The Tūpuna Maunga Authority (TMA) has bespoke setup legislation that makes it, for the most part, a law unto itself. However, it's also bound by the Reserves Act that states any new administrator must present a management plan specific to the reserve it has taken over. The act lays out defined procedures: administrators should make a plan, put the plan out for public comment, then finalise it accordingly.
In 2016, the TMA met the Reserves Act requirement by producing, with a submissions process, an Integrated Management Plan, which laid out plans for its 14 maunga in general terms of "values" and "pathways". These were unspecific terms that did not signal the granular changes it planned for individual maunga.
Locals were continually taken by surprise - at Takarunga/Mt Victoria with a barrier arm on the maunga road, at Mt Roskill/Puketapapa with removal of the cross, and now on Ōwairaka/Mt Albert with the trees.
The TMA's unusually broad interpretation of the Reserves Act made it hard to both apprise locals of specific changes, then to test their views on those changes. Hence pushback in the form of petitions and angry meetings in the first two cases, and direct action on the third.
Geoff Chapple, Devonport.
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I lived on the slopes of Mt Albert in Wellington for 32 years before moving to the slopes of Mt Albert in Auckland in early 2018. The only thing I miss about Wellington is my daily walk in bush so dense that I sometimes had to wait for my eyes to adjust to the dark so I'm excited that future generations could have that same experience in Auckland, thanks to the foresight and generosity of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.
Dianna Roberts, Mt Albert.
To the excellent editorial (NZ Herald, November 25), I would add: Just 11 days before the election, FBI director James Comey announced Clinton was under investigation; despite his losing by a million votes, the electoral college chose Trump, based on perhaps 77,000 votes in three states, out of a total 136 million votes cast nationwide. POTUS decided by chance and chaos ... and it could happen again.
Dennis N Horne, Howick.
The outpouring of scorn by invested interest groups against a proposed relocation of Ports of Auckland is to be expected, but I wonder whether they have actually read the economic analysis of scenarios?
I have and, to me, it provides interesting and compulsive analysis of three broad scenarios.
Scenario 1: The status quo where the port remains where it is requires at least $3 billion over the next 5-10 years to upgrade.
Scenario 2: Shift to Tauranga. But Tauranga port is also constrained for future growth like Auckland, so it's not a long-term solution on its own either.
Scenario 3: Managed closure of Auckland's freight operations and development of Northport to share Auckland's freight task with Tauranga. The cost of this option is not much greater than the cost of keeping Ports of Auckland for a few more years, but provides a long-term freight solution that will allow Auckland to be served from the north and the south.
This scenario unleashes enormous potential growth for Northland. It also unleashes enormous potential for Auckland as industrial land is freed up, roads are less congested with car carriers, and allows Auckland's waterfront to be transformed into a stunning area, open to all.
This UNISCS study provides sufficient evidence for an in-depth business case to be undertaken by the Government. What a great opportunity to provide long-term sustainability of growth and resilience for our country's future.
Julie Stout, chair, Urban Auckland.
It was pleasing to see the Herald acknowledging that there are many credible voices in the aviation sector that correctly assert that pilot error was the primary cause of the Erebus disaster. For too long the public have been presented with the uncritiqued viewpoint of Mahon – himself heavily manipulated by the airline pilots' union who played to his ego and relative ignorance very skilfully.
Contrary to popular belief it is altitude, rather than a navigation track that is designed to keep an aircraft clear of terrain. And with his unauthorised, impromptu hybrid of instrument and visual flying, the captain of this aircraft descended to an altitude so low it simply beggars belief - especially given the weather conditions he encountered.
At best, what happened on that flight deck was a failure of situational awareness. In terms of causality, the only discussion should be around whether the crew deserve some of the blame for this disaster or all of it. Mahon's complete exoneration of the flight crew was wrong.
Gerard Willemsen, Eden Tce.
It is just tragic that yet another life has recently been lost while fishing off rocks. I have thought for some time that an easy measure to prevent future drownings would be to epoxy eyelets (which flattened when not in use) into popular rocks so that fishermen could attach ropes and harnesses. Perhaps fishing rod suppliers could sponsor the supply and installation.
Bruce Phythian, Parnell.
The article by Dr Kevin McCracken, (NZ Herald, November 22) on the "hardening" of attitudes among the business and political elites in Australia, is both timely and relevant. It would seem, that the ghost of that patronising old autocrat, Joh "jack-boots" Bjelke-Petersen, is back with a vengeance. "Ho, ho, ho, now don't you worry about a thing". He may have looked and sounded like a benign old grandfather but then, so did Joseph Stalin.
John Watkins, Remuera.
The benefits we Baby Boomers received from the state, throughout our lives, would not have been covered by the taxes we paid. That is part of the reason government borrowing increased so much under our watch. We were consuming more than we were paying.
Just look at how well we did. Our parents were assisted into new state houses with low deposits and low interest. We had free schooling with no "donations" required and a free dental clinic.
Then no-fees at University and certainly no student loans. Employment at good wages with average house prices at 4 to 5 times the average wage – which was what they should be. Excellent almost-free health service, as now, but no need for health insurance, Then to cap it all off a nice state pension to which none of us has contributed.
We had the very best of times. But then the huge bonus came – enormous capital gains on our properties, with no capital gains tax. Endless funds for travel. This was surely the "life of Riley" in the South Pacific.
Subsequent generations are now saddled with a much higher national debt, absurd property prices, wages with less purchasing power causing financial difficulties we Baby Boomers never had.
Russell O Armitage, Hamilton.
I think Mark Twain captured the essence of the current intergenerational debate with this wonderfully cryptic aphorism: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
John Christiansen, Mt Albert.
Commentator John Gascoigne is right in that "NZ got national super scheme right" (NZ Herald, November 25).
But he failed to mention that its entitlement at age 65 for Baby Boomers and the increasing proportion of longer living seniors becomes sustainable only with the help of an uninterrupted flow of systematic savings into the NZ Super Fund.
By raising the rate of NZ capital investment and ownership per head of population, contributions into the NZSF also help to catch up with Australia on the economic level.
Increasing contributions into a permanent NZ Super Fund are not to replace our national super, but to keep it sustainable from age 65 also for our descendants after the Baby Boomer bulge.
Jens Meder, Pt Chevalier.
Short & sweet
It was good to hear (NZ Herald, November 22) that the readership of this quality newspaper is going from "strength to strength". Congratulations to all on a fine achievement. Rosemary Howell, Meadowbank.
Prince Andrew's now infamous interview was bookended with the customary address "Your Royal Highness". The substance of everything uttered in between spelt out the absurdity of the honorific. J M Livingstone, Remuera.
Poor old ratepayers. Dig deep to finance bodies over which they have no control. Alec Hill, Devonport.
Oh dear, the nasty "psychos" are ganging up on poor wee Winston again. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Jeremy Wells has this amazing ability to look like he is about to say something funny, but then he never actually does. He does his little smile and eyebrow thing at the camera, and that's it. David Thurgood, Avondale.
One of your readers notes that Wellington City Council has a "staff massage room". The mind boggles at the thought of what our bunch of underworked, overpaid people at Auckland Transport enjoy. Dennis Ross, Glendowie.
There is a larger version of SkyCabs in the city of Wuppertal, Germany running since 1901 for nearly 120 years and used by 80,000 passengers a day in the city of 350,000. Why not in Auckland? No reason, just no courage and vision from the people who matter. Juergen Zimmermann, Shelly Park.