Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill

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Lynne Pillay

Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill

Local Bill

15—2

As reported from the Local Government and Environment Committee

Contents

Matters relating to Resource Management Act 1991

Matters relating to Local Government Acts 2002 and 1974

Matters relating to other enactments

Local area plans

Deeds of acknowledgement

Legislative History


  • Preamble

    (1) Whakarongo mai e nga iwi, ki ta te korero i mua. He ika tenei whenua. Ko te tangata nana i huti ko Maui. Kei konei tonu ahau, a mate noa.

    Listen all of the assembled tribes, to this the talk of olden times, this land is a fish. The person who fished it up was Maui. I will remain here on it, indeed until I die:

    (Waitakere Chief Te Waatarauihi in his opening speech at the Kohimarama Conference in 1860).

    (2) The Waitakere Ranges and foothills area is an area of some 27,720 hectares of public and private land located between metropolitan urban Auckland and the west coast of the Waitakere City and Rodney Districts. This area is of local, regional, and national importance:

    (3) The area is outstanding in northern New Zealand for the extensive and intact nature of its lowland and coastal forest ecosystems, and associated dune and wetland systems. It contains distinctive and outstanding plant species and communities, fauna and landscapes:

    (4) The Waitakere Ranges form a dramatic visual backdrop to the Auckland metropolitan area. The forested hills and rugged coastal vistas are essential to the identity of Waitakere City and the wider Auckland metropolitan area. The foothills and the coastal area are made up of a combination of rural, urban, and natural landscapes that contrast with the bordering Waitakere Ranges and metropolitan area and create an important transition and buffer zone:

    (5) The area has a long and rich human history. It is a distinctive cultural domain for Maori it lies within the rohe of both Te Kawerau A Maki and Ngati Whatua. European settlement began more than 160 years ago with the first attempts at organised colonial settlement of New Zealand made in Cornwallis in 1841, followed closely by a century of resource exploitation that has left its mark on the whole area:

    (6) The Waitakere Ranges is a vital water catchment and the site of a series of water storage and supply systems that have sustained Auckland’s urban development since 1902. It is important to sustain the potential of the natural and physical resources of the Waitakere Ranges to meet current and future water needs of the community:

    (7) The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park area has been formed over 110 years through gifts, grants, purchases and vestings. The area has been protected in various ways at a national, regional, and local level. Over time, parts of it have been classified as reserve, park, and water catchment area. In 1895, the Crown vested the founding reserves in Auckland City Council. In 1941, the Auckland City Council promoted legislation that created the Auckland Centennial Memorial Park to commemorate the centennial of the Metropolitan District of Auckland. These and many other gifts of private land, publicly funded acquisitions, and transfers of land from other public agencies have combined to form parkland of some 17,000 hectares:

    (8) In 2005, more than 21,000 people lived in the area, outside the Park, in countryside communities, rural and coastal villages, and in forest-dominated suburbs. Farming and rural activities are an important defining aspect of the character of the area. The area is subject to development and urban intensification pressures compounded by its proximity to metropolitan Auckland. The growth pressures are threatening to undermine the unique natural, landscape, cultural, historic, and community values of the area:

    (9) In 2003, the Waitakere City Council initiated the Waitakere Ranges and Foothills Protection Project. The goal of the project is, through a partnership of iwi, Waitakere City Council, Auckland Regional Council, Rodney District Council, and local Members of Parliament, and in close consultation with stakeholders, to find and implement ways of achieving better long term protection for the natural, rural, and landscape values of the Waitakere Ranges and foothills:

    (10) The project members have researched and considered options, and following extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community, concluded that additional regulation is needed to achieve the level of protection required:

    (11) The Resource Management Act 1991 and the Local Government Act 2002 enable local authorities to implement a range of mechanisms to manage the resources of the area. It has become apparent however, that these statutes do not sufficiently protect the Waitakere Ranges and foothills, in particular with regard to—

    • the cumulative effects and precedent effects of development on the landscape, the desired future character and amenity of the area, as well as on the ecological and biological environment; and

    • the rural character and rural communities in the foothills; and

    • the low density urban settings and coastal villages where the built environment is subservient to the natural environment; and

    • the management of activities adjacent to the Metropolitan Urban Limits to maintain the boundary between urban and rural; and

    • the protection of the heritage features that individually and in combination distinguish the area:

    (12) In October 2004, following discussions with the Minister of Local Government and the Associate Minister for the Environment, Cabinet considered the options for legislation and regulation. The Government invited the Auckland Regional Council and Waitakere City Council to prepare a local bill to provide a framework and principles that would increase the protection of the area:

    (13) In light of the finite nature of the Waitakere Ranges and foothills area, its importance, and its fragility in the face of rapidly encroaching metropolitan growth, it is desirable to implement regulation to set down long term objectives and vision for the area, to provide more certain outcomes and to protect the heritage of the natural, rural, urban and landscape features of the Waitakere Ranges and foothills:

    (14) In May 2005, Auckland Regional Council, Waitakere City Council, and Rodney District Council agreed to promote a local bill.

    (1) Whakarongo mai e nga iwi, ki ta te korero i mua. He ika tenei whenua. Ko te tangata nana i huti ko Maui. Kei konei tonu ahau, a mate noa.

    Listen all of the assembled tribes, to this the talk of olden times, this land is a fish. The person who fished it up was Maui. I will remain here on it, indeed until I die:

    (Waitakere Chief Te Waatarauihi speaking of his relationship to the area in his opening speech at the Kohimarama Conference in 1860):

    (2) The Waitakere Ranges and its foothills and coasts comprise an area of some 27 720 ha of public and private land located between metropolitan Auckland and the west coast of Waitakere City and Rodney District. The area is of local, regional, and national significance:

    (3) The area is outstanding in northern New Zealand for its terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, which include large continuous areas of primary and regenerating lowland and coastal rainforest, wetland, and dune systems with intact ecological sequences. The area contains distinctive and outstanding flora, fauna, and landscapes:

    (4) The Waitakere Ranges (part of a remnant volcanic landform) are the western visual backdrop to metropolitan Auckland. Their forested hills and coastal vistas are essential to the identity of both Waitakere City and metropolitan Auckland. The foothills and coastal areas are a combination of rural, urban, and natural landscapes that create an important transition and buffer zone to the forested part of the Ranges:

    (5) The area has a long and rich human history. It is a distinctive cultural domain for Maori and lies within the rohe of both Te Kawerau A Maki and Ngati Whatua. European settlement began more than 160 years ago with one of the first attempts at organised colonial settlement of New Zealand made in the south of the area, at Cornwallis in 1841. A century of resource exploitation followed that has left its mark on the whole area:

    (6) The area includes the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. The Park, protected at local, regional, and national levels, is an area of some 17 000 ha, established over a period of 110 years through gifts, grants, purchases, and vestings (including legislation promoted by Auckland City Council in 1941 to create the Auckland Centennial Memorial Park, commemorating the centenary of the Metropolitan District of Auckland):

    (7) The Waitakere Ranges also contribute to metropolitan Auckland’s water supply. They are a water catchment and the location for a series of storage and supply systems that have sustained, and continue to sustain, metropolitan Auckland since 1902:

    (8) In 2005, more than 21 000 people lived in the area (outside the Regional Park), mostly in forest-dominated urban, rural, or coastal communities:

    (9) The area is subject to development and urban intensification pressures. These pressures are compounded by the area’s proximity to metropolitan Auckland, and threaten to undermine the unique natural, landscape, cultural, historic, and community features of the area, including its farming and rural character:

    (10) Local statutory guidance is considered desirable to better protect the Waitakere Ranges and their foothills and coasts, in particular in relation to—

    • (a) managing the cumulative and precedent effects of development on the landscape, the desired future character and amenity of the area, and the ecological and biological environment:

    • (b) maintaining a rural character for the communities in the foothills:

    • (c) maintaining low-density urban areas and coastal villages in which the built environment is subservient to the natural landscape:

    • (d) managing activities adjacent to the boundary between urban and rural areas (particularly in relation to the Metropolitan Urban Limit boundary):

    • (e) protecting heritage features:

The Parliament of New Zealand therefore enacts as follows: