Regional Parks Management Plan Review

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A copy of the Regional Parks Management Plan with cover art of a child and woman looking at pebbles by a creek with a cliff and trees in the background.

Our regional parks cover 41,000 hectares, equivalent to about 44 per cent of Auckland’s public open space. They are valued for their natural and heritage qualities, and for the many wonderful experiences they offer us to connect to natural places.

We seek your feedback, ideas and suggestions on how you would like to see our 28 regional parks protected, used and managed for the next 10 years.



Suggestions for this round of consultation closed on 26 October 2020.

Sign up to stay informed about the project and when you can have your say on the draft plan.

Our regional parks cover 41,000 hectares, equivalent to about 44 per cent of Auckland’s public open space. They are valued for their natural and heritage qualities, and for the many wonderful experiences they offer us to connect to natural places.

We seek your feedback, ideas and suggestions on how you would like to see our 28 regional parks protected, used and managed for the next 10 years.



Suggestions for this round of consultation closed on 26 October 2020.

Sign up to stay informed about the project and when you can have your say on the draft plan.

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    will dogs still be able to be off leash here, or will we need to adjust to the before 10am and after 5pm Auckland rule during holiday periods?

    della asked 15 days ago

    Kia ora Della,

    The rules about dogs on parks are contained in the Dog Management Bylaw 2019 and Policy on Dogs. These were consulted on across the region, including for regional parks, in 2019 and are reviewed every five years. The changes to the bylaw included an agreed time and season rule of 10am to 5pm from 1 December to 1 March, which is consistent across the Auckland region.

    The rules will not be reviewed through the management plan review as the council now manages all rules about dogs through bylaws. This is a change from 2010 when the last regional parks management plan was published.

    Ngā mihi,

    Regional Parks Management Plan Review Project Team.

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    How will Council protect inground features and wahi tapu on their level 2 and 3 parks? How will Council protect heritage or notable trees, especially exotic, and is replanting the same species appropriate?

    Fiona McKenzie asked 30 days ago

    Thanks for your question. We will be looking at issues like these when drafting the next plan and at this stage are seeking your suggestions for how you would like us to protect trees and wāhi tapu, please let us know what your views are.

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    What will happen to the tracks not on the five year track upgrade plan in the waitakere ranges.

    alex ward asked about 1 month ago

    A five-year track upgrade plan was developed for the Waitakere Ranges following public consultation and covers the tracks that we intend to upgrade and re-open between July 2019 to June 2024.  The plan also includes tracks for further investigation, which could be included in the five-year work programme as well as listing those tracks for which no decision has been made but will need to be considered at some point into the future.

    Through this regional parks management plan review we are considering creating a decision-making framework for determining future tracks for upgrade and opening and those to remain closed (beyond those in five-year plan). 

    The reason for having a decision-making framework, rather than specifying the fate of individual tracks in the plan review is that:

    • science and the guidance around kauri protection continue to evolve
    • over this coming year we are undertaking a repeat aerial surveillance and ground-truthing of the state of kauri in the ranges.  Updated information about the overall state of kauri will contribute to future track assessment
    • the cost of track upgrades: we will need to assess how to get the best benefit from available funding, particularly noting there is some uncertainty around on the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on Council’s budgets
    • the consultation process may reveal other recreational opportunities that the public wish to see activated 


    We welcome your suggestions on the types of walking experiences that you would like to see more of in the Waitākere Ranges to complement those already open and on the five-year plan. For example, do you want more short tracks, or loop tracks, tracks with views, half or full-day walks, tracks with certain levels of challenge (or not). 

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    Can we visit Brown Island. What is planned?

    Betty Wilkings. asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora Betty,

    Yes you can visit Motukorea / Browns Island, however you need a private boat or kayak to get there. People are allowed to make day trips to the island at any time.

    We will be confirming the management direction for the island including any future development plans through this management plan review. We have published some information about the history and values and proposed management focus for the island in pages 46-48 of our discussion paper, which is published on this site. Please give us your feedback and suggestions to help us draft a plan for this beautiful little island.

    Thanks for your question!

    The project team

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    why do you encourage private vehicles and not public transport?

    damiansulser asked about 1 month ago

    Thanks for your question, damiansulser. Answer below:

    Auckland Transport sets public transport routes and its goal is to increase public transport numbers. To do this it focuses on improving public transport between places where people travel on a very regular basis, such as between home and work or education. Making these routes better first is most effective in reducing private vehicle travel within the Auckland region. 

    Some regional parks are on public transport routes, but many are too rural to meet Auckland Transport’s priorities for public transport. As there are limited resources for public transport, this situation is not likely to change soon. 

    We want to encourage people to visit and enjoy the parks and we want to encourage them to do it in the most sustainable way possible. However, most people find driving in a private vehicle to a regional park is the most convenient way, or the only way, to get to many parks. But driving private vehicles has an environmental cost and also creates congestion in the popular parks in summer. The 1.1 million vehicle trips that we count going to regional parks each year is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions relating to regional parks. This is a problem.

    The question is: what to do about it. There is no obvious fix. On page 28 of on our discussion paper we make some suggestions of ways to reduce the carbon footprint associated with private vehicle trips to regional parks:

    • electric vehicle charging stations
    • reserving car parks for electric vehicles
    • paid parking where public transport is available
    • online information for visitors to check how busy a carpark is before they set out 
    • a voluntary carbon offset scheme for park visitors
    • car-free days for regional parks where many visitors come from nearby areas. 

    We really want to hear your suggestions. Please read our discussion paper and tell us what methods you think we should propose that will be both effective and acceptable to people. How can we enable people to continue to enjoy the parks while reducing private vehicle use?

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    Edward asked this question on the Suggestions Board: Where to we go to view the full report on the Hunua Trail?

    about 1 month ago

    The latest report on the Hunua Trail was considered by council’s Environment and Community Committee on 10 July 2019  (click on the link to access the report and attachment).  


    Regional Parks Management Plan Review Project Team

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    Why are there permanent track closures in the Waitakeres?

    Lauren asked about 2 months ago

    There are only nine tracks in the Waitakere Ranges that have been permanently closed – these tracks have been closed to the public since 2012 as they traverse through areas of high value non-diseased kauri.  The decision to permanently close recognised the need for ongoing protection of these areas.

    Regional Parks Management Plan Project Team

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    Why is regular track maintenance not being done in Waitakere Ranges? Some of these tracks are in need of cutting/ maintenance.

    Morag Padfield asked 4 months ago

    All tracks that are open in the Waitakere Ranges are subject to regular maintenance.  In most instances tracks are receiving a greater level of maintenance then prior to the decision to close the forested areas of the parks to ensure that upgraded tracks are kept at the required standards. Tracks that are temporarily closed also have maintenance programmed – this maintenance includes some vegetation management and ensuring track side drains are cleared to reduce damage to track surface during heavy rain events.

    Regional Parks Management Plan Review Project Team


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    What is happening g with kauri dieback track improvements

    Morag Padfield asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your questions – please see our responses below.

    What we are doing to reduce the spread of kauri dieback 

    To protect healthy and at-risk kauri, we have closed a number of forested areas and tracks around the region. 

    These closures include:

    • the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges, with some exemptions
    • a number of high-risk tracks in the Hūnua Ranges, For more information about what tracks are closed, see the Protect our kauri trees page.

    In April 2018, the Environment and Community Committee resolved to close the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, with some exceptions, to respond to the on-going spread and impacts of kauri dieback (ENV/2018/44). The Environment and Community Committee decision anticipated the re-opening of tracks once they were brought to kauri safe standards. We keep an up to date list of open and closed tracks in the Waitākere Ranges on our website.

    Track and park closures were implemented from 1 May 2018, at the same time as a Controlled Area Notice was placed over the Waitākere and Hūnua Ranges Regional Parks by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

    In February 2019, a public consultation process was carried out to seek feedback on a draft plan for re-opening tracks in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park from 2019/2020 onwards. This has resulted in a five-year work programme and includes the list of tracks that will be prioritised for track re-opening over this timeframe.

    A focus for the delivery of this plan will be to complete work as soon as possible, taking into account strong community interest.

    Where possible work on some tracks will be brought forward if others are completed earlier than planned. Timeframes are indicative for this reason and also because with any operational programme, there can be unforeseen factors that can influence delivery.

    Work is also being carried out across other regional parks where there are kauri, including Wenderholm, Shakespear, Āwhitu, Glenfern Sanctuary, Duder and Tāwharanui.

    Regional Parks Management Plan Review Project Team

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    What happens to these questions?

    Kirsty87 asked about 2 months ago

    Kia ora Kirsty,

    These questions go to the project team for review so they can answer them.

    Sometimes the questions are about another topic, so we have to send them to another team so they can answer them.

    Ngā mihi

    Natasha