A major community transformation was celebrated on Saturday 5 November in Mt Roskill, as construction kicked off on Auckland Council’s restoration of Te Auaunga Awa.
Local residents and community organisations surrounding the awa (stream) have been directly involved in what is happening in their back yard, working with the council and contractor Fulton Hogan to input into the development of the surrounding Underwood and Walmsley reserves.
On Saturday at Walmsley Park the project was opened by Mayor Phil Goff, Fulton Hogan CEO Robert Jones, mana whenua, Puketāpapa Local Board Deputy Chair Julie Fairey and Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Peter Haynes. The mayor smashed a basalt rock to signal the start of what will be a three-year project.
Formalities were followed by a range of entertainment provided by local schools and cultural groups, and residents were able to meet the project team and learn about how plans for the parks and stream will unfold.
Two reserves are being transformed to stop flooding, restore the natural ecology of the awa, and enable development. The works include replacing a concrete stormwater channel and underground pipes with a wider, natural flowing waterway plus thousands of native trees. This will create Auckland's longest uninterrupted urban stream.
Plans for the reserves include new cycle paths, walking trails, play spaces, a community fale, outdoor classrooms and a beginners' BMX track.
The project is managed by Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters unit, working alongside Parks and Community Empowerment. Te Auaunga Awa is an excellent example of the council’s focus on improving infrastructure while protecting Auckland’s waterways and their connection to communities.
Thanks to Roskill Together for delivering Te Auaunga Awa’s launch event.