Preserving green space
From the Office of the Mayor Phil Goff:
Pt England Reserve sale proceeds should be reinvested in public land
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is joining with the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board and councillor Denise Lee to call on the Government to reinvest the full proceeds of its sale of part of the Point England Reserve in new and improved public open spaces for the local community.
“The Point England land was set aside decades ago for Aucklanders to enjoy for sport and recreation. Our strong and shared view is that all money from the sale of this land should go back into enhancing public open spaces in the area,” said Phil Goff.
“Given the local population is expected to surge in the Tamaki area by 20,000 in the next two decades, and housing will need to intensify, it’s vital that residents still have access to outdoor spaces they can enjoy with their families.”
Point England Reserve is the largest tract of public open space on the Tamaki River foreshore and currently provides both sports fields and rural open space. Almost 46 hectares is vested in Auckland Council with an underlying Crown title. The Government has announced its intention to introduce new legislation to lift the reserve status over 11.7 hectares and sell it to Ngati Paoa for a new housing development.
Discussions have been held between Auckland Council and the Government about what will be done with the proceeds of the sale but an agreement is yet to be reached.
“We appreciate the need for more housing in Tamaki. But it is important to balance that demand with good urban design and public open spaces. I urge the Government to consider the needs of our community,” said Denise Lee.
“We accept the Government has the sovereign right to sell the land and we are not opposed to the Treaty settlement with Ngati Paoa. But for the sake of the local population we need to maintain access to good open space,” said Phil Goff.
Auckland Council and the Tamaki Redevelopment Company are working on an Open Space Network Plan for the local area. It involves the redevelopment of existing parks to meet the future needs of the community, including at Point England Reserve.
“The sale of 12 hectares of public open space includes part of the sports fields at Point England Reserve, which are well used by our local community. We have soccer, cricket, touch, even church kilikiti competitions there, as well as other recreational activity,” said Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board Chair Josephine Bartley.
“Our local board is supportive of Ngati Paoa and we look forward to opportunities to work together for the area. We are concerned at the loss of open space provision especially given the large numbers expected to arrive through the Tamaki redevelopment. Having 100% of the proceeds of sale coming back into the area will allow us to improve the open space we have left and provide better community facilities for our community.”