COMMUNITIES UNITED AGAINST WATERCARE PROPOSALS

Press Release: For immediate release Monday 6 March 2017

COMMUNITIES UNITED AGAINST WATERCARE PROPOSALS

The community in Titirangi is united with the residents of Oratia in opposing Watercare’s preferred site for a new water treatment plant in Parker Rd – and up in arms about their latest proposal to sell off Exhibition Drive in Titirangi.

“No one in Titirangi wants to see people in Oratia lose their homes for the sake of a few trees” says Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Association Chair Dr Mels Barton “but nor are we going to let the most popular track in the Waitakere Ranges be sold off to the highest bidder”.

The Association has publicly released its formal feedback to Watercare’s consultation on the three sites for the new Huia WTP (attached). The TRRA’s feedback states that the TRRA will not consider the location of a new plant in Titirangi acceptable unless the future of Exhibition Drive as a publicly owned and publicly accessible asset in perpetuity is guaranteed in writing by Watercare and Auckland Council.

The development of Exhibition Drive as a “drive” would never have been achieved had it not been for the continued lobbying and donations of land by Titirangi residents over 100 years ago. Watercare has no moral right to sell; it is merely the caretaker of this piece of land on behalf of the ratepayers and residents of Auckland.

The feedback also states that the Association considers that the Manuka Rd site is the most suitable of the 3 shortlisted sites. They consider that it is ludicrous to propose that people should be put out of their homes in Oratia in exchange for trees in Titirangi. However the best quality vegetation on the Manuka Rd site should be avoided and protected in perpetuity if at all technically possible by sensitive design. The Association calls for an urgent independent ecological and historical / archaeological assessment of the site as well as responses to concerns about the impact on residents of Manuka Rd and Clark’s Bush prior to the close of the public submission period.

“The critical thing here is for the two communities to stand together against Watercare’s outrageous proposals to damage our communities” said Barton.

“There is a win-win-win possible for Oratia, Titirangi and Watercare with the solution obvious and we encourage everyone to give written feedback to Watercare demanding that the Manuka Rd site is chosen on the proviso that Exhibition Drive is retained in public ownership and with public access in perpetuity.”

“We are all communities of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area and we are always going to support each other against a corporate CCO that clearly doesn’t care about the damage they are doing. We have been through worse threats to our Heritage Area than this before by standing together and protecting our area and we will do so again now. We are extremely angry that some individuals have tried to use this terrible situation to drive a wedge between our communities, but we are united in standing with Oratia against Watercare’s proposals and want to offer them our support in the hope that it will help ease their anxiety about the future of their homes.”

The TRRA encourages everyone to give written feedback asap to Watercare via their email: huiawtpproject@water.co.nz

Source: Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc

 

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