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14.06.09 18:55 Age: 9 yrs

Cows get boot from Mt Eden summit

By: www.nzherald.co.nz

Cows grazing on the slopes of Mt Eden have been a feature of Auckland life since 1960, but the city council has now decided to remove them.

The decision is being seen as a victory for Friends of Maungawhau, an organisation that has campaigned for the removal of the herd for decades.

Friends of Maungawhau chairman Kit Howden said he felt sad the cows had to go, but they were damaging the archaeologically significant volcanic cone.

"The mountain is not a farm, it's a heritage site," he said.

Mr Howden said the removal of the "four-legged lawnmowers" meant the mountain would now be mechanically maintained.

Cattle owner Peter Linton said he was not surprised when he received the council's decision.

Mr Linton said he was concerned about how much mechanical maintenance would cost ratepayers.

The council has estimated that the removal of the cattle would increase maintenance costs by $100,000 per annum over the next five years.

"It's a lot of money when a few cattle were able to manage it," Mr Linton said.

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Mr Linton said the mountain's 1.2 million annual visitors cause more damage than the cows ever did.

Cornwall Park Trust director Michael Ayrton said sheep had been run successfully on One Tree Hill for many years, and this could be an option for Mt Eden.

"Sheep have less impact on sensitive archaeological and geological sites."


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