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No development to be allowed on ‘The Point’

Jul 8th, 2010 | By | Category: Latest News, News, Uncategorized

Te RaekaihauMAIN

BEAUTY SPOT: Walker Natasha Cotton enjoys the beauty of Te Raekaihau Point

SOUTH Wellington coastal land that was pitched for a controversial three-storey aquarium two years ago will now be protected for all time.

Wellington City Council has voted to entrench the status of Te Raekaihau Point near Houghton Bay as a reserve that cannot be built on.

At its last full meeting, the council agreed to declare the point and surrounding five hectares of land as Scenic B reserve, which means the only development allowed will be upgrades to pedestrian and vehicular access, improving cycle tracks, public seating, and new plants.

This protection will begin once the council-owned land’s classification is formally changed and covered by the Reserves Act 1977.

Council team leader of property management, Lucy Ross, says once the reclassification has been completed, it can be developed only for public access, which should encourage more people to visit.

“The site can’t have a surf club or a similar structure such as a marine education centre built, but it can be enhanced for the public,” she says. “The council is currently doing a restoration and beautification project with new paths, parking and extra plants.”

A marine education centre was granted resource consents in 2006 but a campaign called Save the Point eventually succeeded in stopping it in 2008 after appealing to the Environment Court.

Te RaekaihauMAIN1

WORK IN PROGRESS: The council is working on upgrading public access.

The centre was to have three storeys, a two-storey tower, wind turbines and a large car park.

Campaigners for Save the Point raised their own money to pay legal costs, with help from artists such as Michel Tuffery, Michael Smither, Ian Hamlin, Judith Trevelyan, sculptor Nick Dryden and ceramic artist Katherine Smyth.

Supporters of the new classification include Catherine Tudhope, from Kelburn, who says she is very happy.

“I think that means that it will be protected as open space now,” she says.

A local walker in the area, Natasha Cotton visiting from Cornwall in England, says it must be good that no big buildings can now be built on the land.

“It’s a beautiful area, and a building of any sort would ruin it,” she says.

There will be a delay in formally changing the classification, as the council’s decision has to be confirmed by the Department of Conservation, which may take several months.

If agreed the land will be declared as Scenic Reserve B, and a public notice will be prepared by solicitors to be included in the New Zealand Gazette, the official newspaper of the Government. Ms Ross says this will be the end of the process.

“It’s not a reserve until it’s published in the Gazette.”

The council has also declared other parcels of land around the Wellington area to be Scenic B reserve.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student, who enjoys crafting a good story.
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  1. There is plenty of beautiful places in Wellington and NZ. Let the Aquarium go ahead with their plans. It’ll bring a lot of investment and education to all. With good design in it’s architecture it will still be beautiful.

    There’s plenty of undeveloped walks around Wellington.

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