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Greater Wellington Regional Council endorses management plan for regional parks

Greater Wellington Regional Council endorses management plan for regional parks
December 18, 2020

Greater Wellington Regional Council has endorsed a new 10-year management plan for its regional parks which sets the direction for their evolution over the next decade.

The Toitu Te Whenua Parks Network Plan has at its core climate change action through its forest and wetland restoration work and park restoration and development through partnerships with mana whenua and work with community volunteers.

Announcing the backing for the plan this week, Regional Councillor and Parks Portfolio Lead, Prue Lamason stated “this plan outlines changes the people of Wellington have asked Greater Wellington for, so it’s very much an expression of what the community wants; native vegetation restored in the grazed areas of park, better access to and within parks and support for more collaborative work with mana whenua and community.

“I’m very confident that it provides the platform for realising the community’s aspirations and hopeful that it will lead to even more people getting out into our beautiful wide open spaces, intimate forests and dramatic coastlines. They are a regional treasure waiting to be discovered.

“But the most significant changes in the new plan underlie the plan’s theme that everything is connected. We’ve traditionally seen parks primarily as places of recreation and to some extent slowly regenerating native bush. But they are now also seen as being on the front line of Greater Wellington’s contribution to mitigating climate change in what is win-win approach to creating future parkscapes.”

Under the plan Greater Wellington will phase out stock grazing and progressively restore 1350 hectares of grazed park land over the next 10 years (other than at Battle Hill which is a dedicated farm park), an initiative supported by substantial new investment for park restoration in the draft budget for the 2021-31 Long Term Plan.

It is also additional to the funding allocated to Kaitoke and Queen Elizabeth parks through the Low Carbon Acceleration Fund for the 2020/21 which has been dedicated to developing carbon sinks through reforestation and restoration of wetlands. The outcome will make a real contribution to Greater Wellington’s policy of reaching carbon positivity in 2035.

Councillor Lamason added “it’s very much a case of parks for the people and parks for the planet.”

Images: Grazing, such as on the Pencarrow Coastal Trail, will be phased out  under Greater Wellington Regional Council's 10-year management plan for its regional parks (top, credit TripAdvisor) and the Te Ara o Whareroa cycle trail (below).

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