Wicked climate action starts with Wenderholm Regional Park
Wenderholm is a wicked place to tackle the wicked problem of anthropogenic global warming. Wickedly symbolic, to begin with—Wenderholm was the first of Auckland’s wonderful 41 000-hectare network of now 28 regional parks.
Throughout their otherwise proud 56-year history, Auckland’s coastal regional parks have been highly private-vehicle-centric. This was never socially equitable, nor environmentally sustainable, but now it is patently incompatible with salvaging a survivable climate. Once, public transport did serve Wenderholm Regional Park:
From my vague memoriesKit Howden pers. comm. 30 April 2021, it was a trial in the 1980s on summer weekends. Lasted a few years. It was done as a social service to enable South Aucklanders to more-readily visit prime northern beaches.
To recoin a Roydhousian phrase, all the good coastal regional parks in the south, then, were in the north. Be that as it was, the imperative for climate-action mobilisation means that private vehicle access to the regional parkland of Tāmaki Makaurau must yield its currently unchallenged most-favoured status, to public transport, and to cycling and walking access. Public submissions on the draft 10-year Regional Land Transport Plan close Sunday 2 May 2021. After some persistence, Auckland Transport has advised the Mahurangi Magazine by phone that submissions will be accepted until 11.59 pm, Sunday 2 May.
The climate emergency is the number-one transport challenge. The science warns us that environmental- and social-heath-related transport challenges are moot, without immediate, deep climate-action mobilisation.
Mahurangi Action submission on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan
Lodged 10 pm 2 May 2021
The Regional Land Transport Plan should state that the implementation of public transport to Wenderholm Regional Park will be prioritised.
The Regional Land Transport Plan should also prioritise the implementation of public transport to other low-hanging-fruit regional parks. However, because this is a climate emergency, the 10-year Regional Land Transport Plan should prioritise the implementation of public transport to all regional parks. This could well be achieved with volunteer-operated, fourth-tier targeted services. Popular regional parks, including the Wenderholm, struggle to deploy the many who volunteer.
Public transport once served Wenderholm Regional Park, the first of Auckland’s wonderful coastal regional parks. That notwithstanding, over their 56-year history, Auckland Regional Parks have been highly private-vehicle-centric. This was never socially equitable, nor environmentally sustainable, but now it is patently incompatible with salvaging a survivable climate.