A highly intrusive bright white concrete drain has appeared alongside the Milk Track and the track has been covered for its entire width with a hardened surface. This is just the latest in the urban-style infrastructure that is appearing all over Piha, with apparently no regard to the natural beauty of Piha and the requirement to do things differently in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area.
How did this come about? Not so long ago the Milk Track was a grassy pedestrian precinct as befits its status as an Accessway (Plantation) Reserve. Then gravel appeared all over the lower reaches. The old Waitakere City Council said it had not put the gravel there, but it did nothing to get rid of it. The gravelled track then experienced scouring from stormwater run-off. The Council’s solution then, is to create an ugly white concreted drain and hardening the surface of the width of the track, with what look like parking bays – certainly they are being used for parking. Ultimately what it has created is a road, with car access and car parking, rather than the attractive walking route that a Plantation Reserve is meant to be.