22.11.07 19:56 Age: 10 yrs

Ad hoc no way to deal with region's volcanic cones

Category: Media

By: Brian Rudman - NZ Herald

Auckland mayor John Banks has effectively killed any prospect of the proposed $10 million to $12 million upgrade of tourist facilities on Mt Eden during his term of office - so why are the bureaucrats persevering with their latest round of public consultation? Do we really need another unactioned document to add to the existing library of unrealised wish lists for this visitor magnet.

I sympathise with the mayor's lack of enthusiasm for a $7 million to $9 million ratepayer-funded visitors centre and the $3.17 million rubber-wheeled train service.

But I don't go along with his "if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it" justification. It's not that Maungawhau-Mt Eden doesn't face problems. It's just that dealing with them on an ad hoc basis is not the answer. They need to be approached as part of a management plan embracing all 50 or so of the region's unique field of volcanic cones.

If the aim of having the field adopted as a Unesco World Heritage Site is ever to be realised, then we must stop treating the mountains as individual curiosities, and start thinking regionally.

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