Bull­doz­ers on the brink

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

DE­BATE about the fu­ture of the One­hunga fore­shore hasn’t stopped the bull­doz­ers.

The New Zealand Trans­port Au­thor­ity got ready to start widen­ing the One­hunga cause­way yes­ter­day de­spite un­re­solved is­sues over fore­shore recla­ma­tion.

Meet­ings are planned to­day as The One­hunga En­hance­ment So­ci­ety – TOES – seeks an agree­ment for the recla­ma­tion of 11 hectares of the fore­shore for beaches.

NZTA Auck­land re­gional di­rec­tor Wayne McDon­ald says the work will not pre- clude any fore­shore restora­tion agreed to be­tween the Auck­land City Coun­cil and the so­ci­ety.

“We be­lieve we have done ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to bro­ker an agree­ment on longterm restora­tion plans for the One­hunga fore­shore,” he says.

NZTA has agreed to con­trib­ute $18 mil­lion to the project, with a fur­ther $10m con­firmed from the coun­cil.

The en­hance­ment so­ci­ety has been in­volved in 11th hour dis­cus­sions with NZTA and on Tues­day the coun­cil in­di­cated it would take re­spon­si­bil­ity for driv­ing the project.

Af­ter a strug­gle stretch­ing more than 30 years, a de­ci­sion re­gard­ing the recla­ma­tion of the One­hunga fore­shore is close to be­ing reached.

“We want to en­sure a good out­come,” says so­ci­ety chair­man Jim Jack­son.

“TOES is looking at in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions and would like an en­vi­ron­men­tally ac­cept­able out­come.”

Le­gal action has been threat­ened by the group and a protest was held Tues­day night as bull­doz­ers were mov­ing in to be­gin work.

It was given a one-day re­prieve.

A meet­ing held Wednes- day did not solve the is­sue but ne­go­ti­a­tions were based around the num­ber of hectares to be re­claimed.

Coun­cil arts, com­mu­nity and recre­ation gen­eral man­ager Jill McPher­son and group man­ager Ruth Stokes will now look af­ter the is­sue.

Ms Stokes says the coun­cil is com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing in the One­hunga fore­shore and it is looking at the op­er­at­ing costs and main­te­nance.

Mr Jack­son says he does not want to set­tle for less than 11 hectares.

“We are now set­ting up a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to be signed by key stake­hold­ers.”

He says the so­ci­ety has been seek­ing an agreed mas­ter plan be­fore the work takes place.

“We be­lieve NZTA has un­ful­filled his­tor­i­cal le­gal obli­ga­tions dat­ing from when the mo­tor­way was first planned and con­structed in the 1970s.”

Labour list MP Carol Beau­mont sup­ports the so­ci­ety’s po­si­tion.

“Com­menc­ing mo­tor­way ex­ten­sions without real com­mit­ment to restor­ing the One­hunga fore­shore shows ap­palling lack of po­lit­i­cal courage and a com­plete in­dif­fer­ence to lo­cal com­mu­nity views.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.