Friday, December 5, 2014

Maori Veto Vehicles On Volcanoes

NONE shall pass...coz Rangi says so!
Hands up, if you didn't see this coming!
Driving to the top of Auckland's volcanic cones is ending, starting with a ban on all vehicles up Mt Eden. This may be followed by a ban on other volcanoes with road access - Mt Wellington, No Tree Hill, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill and Mt Victoria.
A new authority (heavily weighted to a maori perspective) has approved extending a 2011 ban - on buses driving to the Mt Eden summit - to all vehicles.
But Tourism Export Council CEO Lesley Immink warns the move is not in line with the work of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development to boost city tourism. She claims many coaches no longer go to Mt Eden, and instead give tourists the harbour view from the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial at Bastion Point: most Asian
groups don't want to walk 200m up to the summit, so their tour companies avoid Mt Eden.
Interesting that 2/3 of those responding to a NZ Herald strawpoll felt vehicular access should be allowed.
A 'how and when' report will be presented to the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority in April for rubber stamping. It's likely vehicles will be only allowed halfway up the volcano to a kiosk area where there'll be parking and turning: people will then walk 200m to the summit. Still figuring out how to get elderly and disabled up there...oh yea, and rules for bikes too.
Hmmm, wonder what the rules will be, regarding maori-operated nicky-nacky-plastic-tiki stalls at that kiosk area!
One council representative said no-one was allowed to drive around Stonehenge in England, and the same should apply to Mt Eden. She forgets however that the walk from parking to Stonehenge is short and flat, not 200m up a 45-degree slope! "Maungawhau is a respectful place and it gives reverence to walk up to look at the view..." but it only has spirituality if you're the minority who actually believe it's some slumbering demi-god!
In fact, given that the hilltop fortress was abandoned about 1700, there was no valid maori ownership claim to be made on this overgrown pile of scoria! But the PC Brigade gave control to the bros a few years no use crying over spilt puha, eh cuz!
Still, what's the bet we'll next be subjected to demands for koha (donation) for our wee stroll up to the top! If so, how much of that will go into summit preservation...and how much into the local iwi's KFC fund? Chuuurrr!!!

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