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Fight for redoubt

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 04/12/2013
Watercolour
Auckland Museum

HISTORICAL RECORD: A watercolour of Rings Redoubt by Arthur Morrow. 

Redoubt
Dubby Henry
NATIONALLY SIGNIFICANT: The Rings Redoubt, now on Papakura-Clevedon Rd, was the site of several skirmishes between European and Maori in the 1863 New Zealand Wars.
David Powell
Dubby Henry
NOT HAPPY: Rings Redoubt neighbour David Powell.

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A battle site of national significance is at risk of being destroyed to make way for housing.

That's the view of historians and at least one neighbour of Rings Redoubt at the top of Papakura-Clevedon Rd.

The redoubt or fortress is a relic of the New Zealand Wars and holds significance for both Maori and Pakeha.

But landowner Cabra Holdings has applied for resource consent to build 153 houses right up to and on top of the eroded parts of the redoubt.

Its visible remains are protected and will be made into a public reserve but they will be surrounded by houses and all but invisible from the road.

The proposal is now open for public submissions.

The Orewa developer's application to Auckland Council says the redoubt "is not of architectural, scientific or visual interest" and its appeal is purely historic.

That contradicts what neighbour David Powell has been told by historians - that despite some erosion, the site is unique because both flanks can be seen from the road.

Exactly where the redoubt starts and ends is not known. New Zealand Historic Places Trust records say the site is badly eroded with only one ditch and one bastion still visible.

Cabra plans to keep those protected within a public reserve.

But Mr Powell wants the entire site of the original redoubt kept intact.

Local historian Dr Michelle Smith believes the whole redoubt site is historically significant.

"We have very little in Papakura that gets protected and it would be really really sad to see that cut into, damaged or eroded further through development," she says.

"We should be doing the utmost to preserve what is still left."

Public submissions on the proposal can be made until December 18.

All the documents can be found by searching for "current publicly notified applications" on the council website or in hard copy at Edmund Hillary Library.

A spokesman for Cabra Holdings said the company couldn't comment in time to meet the Papakura Courier's deadline.

Go to the council website or call 301 0101 to find out how to make a submission.

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- Papakura Courier

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