Tuesday, April 12, 2011
ABC WEdnesday: M for Mountain
This photo of Ngarimu was taken when he played host to my sister Elizabeth, Bro-in-law Kallang from Borneo to his marea,
Technically, Mt Eden or Maungawhau is not a mountain. But we affectionally call our volcanic cones Mt Something. If you are a tourist to Auckland, chances are you will be taken up by bus by the tour operator right up to the summit and you get to walk round the rim of the crater. There, in amazement, you see an astounding 360 degrees bird's eye view of Auckland city. This is every tourist and tour operator's dream.
However, on the flip side, there is the ecological problem. The mountain may not sustain all the heavy load of traffic. In the past, the council rents out the mountain to farmers who graze their cows. This has stopped as this is tapu area and it disrespectful to have the cow pats all over sacred area. On a selfish reason, I am glad I don't have to watch out to avoid stepping on the shit. I climb up the summit quite often to get the challenge. I don't use the road but climb on the slope. Some parts are quite steep.
Organization chairman Kit Howden approached the board in February, concerned with a lack of management and direction for the Mt Eden-Maungawhau mountain.
"We support heritage tourism and not the mass tourism which is not contributing to the care of the maunga and not operating in accordance with the management plan."
Large portions of the mountain's western slopes are lacking support because of an unstable wall and the remains of an old quarry not being adequately revegetated, Mr Howden says.
These worries are coupled with Ngati Whatua O Orakei's concerns for the mountain in the lead-up to the world cup. Ngati Whatua heritage and resource manager Ngarimu Blair believes vehicle access should be restricted to the summit of Mt Eden-Maungawhau for safety reasons.
Ngati Whatua and the council are working on a co-governance plan for Maungawhau and other volcanoes, which could see a new management structure in place before the world cup.