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Today’s handover of Chelsea Estate Park on Auckland’s North Shore guarantees public access to the area, protects important forests and preserves a significant part of Auckland’s historic heritage, Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said today.
“This park has stunning scenery and walkways overlooking the Waitemata harbour, and because it is so close to a major city, it offers fantastic, accessible recreation opportunities for thousands of people,” Steve Chadwick said.
Ms Chadwick was speaking at a ceremony to officially mark the handover of the 36.7 hectare park to the Chelsea Park Trust (the Trust) and the North Shore City Council on behalf of the people of Auckland.
“I congratulate the Trust for their work to secure the land for the public, and also acknowledge the Chelsea Sugar Company for their willingness to engage with the Trust, which ultimately has lead to public ownership of an area that will be enjoyed by the wider community for many, many years to come.”
The parkland, which surrounds the Chelsea Sugar Works, was formerly owned by the Chelsea Sugar Company and includes grassy open spaces, regenerating coastal forests, artificial freshwater ponds, wetlands and heritage buildings. More than 31 indigenous bird species have been seen in the forest and it is a vital part of a wildlife corridor between the Hauraki Gulf islands and the Waitakere Ranges.
“I am proud that the government has supported this important community initiative, and applaud the dedication and commitment of the Trust, who have worked for many years for the greater benefit of Auckland. This is a small group of people who have dedicated countless hours of their time to negotiate the deal and raise the required funds.”
The government contributed $2 million, $1 million each from the departments of Conservation and Internal Affairs, towards the $20 million purchase price of the land. Other contributions came from the North Shore City Council, ASB Community Trust and the Auckland Regional Council.
“Chelsea Sugar has made a significant public gesture by foregoing future development options, and this is in keeping with their long tradition of allowing open access to all.
“This venture is a great example of business, community organisations, and local, regional and central government working together in the best interests of the wider community.”
The park will be managed by the North Shore City Council.