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Need for coastal trail celebrity fundraiser 1-pager

by 10 Jul 2015Coastal trail, Regional parks0 comments

Aerial, Waiwera–Mahurangi

Strategic Greenway: The Mahurangi Coastal Trail will connect one of the most loved regional parks, Wenderholm, with one of the least used, Te Muri, by an undemanding 20-minute walk. But it will also link to Mahurangi Regional Park, and create what is likely to become the best used section of Te Araroa, particularly by new users of the national walkway. image ImageShack

Update 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 determined only after the community and the council have agreed on how and where the Pūhoi River is to be crossed.

There will only ever be one, Mahurangi Coastal Trail one hundred.

One hundred years from now, the 100 visionaries recorded as having made the Mahurangi Coastal Trail the Auckland Regional Parks 50th anniversary legacy project will be the same 100 who attend on 15 November 2015—an individual legacy of which to be justifiably proud.

A week before Christmas 2015, Auckland Council will commence a year of celebrations for the city’s 28 regional parks, on the 50th birthday of opening the first: Wenderholm. By then, a new Mahurangi Coastal Trail Trust needs to have categorically convinced the council that the celebrations can also create a tangible legacy—the linking of Wenderholm with the two regional parks to its north, by a trail that connects 1.5 million Aucklanders to a 900-hectare estate, including by public transport.

In addition to the historic opportunity presented by the 50th anniversary of the opening of Wenderholm, a once-only window exists whereby two strategic greenways of unparalleled importance and beauty could be established, before vehicle access has a chance to intrude and dominate an area that currently enjoys an ambiance of splendid isolation. The window exists, in part, because barely $1 million per year is available for the development of the many parks that have been acquired since 2010. Upgrading the farm road for car access is likely to cost in excess of $4 million, meaning that Te Muri and other new parks will languish unused by the people they were purchased for, indefinitely.

Map of Te Araroa Te-Muri option

Linking two national treasures: While interest in Te Araroa is growing, many New Zealanders are still unaware of its existence. Because Wenderholm is one of the most visited regional parks in Aotearoa, the proposed greenway to Pūhoi would introduce more New Zealanders to their national walkway than any section.

It is proposed to build the Judge Arnold Turner Footbridge as a community project primarily using volunteer, professionally supervised, labour, and donated materials. Project engineer Roger Williams has acquired considerable experience in such projects, after a career that boasts the Beehive, the Britomart and a railway station in Hong Kong. The proposed coastal trail is a low-cost means of providing visitors to Wenderholm, still one of the region’s most popular parks, access to an additional three desirable beaches, and will test whether, longer term, private vehicle access is actually necessary.

Supplying the single most strategic section of Te Araroa, the national walkway

The second opportunity is possibly more important regionally, and is of national importance. That is, to provide a pivotally strategic greenway connection between Waiwera, and public transport, and the first non-urban section of Te Araroa north of the metropolis. From Waiwera south, the Te Araroa experience is increasingly urban. From Waiwera north, particularly after crossing the proposed Judge Arnold Turner Footbridge, the route becomes rural and forest, except where it dips briefly down to the Pūhoi township. At present, no trail exists north of Wenderholm, other than the Pūhoi River. While it provides the sublime option of canoeing that section, tide and weather, and other considerations, mean that a terrestrial trail is necessity. Te Muri, by a country mile, provides the most magnificent route available, affording extensive land, river and ocean vistas. It is imperative that this proposed greenway isn’t compromised by outdated ideas that, by default, give priority to private car access.

Celebrity fundraiser at Tu Ngutu Villa

Specifically, the trust wants to break the back of the fundraising required to ensure that the $0.6 million Judge Arnold Turner Footbridge is seen to be viable and receiving overwhelming public support. But while the ‘one hundred’ paying $500 per head will be amply rewarded by the satisfaction of being the people that made this legacy project possible, there is no reason that they shouldn’t enjoy, and star in, a sparkling and memorable fundraiser. The venue alone, Tu Ngutu Villa, is the scene of countless photoshoots and overlooks Mahurangi West and Te Muri regional parks, and is line-of-site to Maungatauhoro, the bluff overlooking Wenderholm. Owner Richard Pearson not only is making Tu Ngutu Villa available for the 15 November event, he is also a Mahurangi Coastal Trail trustee-in-waiting with a passion for good governance—he is currently chairman of both Wellington Electricity and Envirowaste. While the prime personalities are yet to be engaged, many local celebrities will be attending, all as paying guests—every cent from ticket sales and pledges will be spent on the physical construction of the Judge Arnold Turner Footbridge, or returned by the trust in the rather unlikely event that the project fails to receive planning and ministerial approval.

Tickets The Mahurangi Coastal Trail is a joint Friends of Regional Parks and Mahurangi Action project, soon to be managed by a charitable Mahurangi Coastal Trail Trust. For further information, please contact Cimino Cole on +64 9 422 0872 or use the form below.

Tickets may be reserved by remitting a 10% deposit to Friends of Regional Parks, which enjoys charitable donor status, account number 38 9011 0011443 00

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