Anyone thinking of exploring the new public park on the Mahurangi East Peninsula, once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, should be careful where they tread.
Auckland Council spent $12 million to purchase 200ha for a public park on the peninsula, south of Martins Bay, in February.
The Mahurangi East Regional Park was identified as being at Sadler Point, but confusion over where Sadler Point is actually located has led to people trespassing over private farmland.
Farmers Mark and Lindsay Kirby say trampers have been straying on to their land insisting they have every right to be there and demanding that signs alerting that the land is private property be removed.
“People think we have sold our land to the park and get quite stroppy when we tell them we have not. This farm has been in our family for 120 years,” Ms Kirby says.
“It’s very annoying when you are trying to move stock and you get people wandering about all over the place.”
The Kirbys have been further irked by acquaintances questioning them about the supposed sale of their farm.
The Kirby’s 24ha farm, known as Rodmersham, lies at the very end of the Mahurangi East peninsula. A fence running right across the peninsula, roughly between the southern end of Lagoon Bay to the southern end of Big Bay, plus signage, alerts visitors to where the private land starts.
Confusion appears to have arisen because the very end of the peninsula has been identified as Sadler Point and is marked as such on the NZ Topo Map topomap.co.nz.
But Ms Kirby says that area has never been identified as Sadler Point in her lifetime. Rather she suggests Sadler Point probably refers to what locals know as Bush Point, which is at the northern end of Big Bay.