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Regional parks – from zero to heroic 28 in 50 years

But in that time the population tripled, and there’s no budget for future acquisitions

Tidal-river-power and grid electricity

Most public transport in Aotearoa is fossil-fuel powered. But that would not excuse a fossil-fuelled ferry forming a key component of the Mahurangi Coastal Trail. Fortuitously, as described in Minimum Impact 100% River-Powered, a fossil-fuel-free solution…

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Mahurangi Action president’s report

The planned fivefold increase in population of its tidehead town is critical to the future of the Mahurangi watershed. If, within a couple of decades, a town of more than 20 000 has an attractive, swimmable river as the hero element of a broad linear…

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Region survives serial secessionism

Serial attempts to turn the clock back six decades have failed, and deservedly. For without regional governance, Aucklanders would be much the poorer, for example, 27 sublime regional parks poorer. It would also lack a cohesive…

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Coastal trail and the river-mouth ferry

The urge to walk the coastline is as old as humankind. Within three years, the 4500-kilometre England Coast Path will be opened, initiated in 2014 under a Conservative – Liberal Democrat government. Aotearoa is geographically twice…

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Criteria for crossing Pūhoi River revisited

The principal objective of the Mahurangi Coastal Trail is to provide primary access to Te Muri. Based on vehicle counts, Wenderholm Regional Park receives an estimated 225 362 visitors per year, and Mahurangi Regional Park 59 595. It is probable…

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Criteria for non-footbridge crossing

There were good and obvious reasons for considering a footbridge. But there were also a good many reasons why a footbridge across the Pūhoi Estuary, as part of the long-proposed Mahurangi Coastal Trail, was a less-than-optimal solution. Firstly it would have had…

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Car-free Te Muri with coastal trail no mirage

The indications were entirely auspicious, even before the wrap-up. Then the commissioners, who had just finished hearing submissions on the future development of Te Muri, outlined the points they expected Auckland Council’s planning officers…

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Garnering major help to connect this coast

You read it there first, in a full-page spread in Junction Magazine, profiling ‘uber-human’ Tessa Berger, the 21-year-old chair of the Mahurangi Coastal Trail Trust. Anyone reading the glossy Matakana-based magazine’s description of Tessa’s achievements…

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Future is in increasingly self-funding regional parks

Operational budget $14.5 million, acquisitions budget $0.0 million, result misery. With a new one, on average, added every other year, regional parks had been the most popular purpose Aucklanders’ rates were put to over the last 50 years. But since 2010…

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Share Te Muri with walking Aucklanders or their cars

It’s been timed for low tide that day, at 12.22 pm. Because, despite the Auckland Regional Authority’s citizens advisory group 29 years ago embracing the concept of developing Te Muri for walking access only, there is still no all-tide access across the…

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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 Auckland Regional Parks management plan published yesterday. While…

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Parks czar provides perfect Te Muri Christmas present

On 18 December 1965, Aucklanders awoke to a Christmas present for posterity. Nine months earlier the region had learned that, thanks to the establishment of an authority that was able to act in the combined interests of 32 separately constituted cities…

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Post-Paris regional parks 50th anniversary rethink

With the 50th anniversary of the opening of Wenderholm to be marked this Friday, supporters are calling for a bold new community–council plan for the regional parks network’s next 50 years. The original visionaries, the region’s first planner, Frederick…

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Disdaining community input council plans new group

Simultaneously, it’s one of the best and the most preposterous proposals of the draft plan: Establish a friends group for the park and wider network of Mahurangi regional parks. Preposterous because, having relegated the concept most widely…

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21-year-old president rocks coastal trail dream

Her Facebook lit up. It is clear from the rapturous response to the New Zealand Herald article featuring newly elected Mahurangi Action president Tessa Berger, that Facebook is an essential tool in spreading the Mahurangi Coastal Trail…

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50th celebrations avert requiem for regional parks

It’s 35 years since Yes Minister first ran, yet public servants still shamelessly subvert the democratic process as effortlessly as breathing. In a particularly preposterous case of usurping the authority of elected representatives, Auckland Council…

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Celebrity fundraiser rescheduled then reimagined

This proposed event was rescheduled, then reimagined following the spectacularly successful ‘Buy this beach’ campaign that has seen Te Awaroa Beach become part of Abel Tasman Nation Park. Long story short, the timing of the event will be…

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Views sought on long-term future of Te Muri

It is only the first phase, but it might also prove to be the most important. When, in its dying days in 2010, the Auckland Regional Council purchased the $15 million, 383-hectare Schischka farm, a large part of the motivation was to take pressure off…

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Mahurangi Coastal Trail celebrity fundraiser

The Auckland Regional Parks 50th anniversary, legacy project. That is what the Mahurangi Coastal Trail must become, if Aucklanders are to mark the first fifty years of their incomparable network of regional parks in a manner befitting its scale…

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Embolden parks chief by bussing in bridge supporters

The Mahurangi Coastal Trail has been paid a considerable compliment. Friends of Regional Parks, in addition to making the coastal trail its flagship project, is making the concept the subject of its annual general meeting, on 29 June. Amongst the speakers…

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How trail can help save a habitable planet

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Guardian is throwing everything at it. Well, nearly everything. While its ‘Keep it in the ground’ campaign is all over its environment section, there is no trace, on the newspaper’s main online masthead, of the millennial moral…

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Roll on the regional parks rolling 50th celebrations

Auckland Council is planning to push the regional parks 50th boat out. But rather than one grand event, or weekend, the celebrations will likely take the form of a season of events, rather like the way Warkworth’s 150th anniversary was celebrated. For…

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Wenderholm celebratory sunrise breakfast

There were very good reasons for celebrating in 2016. Thirty-first of March is the 50th anniversary of the purchase of Wenderholm Regional Park, meaning that the main celebratory event could justifiably been held on Tuesday. But while…

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Trail trustees sign on and board votes to support

This week sees concrete step number three, with step four imminent. Concrete step one towards the Mahurangi Coastal Trail was last November, when Christine Fletcher’s parks, recreation and sport committee voted for work to proceed on the…

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Second concrete step as coastal trail wins Friends

Friends of Regional Parks is strictly a high-level, umbrella group. It was formed to ensure that the Auckland Regional Parks network survived and flourished under the new unified governance arrangements for the region. So for Friends of Regional…

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Next step on coastal trail is trust and working group

Trust is the essential element in any successful collaboration. And it is never more so when that collaboration involves various community groups, elected council representatives, and council staff. Trust was clearly a key factor in Mahurangi Coastal Trail…

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Coastal trail gains first concrete step

No better proof could possibly be had. Sat in the top-floor council chamber in the Auckland Town Hall, nine supporters of a $0.9 million coastal trail could have been excused for feeling unsure as to whether Auckland Council’s busy parks, recreation…

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Wrong for Mahurangi but right for Great Barrier

Submission deadline 28 February 2014 Ron was wrong about two important Mahurangi issues. At the time he wrote Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi, Dr Ronald Locker dismissed sedimentation as a serious threat to the health of the harbour, despite Dr Thomas...

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Mahurangi Coastal Trail high-tide Seaweek walk

Last year’s was a low-tide walk, and wade, with the odd wallow. Partly to demonstrate that the Pūhoi River can be readily be crossed at low tide, and partly to avoid the need to arrange for craft to ferry folk across, the Mahurangi Coastal Trail was…

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Low-tide walk to sample low-hanging fruit

Mahurangi can best ease the region’s growing pains by not housing its share of Aucklanders. According to the introductory video on the new unitary plan website, Aucklanders want a high quality, more compact city, in the face of the expected 30-year growth rate…

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Ten minutes and local board agrees to walk

A coastal trail, for the most part, should be built close to the water. But not only is it necessary to skirt the steep and cliff sections of the coast, the elevation gained rewards walkers with views that more than compensate for the slight exertion involved. The…

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After a century or more ferrymen to work Sunday

Once, they were an essential part of the roading infrastructure. Ferrymen were paid the princely retainer of £15, or more if they were very lucky, to be on hand to transport travellers across the region’s various rivers. Pūhoi River ferryman George Ryan received £20…

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Road would ruin future for Mahurangi coastal trail

The grandest entrance to the harbour is from the sea, under sail. Coming a sublime second is to discover the Mahurangi on foot, from Waiwera. Currently, this requires closely judging the tide and some determined wading, to cross the Pūhoi. Once across the…

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A unique role for Mahurangi and public transport

The public transport needs of the Mahurangi, in most ways, are unremarkable. Warkworth and Mahurangi East have long needed both a local bus service as well as better connectivity to Auckland’s bus system. But what is unique about the…

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Te Muri acquisition key to coastal trail

It was to form part of a scenic coastal road. In 1966, when the regional council secured 63.8 hectares of coastal land at Te Muri for that purpose, such car‑centric thinking went unchallenged. Subsequently, the regional council’s ardour for the…

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Captain Jones’ legacy complete at Te Muri

Captain Jones had first tried to secure Ōrewa Beach. But £10‍ ‍000 was too rich for the government of the day, and so most of the land between the highway sea was subdivided—with a single beach house now fetching the several million dollars that that figure equates to...

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Management plan review time for re-reading wedding bans

Weddings weren’t expected to be the subject of a Mahurangi Action Plan workshop. Nor did the Mahurangi Magazine expect to be posting wedding banns anytime soon. Nevertheless, the prospect of reversing the rule that effectively disallows the likes of weddings at Scotts...

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Well worth the day out

Letter Just a note to say thanks for the very pleasant, and as you said, affirming, planting day at Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi. It was great to be there, and to catch up in such pleasant surroundings for such a good cause—well worth the day out. The Mahurangi Magazine...

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Planting day at Sullivans Bay: Think national, act local

Sunday’s weather was sublime, as was the planting at Sullivans Bay, on a number of levels. Regional councillor Christine Rose said to the writer on her arrival: I couldn’t resist your email! …notifying ‘Mahurangi and friends’ of the planting. Neighbouring [tooltip...

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Origins of Auckland’s regional parks

I was a member of the Auckland Regional Planning Authority from 1960 until 1962. Each territorial local authority in the region appointed a member of the planning authority and I had been appointed by the Mt Albert Borough Council. The function of the authority was to...

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