At this week’s Environment and Community Committee meeting, councillors agreed on a way forward for Auckland Council to acquire land for open space at Te Onekiritea (Bomb Point), Hobsonville. This discussion was held in confidence due to commercial sensitivity.
The land is currently under the ownership of Homes, Land and Communities (HLC) Limited.
Councillor Penny Hulse, who chairs the committee, says the council has a very clear position.
“We are very keen to negotiate with HLC in good faith and hope to come to a quick resolution that results in all of Te Onekiritea being retained as park land. This will require Auckland Council, HLC, and the Crown to agree a way forward together.
“We are acutely aware of the public interest in Te Onekiritea. We heard from the Hobsonville Bomb Point Action Committee at our meeting on Tuesday, and the council has previously met with other community representatives. We understand the aspirations of the community and will play our part in helping to deliver further quality open space in this location.
“It’s important to note that while the legacy Waitākere City Council recommended that Auckland Council secure the land as publicly accessible space, no formal decision or commitment was made to purchase all of Te Onekiritea. At the time it was hoped that agreement could be reached with the Crown, which owned the land, to jointly retain the site as open space.”
Councillor Hulse also noted that the council has yet to receive any formal offers from HLC to gift the land to council.
As with any acquisition or gift of land, the council will need to ensure that there are no risks associated with the land that would be costly to remediate.
“It is difficult to know what these risks might be, given that Te Onekiritea was once part of a military base, but they would need to be mitigated to the council’s satisfaction before we took ownership.”