A proposal to break up the unique regional park network and place parts within a proposed new Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and possibly under co-governance bodies comes at a critical time. It is hidden within very general policies in the complex 500-page review of the Draft Regional Park Management Plan. Submissions close on March 4.
No logical reasons have been provided as to how the parks or the gulf will benefit, but it could be exceedingly detrimental to regional parks and to Auckland residents. No data has been provided to show parks damaging the gulf that would necessitate such a change. In fact, we can only think of reasons the parks are contributing to the health of the gulf.
A commitment is needed from Auckland Council not to break up the regional park system and have clearer policies to keep the regional park network in its entirety. Any reference to moving regional parks to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park must be deleted from the Draft Management Plan. All future changes to or significant works in regional parks need to be specified and discussed openly through the formal management plan change process before being implemented.
Arnold R Turner, ARA Parks chair, 1963-68. Bill Burrill, past chair ARC Parks, vice chairman HGF, patron FOR Parks. Bronwen Turner, chair Friends of Regional Parks. Kit Howden, deputy chair, Friends of Regional Parks.