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Healthy response to Maungawhau draft plan

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

14 November 2006

Healthy response to Maungawhau draft management plan

Auckland City Council has received 507 submissions from people and groups commenting on the draft management plan for Maungawhau Mt Eden.

“I am impressed that people have cared enough to read the plan, then put pen to paper and tell us their thoughts. There is a phenomenal level of public interest in the mountain and the number and quality of submissions received is testament to that,” says Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard.

The plan was released for public comment in August and sets out what Auckland City’s actions will be regarding the protection and preservation of Maungawhau Mt Eden over the next 10 years.

Submissions closed in October and some people will to speak to their submission at the public hearing scheduled for Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 November. Hearing commissioners will then recommend any further changes to the draft management plan before it is ratified by the Minister of Conservation.

The submissions were generally supportive of plans to:

• remove or reduce the number of cattle on the mountain

• prohibit access to the crater in order to protect it

• enhance the visitor experience

• prohibit all motor vehicle access to the summit area, including buses and coaches.

“The submissions have clearly indicated that people want us to make some bold changes to the way the mountain is managed. People are in favour of protecting the mountain, and support us in taking the necessary step to do so,” says Mayor Dick Hubbard.

The 1.2 million visitors each year, and the 5300 vehicles trips each week are taking a toll on Maungawhau Mt Eden and the mountain is in urgent need of attention.

It is a place of key archaeological, geological and cultural significance that needs to be protected for future generations.

The aim of Project Maungawhau is to future-proof the site to make sure this iconic Auckland landmark is safe-guarded and to ensure all visits to the mountain, whether by tourists or residents, are a positive experience.

In 2005, Auckland City introduced a targeted rate to fund a programme for the protection and enhancement of the city’s volcanic features. This specific rate stemmed, in part, from concerns about the level of damage occurring to Maungawhau Mt Eden voiced during consultation on the management of the mountain in January 2005.

The work done on Maungawhau Mt Eden will set the standard for how Auckland’s other volcanic features are managed in the future.

Ends


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