Fears for the future of Waitakere Ranges bush have been raised by the third bill for setting up the Super City framework.

Waitakere Ranges Protection Society member Greg Presland said that buried in the third schedule of the bill was the repeal of section 18 of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act.

This required changes to the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy to be consistent with the principles of the ranges legislation.

But the growth strategy is to be replaced by an Auckland spatial plan provided for by the third bill.

This is supposed to provide a blueprint for growth in the next 30 years.

Mr Presland said there was no requirement that the spatial plan be consistent with the principles of the ranges act.

"The city's boundaries could be shifted into the ranges."

He recalled the fears of former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Morgan Williams of the ranges suffering "death from a thousand cuts".

This fear had prompted the heritage area legislation covering 27,000ha, sponsored through Parliament by Labour and promoted by Waitakere City Council, Rodney District Council and Auckland Regional Council.

ARC parks chairwoman Sandra Coney said the proposed repeal had prompted a lot of submissions to a parliamentary committee on the bill.

"There's consternation high up in the hills. It's critical that the boundary is protected when a lot of housing developers are hungrily looking at greenfields."

The ARC's submission also protests about repeal of a provision concerning the 8500ha Auckland Centennial Park, saying it feared the Government was trying to nationalise the ranges and that the park, acquired with donations and public money, could be sold.

This was denied by Social Welfare Minister and Waitakere MP Paula Bennett and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide.

Ms Bennett said if National was planning to nationalise parts of the ranges, it would not be done by slipping it through the schedules to the bill.

The repeal of section 18 was a case where the bill could have been drafted more clearly and this was likely to be fixed at the select committee stage.

The repeal of section 77 was "simply a technical amendment to remove redundant and outdated legislation", she said and the park was now protected in perpetuity by an order-in-council of August 2008.