Community garden loss decried
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.