Concern Over Volcanic Cones Agreement
In future some of Auckland’s volcanic cones including Mt Eden and One Tree Hill will be co-managed by Auckland Council and iwi as part of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process -and official question marks about this were raised today at a special Auckland Council meeting.
An agreement transfers ownership of at least 11 of Auckland maunga (volcanic cones) to iwi represented by the Tamaki Collective. It also establishes a co-governance structure. The maunga will be co-governed by a statutory board comprising membership from the Tamaki Collective and Auckland Council.
The Minister of Treaty Settlement Chris Finlayson today attended a special meeting of Auckland councillors to outline the council’s future role in relation to volcanic cones including Mt Eden.
The Government wanted a co-governance model as agreed in talks between the Crown and local iwi. Auckland Council currently administers the reserves on behalf of the Crown.
The Mayor says the council anticipates an agreement would lead to a different approach to maintenance and protection of the cones over the long term, enhancing these unique geological maunga.
Len Brown is stressing his determination that the proposed co-governance arrangement must protect the rights of all Aucklanders. The Mayor also says that the cost of the new management structure should not be a burden on ratepayers.
He is cautioning the Minister that the council and Aucklanders have “serious concerns” about how the changes would translate into a working partnership.
The terms of the settlement are still unclear and a council political working party has been formed to look at specific issues including:
- Which cones should be included?
- Who will pay for the establishment and ongoing costs of the co-governance body?
- Should co-governance extend to council-owned land?
- Who will pay the costs of restoration and for increased levels of service for the cones?
- What technical issues are involved – such as reservoirs and other infrastructure?
A working party will recommend a position for the council to consider for a response to the Minister.
The Mayor says that the Crown’s timeframe is extremely short given the complexity of the issues under consideration and the need to consult with other stakeholders, where appropriate.
The agreement includes a feasibility study into applying for UNESCO World Heritage status.
The Mayor said: “We are supportive of an agreement being reached that will not disadvantage the people and ratepayers of Auckland. We acknowledge the place of the volcanic cones as unique and iconic of Auckland, the love and respect that our citizens have for them and the place that they have in our communities. We also acknowledge the Crown’s recognition of the spiritual, ancestral, cultural, customary and historical interests of iwi and hapu in the maunga.”
Of the 50 or so cones, 11 are affected by the agreement.
- Maungakiekie One Tree Hill
- Maungawhau Mt Eden
- Puketapapa Mt Roskill
- Te Kopuke Mt St John
- Maungarei Mt Wellington
- Takarunga Mt Victoria
- Otahuhu Mt Richmond
- Te Pane o Mataoho Mangere Mt
- Ohuiarangi Pigeon Mt
- Ohinerau Mt Hobson
- Te Tatua a Riukiuta Big King