This week, Waitematā Local Board co-hosted with the Parnell Business Association to launch The Parnell Plan; a 30-year plan for Auckland’s first suburb developed collaboratively by community leaders, local board members and Auckland Council staff, in partnership with mana whenua.
The plan was launched at Parnell’s Jubilee Building with an opening mihimihi by Otene Reweti, followed by speeches from Waitematā Local Board Chair Pippa Coom, General Manager of the Parnell Business Association Cheryl Adamson and Parnell Community Committee Chair Luke Niue.
In the audience were community members who helped develop the plan as part of the Parnell Plan Working Group; representatives from the Blind Foundation, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell Heritage, Parnell District School, Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Parnell Business Association, Parnell Community Trust, Parnell Community Committee and mana whenua.
Urban designers from Jasmax, who provided graphic impressions of potential future Parnell for the plan, were also present.
Local board chair Pippa Coom said she was delighted to officially launch the plan which would provide direction for the next 30 years to ensure Parnell continues to be a fantastic place to live, work, play and do business in.
“Apart from this diverse and talented roomful of people, community-wide engagement on the draft plan was undertaken last year,” she told the audience.
“We received over 800 pieces of feedback from the public and we were very happy with the non-traditional engagement techniques we used; like a pub quiz night, free tuk-tuk rides in exchange for responding to a survey and a workshop at Parnell District School.”
Cheryl Adamson said the plan represented a milestone for Parnell and showed how the suburb could evolve in the future.
“I’m excited that the plan seeks to address some of the challenges Parnell faces with respect to East/West connectivity across the precinct, with future projects that will have the potential to cohesively connect the various nodes and enable us to leverage visitation from surrounding attractions,” she said.
The plan details a key vision for the suburb and outlines a series of objectives, strategies and actions which work together to achieve the vision; that Parnell is a thriving, creative, and collaborative community that celebrates its unique natural, cultural and historic environment.
Five key action areas are defined and focus directly on achieving the plan’s vision and objectives. These are:
- making Parnell Station a key gateway to Parnell and the Domain
- realising the Waipapa Greenway through the old Parnell rail tunnel
- reinforcing the core of Parnell town centre as the heart of Parnell
- revitalising the St Georges Bay Road warehouse area
- enhancing key east-west links and realising the Parnell Parks Link Greenway.
Local board chair Pippa Coom says these are priority locations where investment in improvements will work to achieve the overall vision of the plan.
Planning is already underway for improvements at Parnell town centre’s Heard Park where the Plunket rooms are about to be renovated and onsite facilities will be upgraded to provide a more usable space for recreation and events.