Published: 15 July 2020
Parts of the Waitākere Ranges could be set to become a dark sky park, with plans to apply for the international status included in the draft Local Board Plan, which is open for consultation until 13 August.
The plan sets the direction for Waitākere Ranges Local Board over the next three years and includes seven outcomes, which will impact everything from funding decisions through to areas of focus.
The dark sky status proposal is one element of an overarching outcome to protect and enhance the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area, says board chair Greg Presland.
“As one of our seven outcomes, the protection and enhancement of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area will continue to be one of our main strategic focuses. The fact that we can talk about applying for dark sky park status shows you how special, unique and important a place it is.
“We would also look to support restoration programmes in ecological areas of the Heritage Area that will improve public areas and landowners alike.
“This plan also responds to the challenges of COVID-19 and the new world we find ourselves in. We intend helping our communities to be resilient, so they can withstand and recover from natural challenges – especially on the West Coast where we have a number of communities vulnerable to the elements. We also intend supporting our urban centres which have seen significant financial impact from COVID-19.”
“We aren’t immune to that, as the Emergency Budget has shown, but one of the most important things is to be able to recover from setbacks and shocks, both environmentally and economically.
“This draft local board plan sets out a plan for that, as well as prioritising the environment, fostering stronger relationships with mataawaka and mana whenua, supporting arts, culture and heritage and improving infrastructure in town centres and neighbourhoods.
“So now is the time for our communities to look at this and tell us if we are on the right track and if our priorities match their own.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the next three years will bring us challenges that we would not have even comprehended nine months ago, but together we will find a way forward and I encourage everyone to make sure they have their say on our plan.”
Have Your Say
Visit akhaveyoursay.nz/lovelocal by 13 August to have your say on the local board plan.