$ 30m to beautify foreshore
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.