Council delays foreshore plan
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.
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.