CLDG presentation to the Waitematā Local Board business meeting, 20 February 2024.

Kia Ora Madam Chair and members of the Waitematā Local Board,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today in support of the approval of the detailed design for the new civic open space, at 254 Ponsonby Road.

Ko Jennifer Ward ahau and I am here today as a representative of the Community-Led Design Group.

You will all be well aware of the history of this project by now with;

A Boffa Miskell report produced in 2000, confirming the wider Ponsonby area was under-supplied with public amenity space. Consequently, the land at 254 Ponsonby Road was purchased by Council in 2006 to remedy this shortfall. 

In July 2013 the Waitemata Local Board released the ‘Draft Ponsonby Road Masterplan’ for public consultation. This plan included the civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road and a key finding from the submission feedback, was the intense interest in the planned open space development of the site. 

In 2014 a petition with over 1,240 signatures was presented to the Board. 

This resulted in the site being ‘de-coupled’ from the ‘Ponsonby Road Masterplan’ and a site-specific consultation was held. 

In 2015, the project was devolved to the Community by the Board which established the Community-Led Design Group to further the development of the new civic space.

The brief was to:

‘Develop a design concept with an indicative budget, for a whole of site civic space using Community-led Design principles’. 

So we got going and in 2017 after two years of engagement and work by the volunteer CLDG, the PARK+ concept design by LandLAB was formally presented to the Board with the indicative budget. 

Later that year, the Board selected 254 Ponsonby Road as their ‘One Local Initiative’ project for inclusion in the 10-year plan.

In February 2019, the ‘Environment & Community Committee’ unanimously supported the whole site civic space development, with NO land sale.

Then on that important & happy day, Tuesday 20 August 2019, the ‘Finance and Performance’ committee met and passed a resolution to;

“Approve the allocation of the proceeds of sale from 200 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central of $5.5 Million to the development of a civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road”.

And that was the day that we all got lucky, as it is the endowment that is enabling the project to be realised!

Council has, over the past several long years, supported our endeavours and has engaged in meaningful consultation through the CLD process. 

And the Community has responded, with significant and sustained engagement, as well as showing continued support for the project during this time.

So once again, all of this work has led us to being here today.

Now is the time to progress the community’s vision by approving the detailed design and to finally begin the construction of the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road. In so doing, the Board will ensure the realisation of this urban oasis that will be; good for the people, good for the environment, and good for Tāmaki Makaurau. 

Future generations will enjoy the shade of the trees we will plant there.

The CLDG therefore requests the Waitematā Local Board approve the detailed design that Mana whenua and the design group have developed, working alongside LandLAB, for new civic space.

It’s time.

Nga mihi and thank you.

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