$ 30m to beau­tify fore­shore

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

RESTORA­TION of One­hunga’s fore­shore is a step closer.

A $30 mil­lion com­mu­nity plan for har­bour recla­ma­tion, sandy beaches and pic­nic ar­eas has been backed by Auck­land city coun­cil­lors.

The work would help com­pen­sate for mo­tor­way widen­ing across One­hunga’s fore­shore, which will cut into ex­ist­ing park ar­eas.

One­hunga En­hance­ment So­ci­ety chair­man Jim Jack­son says the coun­cil’s sup­port is a good first step.

“It’s the foun­da­tion stone in a restora­tion pro­gramme for One­hunga and the wider com­mu­nity,” he says.

“This area has ef­fec­tively been left for the past 30 years, or even 60 years when the first power lines and sewer pipes were put through and the beaches dam­aged.”

At Thurs­day’s city de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee meet­ing Mr Jack­son tabled news­pa­per clip­pings from 1973 de­tail­ing One­hunga Bor­ough Coun­cil’s strug­gle to keep open space and wa­ter­front ac­cess dur­ing the mo­tor­way de­vel­op­ment.

Maun­gakiekie Com­mu­nity Board chair­woman Brid­get Gra­ham said 30 years ago One­hunga lost an “out­stand­ing en­vi­ron­ment”.

She said cheaper re­de­vel­op­ment plans put for­ward by the New Zealand Trans­port Agency, for­merly Tran­sit, and the coun­cil didn’t go far enough to­wards un­do­ing the dam­age. “It does not pro­tect or en­hance the coastal edge, be­cause most of the coastal edge will be the same as it is now.”

Com­mit­tee mem­bers were unan­i­mous in sup­port for the com­mu­nity-led plan.

Chair­man Pe­seta Sam Lotu-Iiga said the restora­tion project was im­por­tant to the coun­cil. “It’s more than the com­mu­nity, this is about the gate­way to Auck­land.”

He said the com­mit­tee would work to bring other agen­cies on board and es­tab­lish firm costs for the pro­posal.

Mem­bers also agreed fund­ing should be shared by Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil and NZTA.

Deputy mayor David Hay put for­ward a res­o­lu­tion that Ports of Auck­land be asked to con­trib­ute to the project as a ma­jor landowner on the har­bour.

“I think Ports of Auck­land and pre­vi­ously the Har­bour Board have had a pretty good free ride on the peo­ple of One­hunga,” he said.

Of­fi­cers were asked to re­port back to the com­mit­tee in Novem­ber.

Mean­while, the coun­cil’s re­sponse is ex­pected this week on NZTA’s plan of works for the mo­tor­way widen­ing.

Ap­prov­ing the plan is the fi­nal step needed to al­low work to be­gin next month.

Com­mis­sion­ers can make rec­om­men­da­tions on the plan, but have lim­ited power to force changes.

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