Piha Area Design Guidelines have been endorsed by the Piha Ratepayers and Residents Committee and adopted by the Auckland Regional Council. The guidelines will determine how regional parks at Piha are developed.
The guidelines cover such things as the materials, colour, location and style of infrastructure (such as tracks, picnic tables, parking areas and toilets) installed by the ARC in the wider Piha area including Anawhata, Whites Beach and Te Ahua and Mercer Bay areas. Design principles and criteria emphasis that infrastructure should only be installed where necessary, redundant infrastructure should be removed, and rangers and contractors should avoid hard structures, straight lines, road markings and urban elements. The guidelines take their cues from the natural environment and promote concepts such as designing with nature and a sense of place, clustering infrastructure, placing signs and so on against vegetation and landforms to minimise their impact and choosing natural forms .Significant view shafts and cultural heritage sites are identified , management policy for key locations around Piha are outlined, and appropriate plants are listed
The guidelines apply to the regional parkland. It had been hoped to make this a joint project with Waitakere City Council, but despite discussions, this did not eventuate. However, the Guidelines can be used anywhere in Piha, and will hopefully be used for the footpaths project. With the amalgamation of ARC and WCC into Auckland Council, they could be adopted for the management of local parks.
The guidelines came about after Tony Dunn, then R&R president, heard a presentation on the Muriwai Design Guidelines and ask ARC landscape planner, Neil Olsen, to present the idea to the AGM of the R&R. That happened a few years ago, and as a result of the R&R’s advocacy, Design Guidelines for Piha received funding and are now a reality.
The guidelines are also available online www.arc.govt.nz (search for Piha Area Design Guidelines) and a copy will be provided for the Piha Library.