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Friends of Regional Parks Newsletter August 2015

posted Sep 16, 2015, 3:10 PM by Mels Barton
Mahurangi Regional Park East Block Addition
During 2015 the council acquired 20 hectares of land comprising the headland at the northeastern end of Big Bay. The mainly forested headland contains some impressively large native tree and the opportunity for outstanding views back over Big Bay and beyond.

Te Rau Puriri Regional Park Addition
In July the Council issued a press release to announce that it had purchased the 78 hectare South Kaipara Head farm of Cedric and Dianne McLeod to add to the adjacent 247 hectare Te Rau Puriri Regional Park. The press release noted that the addition of the farm, which has extensive beachfront, will give the public easy access to Waipiro Bay. Auckland Council manager of regional parks, Richard Hollier indicated that any development of the park would be some way off yet.

Friends of Regional Parks visit to Te Rau Puriri Regional Park 20th September 2015
The Friends of Regional Parks invite members and any interested people to join them in a visit to Te Rau Puriri Regional Park. This park at South Head on the South Kaipara Peninsula is a relatively new park giving access to the southern shoreline of the Kaipara Harbour and offering fine views over the harbour.

The Regional Park shares a boundary with the Department of Conservation’s Lake Otoatoa Reserve and thus allows the interesting possibility of the creation of a track from the east coast of the South Head Peninsula right across to the Woodhill Forest on the west coast. Lack of funding for both the Regional Park and DOC seems to be the reason this concept has not been progressed.

To get to Te Rau Puriri take State Highway 16 to Parkhurst Road, Helensville and follow Parkhurst Road to continue on South Head Road (37kms in total from the roundabout where you turned left onto Parkhurst Road to the park).

When you see the park sign on your right do not attempt to turn right to the parking area at the park entrance as it is dangerous to do so due to it being on a blind bend. Continue on a short distance to a graveled area on the left side of the road. You could either park here and walk back or turn with care and drive back to the park entrance.

We will meet at 11.00am in the entrance on South Head Road. Travel time from Auckland CBD to the park is approximately 1hr 15mins.

Bring your lunch, raincoat and suitable walking footwear.

Please indicate your interest in joining this visit by emailing or phoning one of the contacts below. We may try to car-pool where possible.
Email or or ph 09 4260327

Friends of Regional Parks visit to Tapapakanga 20th June 2015
Unfortunately the weather on the day decided to be rather unpleasant and consequently encouraged most people to stay home out of the rain.

Friends of Arataki present the Orpheus tragedy Sunday 13th September 2015
Friends of Regional Parks committee member Trixie and her husband Bruce Harvey will tell the story and show the DVD of New Zealand’s greatest maritime tragedy, the sinking of the HMS Orpheus on the Manukau Bar. Join them for a soup lunch and presentation, noon at Arataki Vistor Centre Lecture Room, Sunday 13th September.

Mark your calendars now and plan to bring the young ones to Friends of Arataki Annual Kids Day Sunday November 8th from 11am to 3pm.

FoA are also working to replace the picnic set at Arataki and install interpretive signange along Scenic Driv

Waitakere Ranges and Ark in the Park
The latest news is that six more kokako were released over the 20th to 23rd of August period in the Ark area and that these birds from Mangatutu took enthusiastically to their new home.

Hunua Ranges Regional Park
Pest control work is underway to reduce the effect of an explosion in rat numbers and possums in order to protect the kokako population and the work of the volunteers in the Hunua Ranges.

Mahurangi Coastal Trail
FOR Parks is assisting to establish a trust to lead development of the Mahurangi Coastal Trail linking Wenderholm, Te Muri and Mahurangi regional parks.

The Trust is seeking contributions towards the construction of the bridges crossing the Puhoi and Te Muri stream. Initially it is asking a small number of people to contribute $1500 (spread over 3 years) to demonstrate public support of the project sufficient to raise additional funds from trusts and foundations. A fundraiser on November 15th will celebrate contributors of over $500.

We would be delighted if you or someone you know would contribute to the project. If you would like to contribute, pass along names of potential donors, come to the fund raiser or you want more information about the project, please contact Cimino Cole at

Te Muri Submission
FOR Parks submitted comments to the conceptual planning work of Auckland Council towards development of Te Muri regional park. Of importance to us is keeping the open feeling, views and landscape, restricting vehicle access and as a first step, installing the Mahurangi Coastal Trail. In addition to being a relatively inexpensive way to quickly open the park, we believe the trail will set the precedent for people accessing the park using public transport, walking, riding or cycling rather than driving in their car. Further public comment will be invited once a draft concept plan for the park is released in a few months.

50 year Anniversary Programme
Regional Parks has created a programme of activities throughout 2016 to celebrate the opening of Wenderholm in December 2015 and the subsequent 50 years of the modern Regional Park system. Mark your calendars and plan to be part of these events:

21 February Commemoration at the Botanic Gardens
19 – 20 March Big Campout/Sleep out – can we fill every camping spot in the Regional Parks?
June 2016 Matariki breakfast at Arataki Visitor Centre
May – July Planting 18,250 trees to celebrate 18,250 days of Regional Parks
7 – 10 October Ambury Farm Day

Unitary Plan and LTP - Financial Cuts to Park Funding
FOR Parks continues to speak to its submission as the Unitary Plan hearings progress. We also provided input to the Long Term Plan and we’re particularly concerned about the lack of funding provided in the LTP for acquisition and development of Regional Parks, especially in the face of projected population increases. Regional Parks operations and maintenance budgets are also being reduced with community groups being asked to take on maintenance of parks facilities.

Golf Courses
FOR Parks is monitoring with concern discussions within Auckland Council about redeveloping golf courses and other open spaces within urban Auckland. These serve as vital green spaces and natural areas and once developed can never be reclaimed. Their loss could lead to increased pressure on remaining parks and Regional Parks.

News from AGM
Our thanks to Richard Hollier, Manager of Regional Parks, for updating members at the AGM on the budget pressures being placed on Regional Parks operations as well as plans for celebrating the existence of the Regional Parks for 50 years.

We are also grateful to the enthusiastic supporters from Rodney and Mahurangi who made a special trip to the AGM to present plans for the Mahurangi Coastal Trail. Members enthusiastically support their efforts.

At the AGM members reelected the current Society officers and committee members. They’re listed below with email addresses should you wish to contact any one of us:
Bill Burrill, Chair;
Bronwen Turner, Deputy Chair;
Mels Barton, Secretary;
Ralph Lyon, Treasurer;
Committee members Trixie Harvey (, Estella Lee (, Robert Woolf (, Cimino Cole ( and Kit Howden (

Our finances are modest but in good shape with a balance of $3,343.53 at the end of the financial year. Thanks to Trixie and Bruce Harvey for organizing supper.
As always we would be delighted if members could join us at our committee meetings, which usually are held on the second Monday of every month at 4pm on the first floor of the Central Library.

Membership Renewal Reminder
A gentle reminder to those of you who haven’t renewed your membership that subs are now due: $20 member/family, $10 non-earner. You can pay them directly into our Kiwibank account number 38-9011-0011443-00 and please note your name or contact Ralph Lyon for more information at

Thank you for your continuing support.
Best regards,
Bill Burrill, Chair