The drive to develop Clendon Community Reserve has received a boost with funds allocated as part of Manurewa Local Board’s Customer and Community Services work programme.
Board chair Joseph Allan says more than $4million has been allocated but people need to understand it is Auckland Council growth funding, mostly from development contributions, that will only come in over a long timeframe.
“We don’t magically have $4million but it is still cause for celebration because the recognition of the need is firmly in place.”
He says Manurewa-Papakura Councillor Angela Dalton was Chair when the board began advocating for Clendon.
“It might be growth funding over time, but her commitment to the area has been instrumental in moving things forward since the first collaboration with the Pride Project.”
While a developed reserve might be some time away, there are funds allocated within the work programme this financial year, more than $28,000 for design of a basketball court that will require stormwater solutions, and about $15,000 to renew play equipment at the nearby Te Matariki community centre.
Allan says while budgets are under pressure from COVID-19, the board remains committed to improving play spaces across Manurewa.
“People need good parks and play spaces near their own homes so they can stay local.”
Councillor Dalton says investing in playgrounds is essential. “We must work to shape playgrounds the community wants. You see the benefits of that at Aronia and Te Pua / Keith Park. Over time we can achieve great things at Clendon too.”
She has led the call for fairer funding for facilities across the city, calling for changes to the way boards, which are responsible for playgrounds, are funded. The current method bases funding on how many facilities and parks are in each area.
Dalton says that has meant boards with the most facilities, get the most money, making it difficult for other areas to catch up.
“There are changes coming that will allow boards to be more involved in the decision-making around parks, and I support that. Local decisions should be made at a local level.”
She says there are boards in the city that have received twice as much as Manurewa under Council’s ‘Asset Based Services’ funding.
“No one can tell me that’s fair,” she says. “The people of Clendon have been patient, so the amount earmarked, even over time, is welcome.”
The work programme is here.
Want to stay up to date with all the latest news from your area? Sign up for our Manurewa Local Board E-news and get it delivered to your inbox each month.