Ponsonby News – February Update

The volunteer Community-Led design group wishes you all a belated yet very happy New Year. And here’s hoping that this year will be much, much more predictable and less tumultuous than the last!

Before the arrival of CoVid-19, the construction of Ponsonby Park was scheduled to be well underway by now. However, this all changed once the magnitude of the pandemic became apparent. Council finances were hit hard and consequently, much of the planned Council expenditure was put on hold. This resulted in all the Local Board ‘One Local Initiatives’ being temporarily suspended – including Ponsonby Park, the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road.

During this time the Waitematā Local Board has continued to advocate strongly to Council in support of Ponsonby Park as outlined in Te Mahere ā-Rohe o Waitematā 2020 – The Waitematā Local Board Plan 2020.

And Ponsonby Park remains the board’s key capital project for the 2018-2048 long-term plan.

Council has been supportive of the project too with the decision to develop the whole site at 254 Ponsonby Road as a civic space gaining unanimous approval from the Environment and Community Committee in December 2018.

So now as we acclimatise to our new ‘normal’ and the economy is rebuilding after achieving a so-called V-shaped recovery (1), we once again look forward to the commencement of the Ponsonby Park development.

Last year taught us many things, including the importance of social connection and the importance of our public realm. The lockdowns reinforced the need to build resilient communities and the restrictions enabled us to become reacquainted with our neighbours and our neighbourhoods. These connections strengthen us all.

The vision for Ponsonby Park has always been of a place for people to gather, to rest, relax and recreate. A place to meet new people, or catch up with old friends, or to simply spend some time to take a moment. We all need to be able to come together, to have the common ground and public spaces where both optimism and resilience can be nurtured and sustained.

Ponsonby Park will be this place.      

(1) A country with one of the strictest COVID lockdowns is seeing a V-shaped recovery, by Tracy Withers and Bloomberg. December 17, 2020 7:16 PM GMT+13

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