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We Need to Move Faster on Regional Parks

Population Squeeze – We Need to Move Faster on Regional Parks

The Bay of Plenty regional council needs to accelerate vital work to produce more regional parks - as population pressures put a squeeze our green space.

That’s according to regional council candidate Grant Dyson, who says the council deserves applause for its work on the Papamoa Regional Park, ‘but with the Bay of Plenty population predicted to approach 317, 000 by 2021, we need to work faster to preserve large green spaces – especially where coastal land is concerned.’

In the council’s own words, there has been ‘substantial loss of natural areas’ in the Bay of Plenty –especially as land is subdivided for housing.

But if you read the fine print of council documents, the aim is to have just one more park up and running by the year 2009 – the second being on land at Ohiwa Harbour near Whakatane.

‘Two regional parks in this time frame are in my view, not enough. Especially with Ohiwa harbour so far from Tauranga where the most population growth is occurring. We need more parks closer to our most congested urban areas,’ Grant Dyson says.

He finds it alarming to note that while council vows to acquire land for parks as opportunities arise, the Ten Year Plan appears to make no financial provision for this to happen. The Plan states quite categorically that it has budgeted to complete the regional park at Ohiwa Harbour but has ‘no financial provision for further parks.’

‘I’d like to see funding for parks put strongly on the new council’s agenda. The council needs to go after land for coastal and inland parks with a lot more zeal, or we risk missing out,’ Grant says.


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