Stop National stealing the Waitakeres

I put out a press release yesterday highlighting a well-hidden clause in the third Auckland Council Bill which aims to nationalize Waitakere Regional Park.

On Page 163 of the Bill is a clause which would repeal Section 77(1) of the Local Government Act. This means that the Waitakeres would no longer belong to Auckland Regional Council (ARC) but instead could become a national park.

This is unfair because Aucklanders have funded and supported the protection of the Ranges over decades. The Waitakeres belong to us.

Also, the conservation the ARC provides in the Waitakeres is world-class – they spend more money than is spent in most national parks and have even managed to get kokakos back on the mainland.

So why is this clause hidden in the Bill? One explanation might be that Paula Bennet made nationalising the Waitakeres a key part of her election campaign.

Trying to change the status of the ranges through openly proposing a legislative amendment would be a better approach than hiding it in a 184 page Bill.

Anyway, you have until Friday at 5 pm to make a submission on the third Auckland Bill. Please make a submission here stating clearly that you:

oppose the repeal of section 77 of the Local Government Act and would prefer to see a simple amendment of section 77 to replace “Auckland Regional Council” with “Auckland Council” as the owner of the Park

Check out the submission guide I prepared earlier for other key points to cover.

6 Comments Posted

  1. OK but the problem is that DOC is underfunded not that the Waitakeries becomes a national park.

    Maybe it’s semantics but I just had the idea tat people think that they can own the commons. We are guardians of it for sure but that’s very different.

    Is it better to have localised management of wild places or a centralised Govt level ‘department of conservation’ ? I don’t know.

  2. Hi Nick

    The reason that the Waitakeres “belong” to Aucklanders in particular is, as David says, our rates have paid for their care and management for many years.

    It might raise the park’s “status” to nationalize it but wouldn’t raise the level of care it gets. In fact, it would probably lower it.

    Also, people from all over NZ go to Ruapehu whereas I suspect (no proof) that 90% + of people who use the Waitakeres for recreation are from the Auckland region. Why shouldn’t they have most say in what happens to it?

  3. The ARC currently spends around $3 million a year on recreation and conservation work in the Waitakere Ranges parkland. If the area was transferred to DOC, the standard of management would suffer dramatically, as the Department is so poorly funded and simply could not commit the same level of resources.

  4. Not sure if your argument makes sense. Why do the ranges ‘belong’ to Aucklanders? Does Ruhepehu belong to the people in Ohakune? And making it a national park would increase its status wouldn’t it? … or maybe there’s coal in them thar hills and gerry wants to get at it so needs it to be classed as a national park!

  5. Oh, great, the Super-city bill legislates westie-bashing.
    Does Paula Bennett not have any concern for her home-town?

    We all know Rodney Hide doesn’t!

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