Randwick Park in Manurewa is New Zealand’s Mitre10 Community of the Year.
The neighbourhood won the prestigious award at the glitzy Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award ceremony last night cheered on by 30 supporters, mostly Randwick Park locals, along with Councillor Daniel Newman, Manurewa Local Board chair Angela Dalton, TSI social intrapreneur Tania Pouwhare and Jim Nicol and Fred Craigie from Downer.
Winners of the annual awards are chosen for their strong sense of community spirit and vital role in enhancing the social, economic, cultural or environmental prospects of their area.
A remarkable transformation
Randwick Park was once synonymous with crime and poverty but has undergone a remarkable transformation to be recognised as the country’s best neighbourhood. A local liquor store owner was killed eight years ago and out of that tragic and terrible event came change. The local people of Randwick Park worked tirelessly to transform their community and while there’s still more to do the community is proud of how far it has come. A community once in the headlines for all the wrong reasons is now abundant in youth leadership, community action and enterprise.
Local Board support
The unwavering support of the Manurewa Local Board resulted in significant council investment in Riverton Reserve. Once home to a graffiti riddled skate bowl and a large empty field, the reserve now boasts extensive facilities for sports and community activities, a modern and well-used skate park and a new multi-million dollar facility, Manu Tukutuku, run by and for local people.
The Southern Initiative
For The Southern Initiative (TSI), communities like Randwick Park are exactly the kind of change agents who will unlock the huge potential of South Auckland. TSI brokered a relationship between Stepping Stones, a community-led enterprise, with council contractor Downer to maintain the Riverton Reserve. Seeing the transformational potential, Downer got on board with the idea straight away and as a result, five Randwick Park residents who had experienced long-term unemployment got local jobs and a chance to give back to their community. Since then, Stepping Stones has secured a contract with the local school and has built an ongoing relationship with Downer.
TSI nominated Randwick Park for Mitre 10 Community of the Year and supported locals to be at the award ceremony so they could celebrate their success. The event was also attended by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who said he was really proud to see a South Auckland neighbourhood take out the top prize.
“It just goes to show what people working together at a grassroots level can achieve and it’s exciting the council’s Southern Initiative was a part of this transformation. The Southern Initiative is making really good progress in upping Auckland Council’s game and is providing an excellent example for the rest of the organisation.”
As a category award winner Randwick Park will receive $5000 and a bespoke glass trophy.