30.06.08 18:21 Age: 10 yrs

Friends of Maungawhau Annual Report to June 30th 2008

Category: FoM Reports

By: Kit Howden

The Friends of Maungawhau are a small active community group advocating for improved heritage management of Maungawhau and other heritage volcanic landscapes. Members also demonstrating this by doing volunteer work on the Mountain.

A member can be involved in the following:

  1. Ordinary Members
    Being on the email list and offering moral and financial support. Attending meetings when held and volunteering.

  2. Being a regular Park Care Volunteer
    In the last year to 30 June 2008 members put in about 1500 hours volunteer hours on the Mountain - mainly through the action of 3 very keen long term volunteers who are restoring the native vegetation on the Western and Southern slopes.

    Every Tues. at 9.30 am volunteers gather at the end of Batger St to undertake weeding, track maintenance and planting.  Changes, information, training sessions and other contacts are circulated to these volunteers though our  email list. A volunteer leader is still needed for weekends to lead casual volunteers.

  3. Advocacy
    FoM are active in advocating improved care and management on Maungawhau and have made the following submissions this year:

    • to the new Council on our basic main position for the Mountain [see below]
    • to the ACC Annual Plan process
    • to the Royal Commission [see below on our policy position],
    • Made submission on the draft vegetation plan
    • Track improvements which the council have acted on
    • Attendance and voicing concerns over the visitor centre and the need to get basic operations right first.
    • Road stabilization, safety and archaeological sites.

  4. Love the Mountain Day
    This has been a great success over the last 2 years and again this year the Governor General will be opening his gardens so we can operate guided walks around the Mountain to areas the public don't usually get to. We have small team, but need others. if you want to help contact Karen Jane on 815 3449

  5. Providing technical heritage advice
    At present we have Susan Bulmer as our Honorary Archaeologist

Looking forward to your involvement

Kit Howden
Chairman [Executive Director]
Friends of Maungawhau

Friends of Maungawhau Report in the Public Forum to Auckland City Council Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee 14 May 2008

The FoM [Friends of Maungawhau] is a small society advocating greater care of Maungawhau - an international heritage site. The Society also supports volunteers carrying out restoration work on the western and southern face of the Mountain.

The following is our response to the officers report on Maungawhau - made last month to the Committee:

  1. The FoM [Friends of Maungawhau] support the old Kiosk [Langtons] being used as a low cost visitor / community centre with a small cafe. However the prime use has to be directly related to the heritage use of the Reserve and in keeping with the zoning, ICOMOS, the Reserves Act and management plan.

  2. The FoM support Ngati Whatua in their proposals for the old kiosk and their position for greater respect for the cultural heritage of the Maunga.

  3. We support visitor facilities being based at the old Kiosk at least in the interim so as to minimise adverse impacts on the Mountain. This includes traffic and buses going to the summit. Heavy traffic needs to be removed urgently.

  4. We are concerned over the stability on the Mountain and believe a fuller up to date report needs to be done considering the road, drainage, stability of old quarry sites, boundaries and constructed archaeological sites.

  5. There are still no specific operational performance standards for managing the heritage of Maungawhau and volcanic cones. We raised these issues over 5 years ago. During this period much has been spent on consultants and plans with little improvement on the ground.

  6. FoM position has always been that the basics need to be got right first. Includes boundary management, encroachment, erosion control, tracks, ranger services, crime and bylaw control, weed control, and vegetation restoration.

  7. Volunteers are making their contribution in Batger Quarry and the southern face and are getting assistance from ACC volunteer co-ordinator but more support is needed on such operations as large tree removal, track materials and specialised labour in areas too dangerous for volunteers. The March report showed 6 volunteers carried out 124 hours on the Mountain.

  8. The FoM would like to be a part of the potential for Maungawhau within an appropriate management structure. We would like to be involved as volunteers in the operation of the visitor centre.

Submissions To the Royal Commission:

  1. Our public park system in Auckland needs greater leadership; co-ordination; less bureaucracy and contracting systems. There is a need for active citizens to be more involved in the decision making and operation of our parks - our "commons".

  2. There needs to be one stronger regional council with elected members.

  3. There only needs one park strategy for the Auckland region not the multitude of open space and park plans now being seen in the various councils of greater Auckland, Regional Council and Department of Conservation.

  4. Heritage [natural and cultural] parks including regional parks, premier parks, volcanic cones, need to be governed by the regional council under a separate service or trust or commission.

  5. Stronger community boards are needed with more powers to govern neighbourhood and local issues. For example, neighbourhood parks, sport fields and playgrounds.

  6. A regional wide park ranger or kaitiaki service needs to be established to manage Maungawhau, the volcanic cones, regional parks and other significant parks in association with active citizens and volunteers groups.

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