitation. The private land in the iconic Waitakere Ranges needed better protection than the RMA or 10 year District Plans alone were giving them. Now we can have more confidence our grandkids will know an Auckland with a green Ranges backdrop,” Green Party candidate for New Lynn and Ranges campaigner Kath Dewar says.

The National Party opposed the Bill. It has said it will prevent local authorities from restricting development in urban fringe areas to allow more housing development. Without the Bill, areas such as the eastern foothills of the Waitakere Ranges would have been particularly vulnerable to such an illconceived policy.

“The West Auckland branch of the Green Party is delighted its Party’s MPs, together with those of the Labour Party, the Maori Party and the Progressives, have enabled the popular Local Government Bill to become law. The West Auckland communities said they wanted both the public and private land in the Waitakere Ranges to be better protected and Parliament has listened,” Dewar says.

Kath Dewar is the Green Party candidate for New Lynn. She is a property owner, business owner and resident in the new Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area. Kath Dewar has served on the Executive of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society, the leading advocacy group for the Heritage Area, for eight years and was re-elected for a ninth year at the AGM on 31 March, 2008.


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