A ban on cars from the summit of Mt Eden, one of Auckland's best-known sightseeing spots, has overwhelming support in a new Herald-DigiPoll survey.
And a third of those surveyed not only wanted the popular tourist location to be free of vehicles but for the ban to also extend to other volcanic cones with road access such as One Tree Hill, Mt Wellington, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill and Mt Victoria.
The poll result comes as members of the authority in charge of the 14 volcanic cones work out the finer detail of a car ban on Mt Eden. It was agreed to in principle in 2011 and is expected to be approved in April, when members are presented with a detailed report.
A workshop will be held by the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority this month to discuss rules for cyclists and mountain bikers and assistance for people with limited mobility. Coaches and cars are expected to be allowed to drive halfway up the volcano to a kiosk area, and people will have to walk the 200m to the summit.
The DigiPoll survey showed a majority of Aucklanders backed a car ban, but people in the city were less enthusiastic about the idea than those outside Auckland. In all, 54 per cent of people in Auckland were in favour compared with 68 per cent of non-Aucklanders.
Albert-Eden-Roskill councillor Christine Fletcher, who is deputy chairwoman of the authority, said the poll result reflected the feedback she was getting on the street.
"There is a growing maturity about how we treat our special places in this city," she said. "Communities have come to appreciate what a valuable asset Maungawhau is."
But she said most people's support came with the proviso that the elderly or disabled were not negatively affected.
"Some people feel their rights are being infringed on ... In particular, [older people] have said 'I've enjoyed Maungawhau all of my life and I want to be able to see the lights of the city'."
The authority was looking at transport alternatives for people with limited mobility. One was limited access for shuttle buses.
The DigiPoll survey showed that people older than 65 were most likely to oppose the ban. But there was still strong support for it in this age group. Nearly 60 per cent of people over 65 supported it, compared with 68 per cent of people aged 40 to 64 and 62 per cent of people aged 18 to 39.
Tourism organisations said that many coaches now avoided Mt Eden since they were banned from the summit in 2011 and chose instead to go to Bastion Pt.