Ponsonby News: Waitematā Local Board update August 2018
One of the most important roles of the Local Board is to act as kaitiaki for our parks. As guardians we want to ensure we maximise the valuable benefits our parks and green spaces provide. We’re fortunate to work alongside many volunteers who undertake pest control, planting and generally keep an eye out for their local parks. The Local Board agrees on priorities for the 80 plus parks and reserves located in Waitemata following feedback from the community.
You may have noticed that over the last couple of years more fun and excitement for all ages has been added to local playgrounds as they’ve been upgraded. The latest work to get underway is to replace the play equipment in Sackville and Ireland Street Reserves. For the Sackville Reserve project additional seating has been incorporated to make it a great neighbourhood spot for picnics and we’ve made the area more accessible with a new path from the street. Construction is also due to start in late July on the Vermont Reserve playground. Basque Park and Home Street Reserve are next in line for long overdue attention with budget this year for investigation and design.
As reported last month by member Richard Northey we’ve taken steps to remove agri-chemicals from our parks following community support. As a start we’ve allocated over $70,000 to eliminate spraying in Albert, Myers and Western Parks and the non-sports field areas of Victoria Park.
There are two park consultations currently underway. 12 Argyle Street, Herne Bay was purchased by the former Auckland City Council to improve the entrance way to Salisbury Reserve. The old Masonic Hall on the site will be removed with as much of the building material recycled as possible. There are two draft options out for consultation. In both options the pathways into the reserve are improved with additional lawn and trees. The main difference between the options is whether or not to provide car parking on the reserve. We want to ensure the community can consider the best use of valuable green space. For a number of reasons it wasn’t possible to the retain the hall but we have committed to improving the clubrooms that are in the reserve and making them more user friendly (the clubrooms are leased to the Herne Bay Petanque Club but available to hire). There is $25k in the budget for the coming year to refurbish the bathrooms on top of other renewal work that has recently taken place. Consultation on Salisbury Reserve is open until 16 August.
We would also like feedback on a draft park development plan for Western Springs Te Wai Ōrea. Our vision for the park includes improved water quality in the lake and streams, connecting the surrounding areas via paths and making room for big events. The focus of the plan is to improve the existing state of this well-loved park, without making any major changes. You can let us know what you think about the ideas in the plan such as bird feeding and a tuna (eel) sanctuary until 27 August. Basque Park and Home Street Reserve are next in line for long overdue investment.
In a unique co-governance arrangement with the governing body the local board also has responsibility for Auckland Domain Pukekawa. We’re delighted that the Domain has received a prestigious Bronze Award in the 2018 International Large Urban Parks Awards, the only New Zealand park to receive an award. The awards recognise quality parks across the globe, the skills of the people who manage them and the value green spaces bring to cities.
Consultation information is on the Have your say page of the Auckland Council website.