November 2011 Newsletter

  • Well Done Everyone!
  • Long Bay Development Update

Yes, of course our hearts fell when we saw the bulldozers come and the first cuts were made into the land as the development of the Long Bay Structure Plan began almost two years ago.

We had fought so hard to protect Area D which was where we could so plainly see the change. And we continue to feel sad for what might have been when we see the extent of the earthworks. Does this mean that we had failed? No, not at all. Take a look at the new sign erected at the entrance to Long Bay which shows what has been achieved and you may all feel very proud.

So much valuable land protected from development, and the Heritage Protection Area coming into public ownership before long. Yes, it is a case of win some, lose some, but what we won was more than just some – it was LOTS.

To save such valuable pieces of land with their majestic views over the waters and islands of the Hauraki Gulf is a magnificent legacy for future generations. Yes, you may feel proud indeed.

With the development underway, the Society has been taking an active role as watchdog for our precious waters. Bernard Stanley, assisted by Society member Ross Garrett, has been montinuing our monitoring of the turbidity of the Awaruku Stream above and below the development as a means of determining the level of discharge of sediment to the Marine Reserve which laps our glorious Long Bay beach. We are also participating in protracted deliberations on the formation of the Long Bay Structure Plan Monitoring Group commissioned by the
Auckland Council. The role of community groups such as ours has yet to be decided. We also attend stakeholders meetings facilitated by Todd Property Group at which we can be informed about the development and express any of our concerns. ‘Stakeholders’ include representation from the Auckland Council, senior staff and councillors, the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, Long Bay Regional Park staff, East Coast Bays Coastal Protection Society and of course Todd Property and ourselves.

The Society made a presentation to the Auckland Council Environment and Sustainability Forum in July. We focused on our concerns about inadequate monitoring of run-off from the development and management of catchment systems.

We also petitioned that future resource consent applications for the development be notified. Our presentation appeared to be warmly received, and many questions were asked afterwards, but we have not had any further feedback since. A copy of the presentation is on the website.

Although it was harder to sell tickets to our last movie Oranges and Sunshine as some thought it might have been gloomy, we had a full house and from the feedback I received, almost all found it an uplifting true story. We look forward to this popular fundraising event next year. Thank you once again for sponsors of spot prizes: the Bridgeway Theatre, Sausalito Café and our anonymous donor of the bottle of wine.

Our general meeting this month will be the last for the year. We urge all interested to come, and to partake in an early festive supper afterwards.

I once again thank you for your ongoing generous support. Our job as you can see is still continuing, and we are about to go into discussion with the Auckland Council
about the original vision of a 1000 Acres Great Park. You may recall that the Auckland Regional Council had asked for our support for developing a Crimson Walkway linking Piripiri Point at the northern end of Long Bay to the Haigh’s Access walkway on the northern side of the Okura Estuary as part of Te Araroa national walkway. So we look forward to your continued support next year with new exciting ventures.

As this will be the last newsletter for the year, may you all have a lovely Christmas, and I wish you all well for the New Year.

Chris Bettany

Long Bay Development Update

During the winter earthworks shutdown activity on the Long Bay site was largely confined to reforming the Beach Road junction and first section of the extension into the development. This has now been completed with sealing and new footpaths on both sides. Normal traffic flows to Long Bay have been restored.

Earthworks on the Awaruku Ridge recommenced at the beginning of September per kind favour of a one month early dispensation from the Auckland Council because of favourable site and weather conditions. Activity has been concentrated on completion of Stage I development on the southern flank of the Ridge though resource consent has been granted by Council for State II encompassing the top of the Ridge and the northern slope, again under non notification and thus preventing input from interested and affected parties such as our Society.

The iconic group of pine trees gracing the skyline adjacent to Long Bay College providing a spectacular landmark over a wide area of the region has been felled despite our having lodged an application for inclusion in the Schedule of Notable Trees programme initiated by the North Shore City Council prior to its amalgamation with assurances that due process would be followed of arborist examination and public hearing. The skyline looks very barren and the College exposed without this prominent feature which many found very beautiful. It will be a very long time before any planting as part of the development reaches effective size to replace it.

We are continuing our turbidity monitoring of the Awaruku Stream above and below the development with interesting results. This will be presented to the Auckland Council Environment and Sustainability Forum shortly in support of our efforts to minimize fine silt discharge into the Marine Reserve with possible damaging consequences for the filter feeders at the bottom of the food chain.

Bernard Stanley
Deputy Convenor

Download print version LBOGPS November 2011 newsletter [148 KB PDF]