Heritage park ‘too expensive’ to protect
A community group is calling out Auckland Council to properly protect a heritage park, saying it is at risk of being sold, or even ‘‘decay and disease’’.
Chelsea Estate Heritage Park, is a heritage park and an ecological asset, as well as an important link in the North-West Wildlink.
Under the Reserves Act 1977, all reserves are required to be covered by a Reserve Management Plan, to guide decisions. But Chelsea Estate Heritage Park doesn’t have one.
Without such a plan, a park can’t be gazetted, which means it could potentially be sold off to private investors or developed.
The Chelsea Regional Park Association (CHERPA), a group of local individuals, neighbours and regular users, is concerned the park is not being looked after as it should be.
Spokesperson Bruce Stainton told the Kaipatiki Local Board on August 16, the park urgently needs a management plan.
‘‘There has to be a requirement. We need something to work with now,’’ Stainton said.
At the moment, the only work being done by volunteers is the weeding, because it is unclear who has responsibility for the tracks and cycleways.
Ducks are dying on the lake and we would like to put up signs for trees, clean up the waterways and have general maintenance carried out, Stainton said.
‘‘The park needs the plan to have everyone pulling in the same direction, of what work can be done, where and when.’’
Previously, a Reserve Management Plan was drafted by the North Shore City Council. However, Auckland Council’s manager service and asset planning, Justine Haves, said the process of continuing the city council’s plan was halted in 2013, pending resolution of stormwater aspects. The stormwater works is due to commence this month, Haves added.
The Kaipatiki Local Board said it would be too expensive to complete the plan and is investigating with Auckland Council an omnibus approach to open space.
But, Stainton asks why can’t the draft, which had already been begun, just be picked up and finished?
‘‘A lot of the background information would still be appropriate information,’’ Stainton said.
Let’s get a plan for everyone to follow, he said. ‘‘We don’t want to go any more backwards, instead go forwards.’’
Chelsea Estate Heritage Park doesn’t have an official plan and volunteers want to know why.