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Mt Eden Access Debate Descends into Lunacy

Mt Eden Access Debate Descends into Lunacy

“If the idea of banning vehicles from the Mt. Eden summit doesn’t sound crazy enough, then listening to the members of the Maunga Authority discuss the practicalities of such a move verges on lunacy.” Affordable Auckland Mayoral candidate Stephen Berry is referring to Monday night’s meeting by the authority members, where they voted unanimously for banning vehicle and cyclist access to the top of Mt Eden.

“The entire committee has unanimously supported a vehicle ban in principle, but in true political style has now deferred a final decision pending discussion on just how vehicle access can be prevented.”

It has been found that the cost of installing iron gates with electronic key pad or swipe card access will be in excess of $100,000 not including ongoing maintenance costs. One option involves the issuing of an access code via a call centre which would change every seven days. Another option would see those with mobility issues being given swipe cards which Mr. Berry estimates would cost $20 each.

The banning of vehicles would also require the construction of extra carparks, with the existing ones moved further down the cone and Puhi Huia Rd reconfigured to hold 30 vehicles; a figure which Berry labels “completely inadequate.”

“When these sorts of conversations are taking place between elected councillors and the racially appointed Tamaki Collective, doesn’t it demonstrate the idea is insane?” North Shore councillor Chris Darby somehow managed to go one step further, saying he was “dismayed” by the idea of iron gates and would prefer moving bollards.

Stephen Berry is equally dismayed. “I’m dismayed that six elected representatives could be so blasé when it comes to spending what will become hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars to prevent Aucklanders from enjoying one of the city’s natural treasures.

“Through all of this, the ratepayer funded Maunga Authority still does not consult with ratepayers and the chairman of the Authority gutlessly refuses to talk to media.”

A final decision is now expected to be made in May. The elected representatives on the authority are
• Councillor Chris Darby (North Shore)
• Councillor Christine Fletcher (Eden-Albert-Roskill)
• Councillor Bill Cashmore (Franklin)
• Local Board member Kit Parkinson (Orakei)
• Local Board member Glenda Fryer (Albert-Eden)
• Local Board member Simon Randall (Maungakiekie-Tamaki)

ENDS

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