We hope you all had a very Happy New Year – and what a great year this will be for Ponsonby Park. Late in 2021, we were informed that progress on the realisation of the new civic space will begin this year!
Council Officers advised:
“As we move into planning the programme for the 2022/2023 financial year, we are now able to start progressing stage one at 254 Ponsonby Road. This will include budget for detailed design and community engagement in 2022/2023 being made available two years earlier than previously communicated, followed by consent and construction from 2023/2024 onwards.”
“In 2022 staff will also be seeking an in-principle future budget allocation from the One Local Initiative (OLI) programme via a report to the Finance and Performance Committee for the remainder of the project funding.”
“A project manager will be assigned and liaise with you early in the new financial year (starting July 2022).”
In 2022 the construction of Ponsonby Park will finally be underway.
It has been 22 years since the need for the civic space was first identified in 2000, and 16 years since the site at 254 Ponsonby Road (currently Liquor King) was purchased in 2006, to remedy this urban open space shortfall. It was 9 years ago in 2013 that a petition of over 1200 signatures, calling for the retention of the whole site for the civic space, was presented to the Waitematā Local Board. The result of which was the establishment 7 years ago in 2015 of the (volunteer) Community-Led Design group that has been working hard to achieve this community amenity since then.
So, we are delighted that 2022 is the year that Ponsonby Park will be commenced. Brilliant!
At our meeting with the Waitematā Local Board at their December Community Clinic, we were informed that they too were pressing for Ponsonby Park to be restored into the Long-Term Plan. It looks like our multi-pronged advocacy has succeeded with Council reviewing their timeframe and moving Ponsonby Park forward as a staged development and utilising the funds that are currently available and allocated specifically for this project.
The next step will be the Waitematā Local Board Annual Plan consultation that is to be held from 28 February to 28 March this year. Please do make a submission in support of Ponsonby Park, the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road. And thank you again, for your ongoing support as we continue to advocate to give Ponsonby, not only the amenity it needs but also the community heart it deserves.
Let’s get it done now.