Ngāti Tamaoho kaumatua Ted Ngataki has blessed a path in Papakura, and the man the park is named for, Bruce Pulman, has cut the ribbon to open the six-kilometre walking, skating and cycling route.
The pathway snakes through the 64 hectares of a park that is the heart of sporting life in Papakura.
“Almost everyone has a connection to this place, a place that has come about because of the vision of Bruce Pulman, and those who work with him,” Matua Ted says.
“Countless children have played here, their children already taking their place, and generations to come certain to do the same.”
Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says the then district council bought the land in the 1980s, entering a lease with the Bruce Pulman Trust, which committed to providing the improvements and amenities.
“If there is a more successful partnership I have yet to hear of it. We have a park with world class facilities that is the envy of the country, let alone the rest of the city.
“Everything achieved has been born out of a philosophy that everyone can use the facilities and services provided.”
Trust spokesman Gary Troup says the park team will continue to build the best facilities it can whether they be buildings, sports grounds, walkways or scented gardens for the blind.
“We are conscious of the economic demographics of those who live here, so the trust has been set up to maintain and manage the park on a self-funding basis. But we could not do it without support from our backers, including Auckland Council.”
Earlier this year Council announced $13 million in investment from its Sport and Recreation Facilities Investment Fund.
“It’s vital Auckland has a network of local sports clubs and funding like this, which Bruce Pulman has attracted in the past, helps them thrive,” Planning, Environment and Parks Committee deputy chair Angela Dalton says.
“Facilities like this are crucial to Auckland’s sport and recreation network but it is only funding. It is the people we should celebrate. They are the ones with the vision, determination and the hours of work behind them to improve life for their communities.”
Fellow Manurewa-Papakura Councillor Daniel Newman says applications to the fund are always of a high-calibre. “And in the case of Bruce Pulman Park, where excellence is all around you, that’s especially so.
“We will see the benefits of this year’s funding in Manurewa, with $400,000 allocated to Manurewa Tennis Club for Project Dome – which will add a canopy over four courts at the club, in another example of working together.
“The collaboration of the Wiri Licensing Trust means we can continue to invest in upgrading facilities in a way that’s already been achieved at Manurewa and Weymouth rugby clubs, Homai Bowling Club, and is happening for Manukau Cricket at Memorial Park.”
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