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Revitalised Onehunga laneway opens

Published: 29 April 2019
From left: Adrian Pettit – Te Akitai Waiohua, Geoff Cook – Ngati Maru, Constable Don Allan – NZ Police and a member of the Maungakiekie Tamaki Local Board, Bobby McDonald – Oxy Art, Amanda Wellgreen – Onehunga Business Association, Rod Marler – Director Design and Place, Panuku Development Auckland, Katie Walton – Project Manager, Panuku Development Auckland, Mathew Tutaki – Ngati te Ata.

The urban regeneration of Onehunga has taken a step forward with the completion and opening of an upgraded laneway in the town centre.

The space in front of the police station, between Onehunga Mall and the Sir William Jordan Recreation Centre, has been transformed with new landscaping, lighting and artwork. The result creates an improved welcome point into the town centre from the south and an attractive space for events.

Mural created using tikanga  principles

A key part of the upgrade was a bespoke mural created by local artist Bobby McDonald in collaboration with local youth community group The 312 Hub.

The design was shaped using the principles of Māori tikanga as different artists created three separate design options. The local community were given the opportunity to feed into the three designs before the final design was selected via a public vote.

The project is part of the wider urban regeneration of Onehunga by Panuku Development Auckland. To mark the milestone a public opening was held on 13 April which included a blessing by mana whenua and was attended by representatives from the police, the Onehunga Business Association, Resilio (Designers), and Panuku team members.

A 'taste of what's in store' for Onehunga

Director of Design and Place for Panuku Rod Marler says the transformed space provides just a taste of what’s in store for Onehunga.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with local artists and the police on the project and to weave some of the rich cultural, social and natural history of Onehunga into the look and feel of the upgraded laneway.

“We’re excited by the prospect of a similar treatment in the seven other laneway spaces around the Onehunga town centre over the next three years to create an alluring town centre that Onehunga can be proud of.”

Designs are currently being created for the next laneway upgrade being delivered by Panuku in conjunction with Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board. Construction is expected to start early next year.