Com­mu­nity gar­den loss de­cried

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

An in­ner-city pocket gar­den grown from com­mu­nity spirit has been ripped out to make way for a new de­vel­op­ment.

The makeshift gar­den sat next to Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket for more than a year before it was re­moved to make way for five lev­els of apart­ments.

Man­sons TCLM has been granted re­source con­sent to build the block on a re­vamped car park at 206 Vic­to­ria St West.

City-dweller An­drew Macken­zie is dis­ap­pointed the com­mu­nity gar­den had to go.

He be­came a guardian for it last year af­ter notic­ing the area was no longer be­ing main­tained. Macken­zie and other green-fin­gered helpers stepped up to weed, re­plant and wa­ter the raised beds reg­u­larly.

He was flooded with vol­un­teers af­ter the gar­den fea­tured in the Auck­land City Har­bour News last year (De­cem­ber 6, 2013).

‘‘It’s a bit an­noy­ing that’s it’s gone,’’ Macken­zie says. ‘‘It was re­ally nice there – a great spot with plenty of peo­ple walk­ing past.’’

Peo­ple helped them­selves to the gar­den’s flow­ers, herbs and veg­eta­bles and left do­na­tions in its mail­box.

But it was a let­ter, not do­na­tions, that Macken­zie re­trieved from the box a few weeks ago and it told him the gar­den would have to go once con­struc­tion be­gan.

Macken­zie then put up a sign ex­plain­ing that it was shut­ting down and all the plants were free to be taken.

He is now hop­ing to help out at Wyn­yard Cen­tral’s com­mu­nity gar­den.

Man­sons TCLM’s Cu­lum Man­son says he had no idea there was a com­mu­nity gar­den at the site before work started.

‘‘We like to sup­port that sort of stuff if we can but we weren’t even aware of it – the guys just started con­struc­tion and got on with it.’’ Man­son says the group isn’t op­posed to the idea of a com­mu­nity gar­den be­ing rein­tro­duced.

‘‘There’s no plans not to. I think there will be an el­e­ment of gar­den and land­scap­ing along the streetscape. Some­thing will be hap­pen­ing there but I couldn’t tell you what.’’

Man­sons plans are to close in and beau­tify the ‘‘grubby’’ car park.

The de­vel­op­ment, named The Bou­tique, will in­clude re­tail space on the ground floor and apart­ments which will be avail­able to rent, he says.


Com­mu­nity spirit: City-dweller An­drew Macken­zie is dis­ap­pointed the com­mu­nity gar­den which lined the out­side of the car park at 206 Vic­to­ria St West had to be ripped out.

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