Greys Ave com­mu­nity gar­den closer

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Af­ter more than two years of wait­ing, those living on Greys Ave are a step closer to get­ting their com­mu­nity gar­den.

Hous­ing New Zealand is about to begin con­sult­ing more than 130 res­i­dents of the in­ner-city street on the shared gar­den project.

Res­i­dents have been lob­by­ing Hous­ing New Zealand for a shared gar­den space on its Greys Ave prop­erty since 2013.

Res­i­dent Will ‘Ilo­lahia says her­itage re­stric­tions, fund­ing and bu­reau­cracy have de­layed it.

He says res­i­dents are pleased the gar­den is now be­ing pro­gressed.

‘‘We’re re­ally re­lieved Hous­ing New Zealand has fi­nally ac­cepted says.

‘‘They’ve seen what we’ve been try­ing to do for the neigh­bour­hood.’’

Area manager Taina Jones says the gar­den’s fu­ture is de­pen­dent on the res­i­dents.

It is im­por­tant ‘‘if a com­mu­nity gar­den is es­tab­lished at Greys Av­enue in the fu­ture, it will be used and looked af­ter by ten­ants over the long term’’, Jones says.

The gar­den will be set up be­hind 113 Greys Ave us­ing planter box­ers do­nated by Ngati Whatua O Orakei.

Res­i­dents hope the veg­etable plot will mark the start of a new, pos­i­tive era for the neigh­bour­hood which has been plagued by crime and a bad rep­u­ta­tion for many years.

In March 2014, ten­ants in

it,’’

‘Ilo­lahia the street’s no­to­ri­ous state hous­ing block spoke to the Auck­land City Har­bour News about their ex­pe­ri­ences.

One said her front door was smashed in by a gang mem­ber. Oth­ers de­scribed peo­ple vom­it­ing and uri­nat­ing on their doorsteps.

‘Ilo­lahia has lived on Greys Ave for six years. He says the gar­den is ‘‘our way of try­ing to build up a lit­tle bit of hap­pi­ness’’ in the Greys Ave com­mu­nity.

The veg­etable gar­den will pro­vide an af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive for low-in­come res­i­dents, he says.

Will ’Ilo­lahia says the Greys Ave com­mu­nity gar­den will be em­braced by ten­ants.

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