Our rates, directed by Auckland Council, are a major component of our local economy. Projects or services deferred or cut, and any amenities closed equate to more strain on the local economy and more Aucklanders losing their jobs.
Austerity is not the answer.
So we encouraged people to submit to Auckland Council’s “Emergency Budget” consultation that closed on June 19th. We requested that Council continue progressing the design and planning stages of the Waitematā Local Board’s ‘One Local Initiative’ project that is Ponsonby Park – the civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road.
Although the physical development of the civic space is likely to be delayed, continuing to progress the design & planning makes practical and financial sense. The momentum for the development is maintained, jobs are created without committing to the full Capex spend at this time, and the community is rewarded for all the ongoing support and effort that has been put into the project to date.
It was 20 years ago that the need for Ponsonby Park was first identified. It has been 14 years since the site was purchased for the purpose of fulfilling this community need. Our Waitematā Local Board initiated the ‘Community-Led Design’ process 5 years ago. The current Covid-19 global health crisis has impacted our nation, our people, and our civic budgets. It is another substantial challenge to overcome yet we should not “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Council needs to maintain progress on the design and planning for Ponsonby Park.
We further suggest that Ponsonby Park be provided with a meaningful and symbolic physical presence on Ponsonby Road in the meantime. That a portion of the site at 254 Ponsonby Road be made available for the community and beautified as a place for people to meet, gather, rest, and relax – until the project can be fully completed.
Ponsonby Park – we’ve already waited so long…