[August 15, 1929 – Auckland Star] Once again the vandals are at work on one of Auckland’s volcanic cones, which has already been terribly cut about. This time Mount Albert is being further scarred in the name of alleged improvement. The Railway Department were persuaded to cease quarrying after 40 years work, and the area was handed over in trust to the Mount Albert Borough Council to attach to their existing domain.
Despite strong criticism from a number of town planning specialists, the local body is persisting in its idea of running a 16ft road around the northern face of the hill. It means that a steep inner wall of raw scoria will be left to be seen from a distance, and the throwing of the material down the hill will present an ugly appearance for a long time until it heals over.
The result of heavy rain may mean that a good deal of the soft material will be precipitated into the back sections of those residents living below. Many ratepayers are of the opinion that this scheme is very ill-advised and a waste of money which should be otherwise spent on laying out the inside of the extensive old quarry, and it is an unnecessary disfigurement of a once beautiful hill.
Another thing is that the first proposal was to use the inside of the quarry as a children’s playground. But if that is still in mind then is it wise to direct motor cars along the road where small children will have to go to enter the base of the quarry? A number of experts from the Playground Association considered the site unsuitable because of its height and distance from the centre of population, and also on account of the heat inside the walls in the summer. It has been questioned whether there was any great need for a road at all, and if provision had been made for cars to be parked up near the present football ground it would have been adequate.
It is not expected that all the members of a borough council should have a knowledge of landscape gardening, but there are a number of bodies and individuals from whom good advice can readily be got.
So it is a pity to rush ahead with a project before it has been well studied by the ratepayers. Many of those who have looked closely into the scheme on the ground consider that the best idea would have been to make a six foot pathway around the face and lay out the quarry as a football and cricket ground, and give up the suggestion to use it for a playground for small children.
Those who love the hills are very concerned at the lack of consideration shown by the very body which is entrusted with the care of one of the unique features of Auckland’s skyline.
MT. ALBERT RATEPAYER.