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"Pitiful" Council budget for city’s volcanoes

"Pitiful" Council budget for city’s volcanoes

On the same week that the Government is proposing collective co-management of 11 of Auckland’s volcanic cones between Maori and the Auckland Council, City Vision-Labour councillors reveal that there is only $457,000 in the annual budget for maintaining all of the city’s 23 volcanic features.

Cr Cathy Casey said: “The $2.1 million capital budget for next year is only for development work on Maungawhau-Mt Eden. The annual maintenance budget of $457,000 is for all work on the other 22 iconic volcanic features of Auckland. This paltry amount is pitiful and downright disrespectful.”

At last week’s budget-setting meeting City Vision-Labour councillors argued strongly for the Citizens & Ratepayers led council to reinstate the long-term volcanic protection budget which was set at $8 million in the 2006-16 Long term plan.

“At a recent Mt Albert meeting, locals took the Mayor to task demanding a budget for much needed maintenance work for Owairaka-Mt Albert. Feelings are running high across the city at the plight of our cones.”

Cr Glenda Fryer said : "In 2006 the Council heeded the overwhelming wishes of Auckland’s residents who saw the care and protection of volcanic cones as a important issue and a core value for Aucklanders and we put $8million into realising that dream. Unfortunately Banks and his C&R cronies do not share that vision and slashed the volcanic cone protection budgets in 2008.

Cr Richard Northey said : "I have long lobbied for the summit and slopes of Maungarei -Mt Wellington to receive the attention it deserves to maintain its key features rather than to degrade and eventually suffer the same fate as the Hopua crater on the Onehunga Foreshore or Mt Smart in Penrose.

“The public needs to lobby the Mayor and his C&R councillors to restore these budgets in order to preserve and sustain these iconic features of the Auckland landscape."


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