Auckland Council said yesterday it was taking back the administration & management of Motukorea Browns Island from DOC (the Department of Conservation) after agreement with the Government.
Environment & community committee chair Penny Hulse said the switch was important for Auckland: “The 60ha island is one of the least modified & best preserved volcanic cones in the Auckland area, and the nearest island in the Hauraki Gulf to the Auckland isthmus.
“DOC has managed the island for the past 26 years, and I want to acknowledge the great work DOC staff have done to protect the island. The new agreement means the council can restore its administering body powers, allowing Auckland to determine the future vision & management direction of the island.”
Ngati Tamatera sold the island in 1840 to Sir John Logan Campbell & business partner William Brown and it effectively stayed in private hands until 1955, when business leader Sir Ernest Davis gifted it to Auckland City.
The old city council transferred administration & management to the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Board when the Government created the board in 1968. When the board was abolished in 1990, management passed to DOC.
Auckland Council intends to keep the island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, and to integrate management with other reserves & islands in the inner Hauraki Gulf to protect & enhance the values associated with the island.
Waitemata & Gulf ward councillor Mike Lee said the council should take one step further than acquiring management control: “Motukorea Browns Island should be our next regional park,” he said.
Attribution: Council release.