The full and ring-fenced budget for Phase One of Ponsonby Park, the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road, has been available since 1 July 2022, so much of the initial development work is underway. This is crucial with the current rate of inflation running at 7.2%* delaying, or not proceeding at pace, will lead to the unjustifiable erosion of the Endowment Funds assigned to the project.
The Community-Led Design Group (CLDG) presented to the Waitematā Local Board at their scheduled meeting on 21 February. There we provided the new Board members with information about the history of the project and an update on the progress of the Ponsonby Park development.
The CLDG also enjoyed meeting up with Mike Lee, Waitematā Ward Councillor. We updated him on the project, the Council timelines, our ongoing engagement, and the community’s desire for the speedy commencement and realisation of Phase One of the development. Mike has always been a strong supporter of Ponsonby Park and understands implicitly the importance of such a community amenity for everyone, including; the residents, local businesses, and visitors to both Ponsonby and Auckland. It was an extremely constructive meeting and we very much appreciate Mike’s continued and significant support for Ponsonby Park.
Today, Monday 20 March (press deadline day) we also met with the Council’s Project Sponsor and the new Project Manager for the Ponsonby Park development. They advised that the RFPs (Request For Proposal) will go out imminently. The CLDG provided valuable information about the fine-grained community engagement process that has led to the international award-winning Park+ design by LandLAB. We discussed how the community engagement has been sustained over the 7 years the CLDG has been working on the project, and even longer in the years prior to the establishment of the CLDG. We also took the opportunity to walk the site and view firsthand the state of the building and the environs. It was a timely and constructive meeting with regularly scheduled meetings restarted to update us as to the progress of the Ponsonby Park project. The CLDG looks forward to working closely with the team to finally realise this much-needed and desired community amenity.
So it has been a busy and productive time for the volunteer CLDG. All of the CLDG’s work is available here on our website, 254ponsonbyrd.org.nz which serves as both a reference library, as well as an archive. Additionally, our Facebook pages Ponsonby Park and 254 Ponsonby Rd are both active and all the Ponsonby community noticeboards have regular and reliable updates of the Council-provided information as well. And of course, you can always read the latest updates here in the Ponsonby News (thank you Martin).
We understand and appreciate how much everyone is looking forward to Ponsonby Park being realised as we’re asked all the time, “When’s it starting?”. The good news is that Phase One of the development of Ponsonby Park is already underway. After more than 10 years of public consultations, submission processes, presentations, community information events, and engagement, Ponsonby Park is happening. Soon we will all be able to enjoy, use and experience a beautiful civic community space where for too many long years there has been an ugly, rubbish-strewn, impermeable asphalted area, and an unloved building.
Ponsonby Park – Bring it on!