Presentation to the Waitematā Local Board, September 15th, 2020

As we all know, there is an under-provision of urban, open space in the Ponsonby area. An under-provision that was first identified in the year 2000, by the Boffa-Miskel report.

This urban, open space shortfall has increased in the past 20 years since then, and with continued population growth, it shows no sign of slowing. The local population is projected to grow by 35 percent from 17,489 to 23,561 people in the next 30 years!

This significant population growth in the Ponsonby area will only further intensify the demand for open space. This is why we are all working hard to achieve the much needed and desired, new civic space – Ponsonby Park.

We, the Ponsonby Park Community-Led Design group, would like to update you on what we have been doing since our last report at the July 21st Board meeting.

Although temporarily delayed by the budget constraints imposed by COVID-19, the Ponsonby Park project is still the Waitematā Local Board’s One Local Initiative project. 

We note the Waitematā Local Board, has

“confirmed that proceeds from the sale of a commercial building at 200 Victoria Street (will) go to fund the Ponsonby Park project at 254 Ponsonby Road and urged that that project only be delayed by a year.”

We would like to thank the Waitematā Local Board, for your ongoing support and advocacy work on behalf of our community – and this also extends to your support for the Leys Institute today.

Since July the CLD group has:

  • Delivered two Ponsonby Park articles, for publication in the August and September editions of the Ponsonby News magazine, in order to keep our community updated.
  • extensively promoted the Waitematā Local Board three-year plan submission process – sadly this was somewhat thwarted by the continuing lack of access to the Ponsonby community noticeboards!
  • continued to provide accurate and reliable Covid-19 information.
  • Provided information about the efficacy of open space and natural surroundings on the mental and physical health of our communities.
  • We have maintained our two Facebook pages and
  • Our website
  • The Community-Led Design group has continued working via email during the latest lockdown.

Next month, on Wednesday 7th October,  the Independent Hearing Commissioners will – pursuant to section 34A of the Resource Management Act 1991 – hear and determine submissions to Proposed Plan Change 36.

This proposed plan change, amongst other things, seeks to:

Rezone land recently vested or acquired for open space purposes so that the zoning of the land reflects its purpose and intended use. 

We were pleased to hear from Tony Reidy – Principal Planner, that Council is recommending the zone change for 254 Ponsonby Road, be accepted by the hearing commissioners.

The zoning change will be another significant milestone towards the realisation of Ponsonby Park, the new civic open space at 254 Ponsonby Road. We will of course – and COVID permitting – host a celebratory event once the plan change has been ratified. You’re all invited and we will be sending out invitations once we have confirmed the details.

To conclude:

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 simply spend some time and take a moment. These things are even more important now. 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.

Thank you.                                     

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