Comment on park plan
A CONTROVERSIAL initiative to call lights-out in Western Park is up for debate, as part of consultation on the park’s longterm development plan.
The Waitemata Local Board has drawn up the Western Park Development Plan, to provide design guidelines on how the 4.8-hectare park should be improved over the next 10 years.
Lighting is likely to be a hot topic within public feedback, Freemans Bay Residents Association cochairwoman Lynne Butler says.
A proposal to turn off the lights in the park to discourage people from using it at night has been met with criticism from residents and advocacy groups, who question how making it darker will improve safety (Harbour News, November 26, 2014).
But board member Vernon Tava says the initiative is based on feedback from police, community safety teams and overseas research.
The age of the lights’ wiring and electrics is a major catalyst for says.
‘‘Lights in the park were constructed in the 1960s and are in dire need of replacement, so it is an opportunity to also review how the park is lit and to move forward with the best arrangement
its review, he being made for park users.
‘‘We received quite a bit feedback at the end of last year when the failing lights were questioned. Now that the consultation is open, I hope those same people will read the plan and complete the feedback survey.’’
Butler says the placement of the toilets at the Howe St end of the park is also likely to be discussed in regards to the plans.
‘‘We’re pleased this consultation is happening because there are a number of things that need to be fixed in the park, like the playground and the lighting,’’ she says.
Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers says the park is considered an extension of Freemans Bay and Ponsonby residents’ backyards.
Both communities are ‘‘heavily involved’’ in this consultation, he says.
The development plan also includes proposals to renew the playground, with a new flying fox and bark play surface installed, and improve the park’s signage.
Floodlighting and a sandcarpet base is proposed, to upgrade the sports field to maximise its use.
The potential to rehabilitate the Tunamau Stream that runs through the park, may mean sections of the stormwater pipe are removed and stormwater storage is created near to the playground and toilets.
Consultation is open until April 30.
Go to shapeauckland.co.nz to view the plans and give feedback.
Copies of the documents and feedback forms are also available at libraries, Studio One and the Waitemata Local Board office.
Feedback is being sought on the Western Park Development Plan to guide how the 4.8-hectare park should be improved over the next 10 years.