I have just received word from the Council that my application has been declined!
Very disappointing given all indications were that it would be approved. The recommendation from the parks rangers was that the event proceed. The application was delayed while the biosecurity team prepared a special report on the risks the event placed on the Kauri Dieback . As I had updated you earlier, this report was to have been presented to the October Parks Recreation & Heritage Forum Meeting – a public meeting which would have allowed discussion on the application. This biosecurity report indicated that the event could go ahead as the additional precautionary measures like shoe cleaning and phytosanitary mats would reduce the risk of spreading kauri dieback. It mentioned that the 100% compliance of event participants was in contrast to the 20-50% compliance of casual visitors to the park.
So the application has been declined before it even gets to the October Parks Recreation & Heritage Forum meeting as the Council thinks it should not allow events in the Waitakere Ranges while areas have been closed off. See media release below.
More than 100 hours in preparation, consultation etc to get nowhere. I will have to wait until next July when the Council reassesses their monitoring programme of the effectiveness of their closed tracks (protection zones).
Thanks for your interest in the event and hopefully we can try again in a year!
This is the media release from Council:
05 October 2012
Hillary Trail event application declined
Auckland Council has declined an application by Lactic Turkey Events Ltd to hold a running event on the Hillary Trail in 2013.
Council officers have been working with Shaun Collins of Lactic Turkey Events over the last few months to assess the application and the impact an event of this nature might have on kauri health in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.
Richard Hollier, Auckland Council’s acting Manager of Regional and Specialist Parks, says the current kauri protection programme in the Waitakere Ranges is the key influencing factor for this decision.
“We have concluded that, while precautionary measures like shoe cleaning and phytosanitary mats would reduce the risk of spreading kauri dieback, council should not be promoting organised events and activities in areas infected with the disease at this time.
“This decision is very much about kauri protection and sending a strong message to park users that we are taking kauri health seriously,” he says.
Mr Collins says that although he is disappointed the race won’t go ahead next year, he accepts council’s decision.
“I look forward to the outcome of monitoring of the kauri protection zones and perhaps working on a similar application in the future,” he says.
Kauri protection zones in the Waitakere Ranges have been introduced on a 12 month trial basis and will be closely monitored for effectiveness. Following the findings of this monitoring programme, it will be determined whether or not an application for this event could be reconsidered in 2013 (for 2014).
Council also acknowledges that the declining of this application is not a reflection on the standard of Mr Collins’ proposal or his good reputation as an event organiser.
For media assistance, please contact:
Glyn Walters (Auckland Council), 021 278 6858