Coun­cil de­lays fore­shore plan

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Un­cer­tainty over fund­ing has de­layed a de­ci­sion on restor­ing One­hunga’s fore­shore.

Plans won’t be en­dorsed un­til the Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil makes a de­ci­sion next month on whether to help fund the scheme.

Auck­land City Coun­cil­lors will then make a choice be­tween the com­mu­nity-led plan and a lower-cost op­tion put for­ward by of­fi­cers.

The cheaper scheme has been panned by the One­hunga En­hance­ment So­ci­ety, who cham­pi­oned the restora­tion.

“The de­sign that of­fi­cers came up with doesn’t rep­re­sent the views of the One­hunga com­mu­nity,” says chair­man Jim Jack­son.

It’s also at odds with an agree­ment reached at a high-level leaders’ meet­ing last month, where up to $42 mil­lion in lo­cal and cen­tral gov­ern­ment fund­ing was pledged.

Coun­cil­lor Pe­seta Sam Lotu-Iiga, who at­tended the meet­ing, says he’s con­fused by the dis­crep­an­cies.

But if fund­ing is se­cured, he says the coun­cil still favours the more com­pre­hen­sive com­mu­nity plan.

“Our view, as far as I’m con­cerned, is still the One­hunga En­hance­ment So­ci­ety view.”

The so­ci­ety’s plan in- cludes an 11 hectare recla­ma­tion to cre­ate a water­front re­serve, four new sandy beaches and an all-tide boat ramp.

Costs have been es­ti­mated at $37m, but the so­ci­ety be­lieves it could be com­pleted for less.

The coun­cil’s plan, in­clud­ing a much smaller recla­ma­tion area and one beach, is es­ti­mated to cost $25m.

The city coun­cil has al­ready pledged to spend $10m, while cen­tral gov­ern­ment is ex- pected to put in be­tween $6m and $12m.

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency has agreed to spend $20m shift­ing the mo­tor­way west and build­ing pedes­trian and cy­cle ac­cess to the fore­shore.

The west­ward shift is a key part of the com­mu­nity plan to pre­serve the One­hunga la­goon and cre­ate a util­i­ties corridor along­side the mo­tor­way.

The coun­cil’s

plan leaves out the west­ward shift, as of­fi­cers say there is al­ready room for util­i­ties.

Group man­ager Ruth Stokes also told the meet­ing there were ques­tions over whether re­source con­sent would be granted for the more ex­pen­sive plan.

“It’s highly un­likely that we would achieve the ex­tent of the recla­ma­tion in the One­hunga En­hance­ment So­ci­ety pro­posal,” she said.

A fund­ing pro­posal will be con­sid­ered by the re­gional coun­cil in early De­cem­ber, and the de­ci­sion re­ported back to a city coun­cil com­mit­tee later that month.

Work on the af­fected sec­tion of the State High­way 20 up­grade through One­hunga has been de­layed while a de­ci­sion is made on the restora­tion project.

A de­ci­sion is needed by March for the up­grade to stay on sched­ule.

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