A Warkworth resident, disgusted at vandalism and dumping at a local reserve, says it’s not worth keeping as a public facility and Auckland Council should sell it off.
Chris Wilkinson says the problems at a section of Wairere Reserve, on the eastern side of Falls Road, have occurred ever since he moved into the area.
He says rubbish and unwanted chickens are regularly dumped there and “yahoos” in cars do donuts in the grass.
“We’ve lived here for 13 years and the area has been terribly abused. At the moment, there’s just a big muddy pool where people have skidded around in their cars,” he says.
“It’s an absolute eyesore.”
When Mahurangi Matters visited to take a look, there was some evidence of dumping, with several discarded beer cartons in bushes and the grassed area appeared to be badly torn up by cars.
A sign warns visitors that it is prohibited to dump chickens or roosters in the area.
Mr Wilkinson says a stile over a fence in the reserve used to provide access to a walkway along the Mahurangi River, however fears of spreading kauri dieback disease has prompted removal of the stile.
He says the area serves little practical purpose and would be better off being sold for private housing.
Council head of management and maintenance, Agnes McCormack, admits cars doing donuts has been a problem at the reserve and Council erected a temporary fence last month to stop cars entering.
“The best permanent solution would be to install bollards, and we are currently looking at funding options for this,” she says.
She says the last report of rubbish dumping was in November last year and the rubbish was cleared the next day.
She says if members of the public continue to notice dumping or vandalism, they should call Council’s call centre on 0800 NO DUMP (0800 663 867).
Ms McCormack says Council believes it is important to hang on to the reserve since it is connected to several other reserves that form a chain of public land along the banks of the Mahurangi River.
“For this reason, it would be considered useful to keep as part of an ecological corridor. Having public green spaces is valuable, particularly in an area where population growth is expected,” she says.