Dozens took their first step on to upgraded tracks in the Eskdale Reserve Network between Glenfield and Birkdale, where Auckland Council and Kaipātiki Local Board has invested more than $1.3 million in the battle against kauri dieback disease
The event hosted by the local board was held to mark completion of the bulk of the work in the Eskdale Reserve Network, a network of eight connected bush reserves. The upgrades were funded by the council’s Natural Environment Targeted Rate and local board renewals funding.
North Shore ward councillor and chair of the council’s Environment and Climate Change Committee, Councillor Richard Hills says without the extra investment the battle to prevent the spread of kauri disease would have been so much harder.
“Before our $100 million dollar boost in kauri dieback prevention funding we had a budget of less than three million over 10 years. Thanks to communities across Tāmaki Makaurau we were able to secure the Natural Environment Targeted Rate and fund tracks and hygiene stations in our regional parks, but also a significant number in our precious native bush in Kaipātiki.
“It’s fantastic we’re able to put over a $1 million into this project in partnership with local board renewal funding. I grew up running through these tracks and they were a boggy mess back then, it’s amazing to see the difference now.”
Upgrades great for network users and kauri
Kaipatiki Local Board chairman John Gillon agrees and says the upgrades are not only kauri safe but greatly improved track conditions for users.
“This project has been a long-time coming and one that is dear to my heart. The tracks throughout the park were in a pretty poor state, some had been washed out, tree roots were creating hazards and branches blocked the way, but the new tracks are a world of difference.
“They’re smooth and as accessible as possible, with the outer loop being step-free for wheelchairs, prams and bikes.
“They tracks have also been simplified and re-routed away from kauri trees, and designed to a standard to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease,” says John.
“A huge thankyou to everyone for their patience and putting up with the disruption while the upgrade has been underway.”
The local board contributed just over $240,000 in renewal funding to this phase of the project, which also included new hygiene stations
Mr Gillon says this is stage two of the project which started in March last year with the first section from Kaipatiki Road to Lauderdale Reserve reopened October 2020.
“There are still a few things that need finishing off including a couple of feeder tracks, new bollard wayfinding signs at each intersection, new entrance signs and bike hygiene stations at three locations.”
The Kaipātiki Local Board area has the largest investment in kauri dieback mitigation works for local parks in Auckland. Last year new hygiene stations were installed in Le Roys Bush and Fern Glen Native Plant Gardens.
Next year works are being carried out in Chatswood Reserve, Kauri Glen Reserve, Leigh Reserve and Lynn Reserve and the following year in Birkenhead War Memorial Reserve and Soldiers Bay.