The plan to rebuild the historic Piha to Whatipu railway for tourist
was also determinedly opposed on ecological, practical and scenic
although the mayors of Waitemata and Manukau had given tacit approval and work had already started on building the replica scow to transport materials. WRPS planned a large public meeting in July to discuss this issue and invited all concerned parties. Phil Jew, the ARA Director of Parks at the time, was one of the 140 people who attended. Professor Paul Williams of the Geography Department of the University of Auckland, Tony Watkins, town planner, architect and WRPS member, and Bob Harvey, advertising man and West Coast enthusiast, were speakers. It was pointed out that the dunes between Karekare and Whatipu were not permanent land but had formed over the last 50 years and could easily be eroded again. Overwhelming opposition to the plan at the meeting allowed newspapers to report that public opinion was against the idea. Gathering opposition by WRPS continued well into the next year and eventually it became so overwhelming that the ARA denied permission.
From Saving the Ranges The first 40 years of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society by Trixie and Bruce Harvey