Better management sought for gullies in Diamond Harbour

DEVELOPMENT: Ridges for housing with Sam's Gully in the middle.

Morgan’s Gully and Sam’s Gully could be included in the Diamond Harbour Reserve Management Committee brief.

The Banks Peninsula Community Board has asked city council staff to investigate the possibility after a request from the committee last week.

Though neither is a legal reserve, committee member Thomas Kulpe told the board it made sense to take responsibility for managing the gullies, as it meant the committee could officially commit resources to their development and maintenance.

“It would (also) provide a democratic forum where the principles of the reserve committe can be applied. The problem at the moment is there’s no agreed principles and no vision for the amenities (which have been developed). There’s no co-ordination between organisations and no single point of contact.”

The gullies sit in the middle of a 38ha block of city council-owned land, orginally purchased by a previous council to provide land for housing.

Community groups have extensively planted both gullies and developed a footpath linking Diamond Harbour School to Waipapa Ave.

Previous attempts at having the gullies reserved have been rejected by the city council.

Mr Kulpe said they weren’t trying to “gain reserve status by stealth”, but by improving the amenity value of the area it “may increase the attractiveness of the surrounding residential land in the future”.

A city council property review currently under way has put a question mark over the future of the land-block the gullies sit within, along with about 30 other city council-owned properties across Banks Peninsula.

However, community board chairwoman Christine Wilson, board member John McLister and Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner have all said they wouldn’t support any land being sold if it went against community wishes.