Land bought for future reserves

More public spaces will be coming to West Auckland following a major land purchase by Auckland Council.

The council has spent about $26 million buying 159 plots of land as part of the Twin Streams project.

The main purpose of buying the 37.3 hectares is to reinstate the natural floodplain surrounding the rivers of West Auckland by turning the properties into stormwater reserves.

Twin Streams is an environmental restoration project aimed at improving water quality in Waitakere streams by planting 700,000 native trees and shrubs along 56km of stream banks and creating the new reserves.

This stabilises the banks from erosion, creates a cool, shaded environment for ecology to thrive and filters toxins entering the streams.

Council evaluation adviser Anil Karan says bits and pieces of land have been matched up in West Auckland to form one big reserve.

"On Henderson Valley Rd several properties have been combined to make a significant block of land," Mr Karan says.

"The little scrappy bits of land will join up to make a connection."

The land purchases will also enable the council to provide better public access to the streams.

Mr Karan says some blocks of land may need some maintenance and management but the extent needed is not clear yet.

A 9.3km cycle/walkway will be created in a network of six different tracks which run along Oratia Stream between Pioneer St and Parrs Cross Rd, Opanuku Stream between Great North Rd and South Kensington Way and along Waikumete Stream between Sandy and Glendale roads.

Mr Karan says the council has been juggling options for the cycleway-designated land.

Western Leader