Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is joining with Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board and councillor Denise Lee to call on the government to reinvest the full proceeds of its sale of part of the Pt 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,” says Phil Goff.
“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.”
"Given the local population is expected to surge in the Tāmaki 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."
Pt England Reserve is the largest tract of public open space on the Tāmaki River foreshore and provides both sports fields and rural open space. Almost 46ha 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 11.7ha and sell it to Ngāti Pāoa 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 Tāmaki,” says Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Ward Councillor Denise Lee.
“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.”
Phil Goff said, "We accept the government has the sovereign right to sell the land and we are not opposed to the Treaty settlement with Ngāti Pāoa. But for the sake of the local population we need to maintain access to good open space.”
Auckland Council and the Tāmaki 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 Pt England Reserve.
"The sale of 12ha of public open space includes part of the sports fields at Pt 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-Tāmaki Local Board Chair Josephine Bartley.
"Our local board is supportive of Ngāti Pāoa 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 Tāmaki redevelopment. Having 100 per cent of the proceeds of sale coming back into the area will allow us to improve the open space we have left and provide better facilities for our community."