The Maunga Authority needs to take responsibility for the increased rate of vehicle crime that has occurred at One Tree Hill since the summit was pedestrianised and should immediately increase security measures, MP for Maungakiekie Denise Lee says.
"Now that cars have to be parked at the bottom of the mountain while visitors walk to the top, they’ve become an easy target and we’ve seen a serious increase in car break-ins and thefts as a result.
"The Maunga Authority made the decision to restrict vehicle access to the summit in May 2018. In the 12 months beforehand, there were 37 reported instances of vehicle crime, but that has now increased to 81 instances between the changeover and October last year.
"This is staggering. Over the past 18 months, One Tree Hill has had nearly as many reported incidents as Mount Eden's total since January 2016.
"When averaged out to a per month figure, it’s an increase of more than 60 per cent. This is only taking into account reported incidents. The figure is likely to be even higher as the number of unreported incidents is expected to be significant.
"This increase in vehicle crime clearly shows there have been some unintended consequences of Maunga Authority’s decision and this needs to be resolved.
"It’s clear the current signs warning of the risk of theft are not effective enough and something further needs to be done. I’ve had discussions with Police who agree installing security cameras would help with prevention, so that should be a priority.
"The Maunga Authority have tried to brush this issue away claiming it would be too costly, but that doesn’t stack up. They have under-spent their capital budget by more than one million dollars every year for the past three years. They should be able to afford these important security upgrades.
"While volunteering with Onehunga Community Patrols, I have witnessed first-hand the aftermath of these instances on multiple occasions.
"One Tree Hill is a hugely popular destination for tourists and locals alike so the impacts of increased crime are wide-reaching. Such a negative experience taints the image and memory of the maunga for visitors.
"Maungakiekie is significant for many people, it needs to continue to be a public place for people to enjoy and to feel safe doing so.”