Titirangi is unique in the world. A natural suburban environment on the very edge of a large city. It wasn’t always this way.
The Waitākere Ranges have a rich Māori history and are of great cultural significance to Māori. Local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki and Ngāti Whatua hold mana whenua over the area.
European settlement in the Titirangi area started in the 1830’s. Over the following decades, the land was at times burned, logged and turned to pasture for crops and farming. Even wine making was once attempted on some of the southern slopes.
But perhaps fortunately South Titirangi wasn’t suitable for farming and in the recent past focus has shifted to regeneration and biodiversity: letting nature reclaim the slopes around the established homes and developed spaces, and then later a move to protecting and enhancing it, bringing the area much closer to its original state and establishing habitats for populations of birds, and even fish life in our streams and waterways.
The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area
In 2008, the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Act was introduced and 27,700ha of public and private land including the Waitākere Ranges, foothills and coastal areas were incorporated within the heritage area. The Act recognises the significance of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area and promotes the protection and enhancement of its heritage features. The heritage features (section 7 of the Act) include terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the different natural landforms and landscapes of the heritage area.
Living in Titirangi you are likely to notice an emphasis on the preservation and protection of native bush, that stems, in large part, from the existence of this legislation, but also from a desire amongst many people who live here to protect and nurture Titirangi’s natural environment.
Living in nature: A privilege and a responsibility
There are many reasons that we might decide to live in the Waitākere Ranges. Proximity to a more natural world is high on the list. Just as it’s a privilege to live here, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come with living in a natural area.
Every small step we take contributes to the improvement of our native environment.
In practical terms, this can include how we subdivide and develop our land, finding ways to retain trees instead of cutting them down, respecting Kauri Dieback protocols, preventing invasive weeds that can kill the bush from becoming established or spreading, and participating in animal pest control programmes on your property.
Making your home in the Waitākere Ranges
These pages were created with support of the Waitākere Ranges Local Board