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Wellington City Council is taking an historic step when it opens consultation today on a new management plan and legislation to protect and enhance the Town Belt. Wellington's Town Belt is there for everyone to enjoy
The draft Town Belt Management Plan proposes to return 85 hectares of land to the Town Belt, including Mount Victoria Lookout, the southern end of Te Ahumairangi Hill, and the former Chest Hospital and Vice-Regal land in Newtown. Proposed new legislation would modernise the rules governing the Town Belt and make it possible to add land.
The Council's Natural Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Helene Ritchie, says it's well over 100 years since any specific legislation and agreement between the Council and the people of Wellington was made. Cr Ritchie says both the management plan and proposed Bill aim to promote the Town Belt's natural environment for all to enjoy.
"We are instructing that the 1873 Deed, which sets out how the Council was to manage the land, be retained despite the fact that it is written in quaint but archaic language. We are also instructing that the original intent of the 1841 Town Belt be acknowledged in the new legislation."
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says it's important to strike the right balance between organised and informal recreation in the Town Belt.
"The Town Belt is an example of brilliant town planning and excellent foresight in setting urban limits while providing great opportunities for recreation.
"It's an asset celebrated by generations of Wellingtonians for its biodiversity, recreational and cultural qualities, and it has significant importance to Māori and the city's heritage.
"It's attractive to look at, walk in, cycle in, and even just sit in, so it's important we get it right, and maintain the special qualities of the Town Belt now and for future generations," she says.
The Council will work in partnership with mana whenua and the community to manage the Town Belt.
People have until Monday 10 December to have their say on what's proposed for the Town Belt.
Copies of the draft Town Belt Management Plan and Drafting Instructions are available from our libraries, our Service Centre at 101 Wakefield Street, or by phoning (04) 499 4444, or visit: