Wild coast­line goes pub­lic

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By AN­TO­NIA AN­DER­SON

The Waitakere Ranges Re­gional Park is 78 hectares richer in coastal land and means tram­pers will be able to safely walk the coast south of Piha.

The land, pur­chased by the Auck­land Coun­cil, is off Te Ahu Ahu Rd be­tween Karekare and Piha and unites two dis­con­nected parts of the west coast park­land and the Hil­lary Trail.

Waitakere Ranges Lo­cal Board chair­woman San­dra Coney says the prime piece of land had been sought af­ter for pub­lic own­er­ship for decades.

‘‘It is a wild and dra­matic piece of coast­line which will of­fer vis­i­tors some spec­tac­u­lar views and will open up some great new walks which are bound to be­come favourites of the peo­ple of Auck­land.’’

Be­fore, peo­ple had to scale cliffs and walk on the busy, and some­times danger­ous Piha Rd.

‘‘It’s been a real worry for park staff and my­self,’’ Coney says.

Waitakere Ranges Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety pres­i­dent John Edgar de­scribes it as ‘‘the most beau­ti­ful piece of land’’.

‘‘I’m thrilled the land didn’t get de­vel­oped and that it has been given to the peo­ple of New Zealand.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic. It’s the best bit of news that has hap­pened in a while.’’

The cre­ation of the Hil­lary Trail in 2010 added fur­ther mo­tive for the coun­cil to buy the prop­erty if it came up for sale.

Mercer Bay Loop Walk (south of this block) can now be con­nected to the Tas­man Look­out Track to form a safer and more di­verse al­ter­na­tive route for the sec­tion of the Hil­lary Trail pass­ing through Piha.

Other fea­tures of the prop­erty in­clude blow holes and sea caves.

For­mer Waitakere city mayor Sir Bob Har­vey says the con­nected land will ‘‘en­cour­age both New Zealan­ders and trav­ellers to em­brace the wilder­ness of the west coast’’.

The prop­erty was pur­chased for $3 mil­lion us­ing the coun­cil’s ringfenced park ac­qui­si­tion fund­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.