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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Congratulations to the Tāmaki iwi

Congratulations to the Tāmaki iwi and hapu, the government and Auckland Council on forming co-governance for the volcanic cones and landscape. For years the cones have been poorly managed and hopefully the new arrangement will put greater focus for improved management.

A theme at the Rio+20 global conference this month is how to deal with human impacts that threaten nature, planetary boundaries and the few protected areas or parks remaining on the planet. One key is co-management based on giving authority back to indigenous people in association with government and the local community.

Pressure on our volcanic parks and green space will increase as Auckland grows. For example, view shafts need to be better protected, tracks need to be better maintained, old quarries stabilised, weeds controlled, boundaries clarified and recreation use monitored so archaeological features are protected.

Over a decade ago a group of concerned citizens including young iwi leaders formed a voluntary group, the Friends of Maungawhau, to campaign for better governance and understanding of the volcanic cones we live on. Active volunteers are still working to restore a 130-year-old quarry on the side of Maungawhau-Mt Eden. Restoring the neglected cones is a huge task. It needs more frontline commitment, not just from iwi, government and council, but from local communities and volunteers too.

Kit Howden
Chairperson, Friends of Maungawhau

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