Reasons to believe footbridge will receive fair shake
Prospects for the Mahurangi Coastal Trail aren’t as dismal as they appear.
Or at least as they fail to appear, in the primary actions and developments contemplated in the draft variation to the Auckland Regional Parks management plan published yesterday. While investigations into crossings of the Pūhoi River and Te Muri Stream are included, the Mahurangi Coastal Trail concept itself, which drew such overwhelming support in the first phase of consultation, is not mentioned at all.
However, supporters of the coastal trail concept have good reason to take heart and make a further—or for some, first—formal submission between now and 15 March. As reported on 21 December, Te Muri enthusiasts received an early Christmas present in the form of an undertaking by, Mace Ward, Auckland Council’s manager of all the regions parks large and small, that staff would recommend that the variation should allow investigations into a Mahurangi Coastal Trail to proceed in the short term, and not be caused to wait in line after the development of road access—access that, in any event, would probably only be safe to effect after the opening of the Puhoi–Warkworth motorway.
This is an imminently fair and reasonable position for proponents of road access—2 only, of 140 phase-one submitters called for car access—and proponents of non-vehicular access, to take. A Mahurangi coastal trail, after all, can only be reified if resource consent is gained for a crossing of the Pūhoi River. Proponents of the concept believe that the coastal trail will be so impressively popular that there will never be any need to spend an estimated $5 million developing road access to Te Muri Beach—let regional park users vote with their feet!
Auckland Council has provided an online submission form that most readers, with a life, will find far too time-consuming, yet fails to mention directly the proposed Mahurangi Coastal Trail. The Mahurangi Magazine has attempted to level the playing field by reproducing the council’s form with the addition of a Mahurangi Coastal Trail action, but for most, the quick-fire form below will allow a strong formal statement of support to be swiftly submitted, directly to the council. While it is always great if submitters make the time to write individual statements, people tend to lead busy lives and presumably the three commissioners appointed to consider submissions well-appreciate the fact.
Regardless of whether readers use the form below or the council’s, or chose to bypass forms altogether and email their contribution directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, they should have every confidence that the proposed Judge Arnold Turner Footbridge will receive a fair shake, no pun intended.