News‎ > ‎

Media Release - 30 August 2010

posted Oct 24, 2010, 5:50 PM by Admin FORParks

MEDIA RELEASE: Friends of Regional Parks

30 August 2010

New Group formed to protect regional parks

Last Thursday (26 August 2010) a group, named Friends of Regional Parks, was formed to advocate, protect and ensure the regional parks of greater Auckland are given priority within the new Auckland Council.

The purpose of this group is to both challenge and support the management and political backing of the regional parks network. There is growing concern that regional parks may be under threat or face uncertainty in the new local government ‘Super City’ organisation

Regional parks supporters and representatives from at least 12 community groups elected outgoing regional councillor Bill Burrill, a former chairman of the Auckland Regional Council’s (ARC) regional parks committee, as leader.

“We want to see the continuation of good governance and park management that supporters of regional parks have come to know and respect,” says Mr Burrill.

“There are fears that the ranger and volunteer services might be less effective in the new structure and there is growing concern amongst supporter groups and volunteers that, unless there is strong citizen advocacy, the parks may be neglected by the new Council.”

Importantly, Mr Burrill stresses that the Friends of Regional Parks does not take the place of existing supporter groups.

“As well as supporting the use, growth and development of regional parks, the Friends of Regional Parks will support existing volunteer organisations and Friends groups.

“Groups like the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society Inc (TOSSI) and Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc (SOSSI) are already strong and enthusiastic advocates for their park or project and we don’t wish to supplant their involvement.

“We welcome interested citizens to get involved with the Friends of Regional Parks so that regional parks continue to be protected and expanded and provide the conservation, recreation and economic benefits to greater Auckland,” says Mr Burrill.

Mr Burrill and an interim committee of seven members will meet in the next few weeks to begin work on the principles and constitution of the new group. An AGM will be scheduled for early 2011.