Maungawhau/Mt Eden terraces, photo: Avenue (CC BY SA 3.0)
Aucklanders should learn next week whether all vehicles are to be banned from the summit of one of Auckland’s most popular volcanic cones, Maungawhau/Mount Eden. Buses are already prohibited and the Tūpuna Maunga Tamaki Makaurau Authority which governs fourteen of Auckland’s cones meets next week (13th April 2015) to make a final decision on cars.
I decided to have a walk and a talk with Authority Chairman Paul Majurey, up Maungawhau/Mount Eden. Paul’s a lawyer and seems a very reasonable kind of fellow. We meet with a handshake and hongi. Paul heads the Maunga Authority formed by an Act of Parliament last year which transferred the ownership of Tūpuna Maunga, the fourteen cones, to a collective of thirteen Maori iwi and hapu. On the authority are representatives of the iwi and hapu, from the Auckland council and one government appointee. Decisions are not put to a vote, but are made by consensus. Paul Majurey says it’s to do with respect for the maunga, which are special and sacred to local Maori in many different ways.
Photo: Maunga Authority Chair, Paul Majurey on Maungawhau (Mt Eden) with Maungauika (North Head) and Rangitoto in background
Sign at Maungawhau/Mount Eden
Already the authority is tackling car access, first for Maungawhau. Depending on what it decides next week, and how the public reacts to that, the authority may consider a vehicle ban on other maunga as well. It’s also looking at a restriction on cigarettes, and on alcohol too, where it’s not already banned by council by law.
There is a whole range of clubs and other organisations that lease land on the maunga and as the leases expire his organisation will look at each application for renewal. Four have already come up, three have been granted a renewal, but one has not. That was the Mount Richmond Bowling club. There are about thirty leases in total, and this year just one comes up for renewal.
Visitors to Maungawhau/Mount Eden
Paul Majurey says the Authority also has an important job getting an integrated management plan for all the maunga. After 1840, Paul says Maori quickly lost their connection with their maunga, but now that has been restored in some respects. And he says it will get better.
‘Busyness’ at the summit of Maungawhau/Mount Eden at a midweek lunchtime.