July 2010 Newsletter

  • Bulldozers active
  • Environment Court update
  • Awaruku Wetland Update

Many of you who have been to Long Bay over the past weeks have been alarmed at seeing that bulldozers have been active and earthworks beginning. Yes, the development is inevitable. But the earthworking that you can see now will be reconstituted to wetland.

Bernard has provided an explanation of what these earthworks are about in another part of this newsletter.

We are all so sad to see the development start – those green hills go under housing development. So we need to remember all that has been achieved so far to protect the backdrop to Long Bay right to Piripiri Point.

It has been a long while since our last Society newsletter. During this time, we have been in ongoing discussion with the North Shore City Council, the Auckland Regional Council, and the proprietors of the land themselves about the acquisition of Area D, the piece of land we had identified in Court as being crucial to protecting the entrance to and most southern end of the Long Bay Regional Park from the visual impact of the development. As you are aware, the Court was unable to protect this part, and the only way of achieving this was through acquisition.

Unfortunately the cost of the land has been priced out of the Society’s reach. The outcome of the last Environment Court decision will also impact on acquisition decisions. The very good news is the North Shore City Council and Auckland Re gional Council are still pursuing discussions about pivotal protection of the Park.

The North Shore City Council therefore has revoked the resolution that pledged $5million to the Long Bay–Okura Great Park Society. This was necessary to ensure that the funding was protected before the formation of the new Supercity and give Council officers to continue discussions with this funding included. The time frame for the ARC $2 million likewise has lapsed. Both Councils are including the Society in discussions.

Environment Court update

You may recall there was a further Environment Court hearing last October regarding several issues including the legal mechanisms for protecting and managing the Heritage Protection Area, whether it could be subdivided and whe ther the farm manager’s and farm labourer’s houses could be subdivided and potentially sold. There was also dispute about the area behind Granny’s Bay that needed to be protected from the visual impact of houses in the new development.

Although we had expected the Judge’s decision to have been released round about February, as yet we have not had any notification of the outcome.

Meantime, however, there have been some indications that the Court process may need to continue with continuing Society involvement be fore the final decision on the Long Bay Structure Plan can be made. We will keep you up to date as soon as we know more.

Thank you again for your continuing and loyal support over this lengthy period with little information. We have had to learn patience in these processes, but hope that it has been worth the wait.

Kind regards
Chris Bettany
Convenor

Awaruku Wetland Update

Residents of Long Bay-Torbay within earshot and dust drift of the Awaruku Wetland currently under rehabilitation as expanded stormwater infrastructure plus preliminary foundation works for the Beach Road Extension will be pleased to learn work in the area will shortly cease till the commencement of the next earthmoving season on 1 October later this year. We learned from the site supervisor that as the result of a one month extension of their earthworks permit to the end of May, kind favour of the Auckland Regional Council (the controlling authority for major earthworks), the contractors Dempsey Wood were able to complete the excavation of the major permanent siltation pond in the upper western sector of the wetland. This involved stripping the topsoil from the whole of this sector and stockpiling on the eastern sector adjacent to the Regional Park.

The exposed silty subsoil e xcavated to form the siltation pond and surrounding areas has been positioned to form the base course for the Beach Road Extension crossing the wetland to give access to the urban development on the Awaruku Ridge and beyond in the Vaughan Catchment.

The large clump of top soil was repositioned on top of the road foundation to provide additional compaction by gravity loading. This was the final act before the winter earth-moving shut-down. When work recommences in October, this topsoil will again be moved, being spread over the wetland areas around the siltation pond in the upper western sector from whence it came, followed by planting of appropriate native wetland flora.

The eastern sector between the Beach Road Extension and the Regional Park boundary is also to be planted with a mix of native vegetation , according to the Todd Concept Plan for the area.
The lower siltation pond east of the road foundation, we are told, is temporary only for the period of the wetland redevelopment and will be filled in when that project is completed.

Massive stabilisation and building site development work is scheduled to start on the Awaruku Ridge from the be ginning of the next earth moving season to 30 April 2011.

In the meantime, the works area will be secure d and it will be off limits to the public because even though there will be no machines working, it will still be a hazard area with steep batters and open water.

Watch this space for further updates of de velopments.

Bernard Stanley
Deputy Convenor

Fundraising movie

SKIN

A compelling and moving s tory about love, betrayal and reconciliation.
Starring:
Sam Neill, Sophie Okonedo,
Alice Krige, Anthony Fabian

By some small miracle, thanks to your wonde rful ge nerosity, we manage to just deep ahead of our expenses. Your flow of subscriptions and donations allows us to keep on keeping on. Our film nights are successful in keeping us afloat, thanks to Jennifer Price ’s e fficient organization. The last film, 'Home by Christmas', was a sell-out and enjoyed by many.

Our next film is ‘Skin’, an award winning film set in the 1960s based on the true story of a black girl who was born to two white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the aparthe id era. We trust this will be another enjoyable night out at the movies which helps with our fundraising at the same time. For further information, see back page of this newsletter.

Phone Jennifer Price on 473 6847 for reservations. $15 per ticket
S u n da y 8t h Au g u s t at 6 p m S u n da y 8t h Au g u s t at 6 p m
B r i d g e wa y C in em a , N o rt h co t e

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