Work to regenerate Henderson is gathering pace.
The plan for the town centre is called Unlock Henderson and is being driven by the city’s urban regeneration agency, Panuku Development Auckland, in collaboration with Waitākere Ward councillors, Henderson-Massey Local Board, Auckland Transport, ATEED, and the business and local community.
“We want to realise the vision for Henderson that we had back in Waitākere City Council days – for it to become an urban eco-centre,” says Waitākere Ward Councillor Linda Cooper.
“We have never stopped working on it. Urban regeneration takes time.
"Amalgamation into one council slowed things down a bit as we got to grips with new ways of working, but we are now finally making progress.”
A number of key sites in Henderson are slated to be developed including the Falls and Alderman carparks as low-carbon, sustainable family housing, which is being done as part of an international competition for best-practice environmental development.
Waitākere Ward Councillor Penny Hulse says, “All of our efforts are about creating more housing capacity, more jobs, encouraging economic growth and rebuilding a vibrant town centre.”
Better walking and cycling connections
Henderson-Massey Local Board has allocated $1.5 million to make better walking and cycling connections in the town centre by creating a shared path between Henderson train station, Corban Estate and a new art bridge.
“People will be able to move more easily between the train station, Ōpanuku Reserve, Corban Estate and Henderson Park. The library and shops will also be more accessible,” says Henderson-Massey Local Board Chair Shane Henderson.
The board has also allocated $1 million to enhance Ōpanuku Reserve itself with play amenities using a proposed theme of a whanau papatākaro (Māori family play area).
Panuku has been creating ways to enliven Henderson on a small scale by giving people more reasons to visit and explore such as installing a bike hub, in partnership with EcoMatters, and a pump track, which local kids are loving.
With ATEED, Panuku has launched The Kitchen Project to support local entrepreneurs to develop food and beverage products to help create local jobs and explore retail strategies to regenerate Henderson.
“While part of a separate programme of work, we are advocating for council to retain the building that houses the Henderson council chambers as part of the corporate property strategy, for many reasons, including the cultural significance of the site to Te Kawerau ā Maki and for us as Westies to use as a meeting and celebration place,” says Cr Hulse.