Im­prov­ing park part of trus­tees’ goals

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

Im­prov­ing the walk­ing and run­ning tracks of Corn­wall Park are among the fu­ture goals of the trus­tees charged with the guardian­ship of one of Auck­land’s trea­sures.

New Zealand and in­ter­na­tional land­scape ar­chi­tects have been en­gaged to come up with a 100-year Mas­ter Plan for the park to en­sure it main­tains its vi­tal im­por­tance as part of the city’s open space.

Park di­rec­tor Michael Ayr­ton says the Corn­wall Park Trust Board de­cided last year to start for­ward plan­ning.

‘‘We’re re­ally just build­ing on the pre­vi­ous 100 years and build­ing on what Sir John Lo­gan Camp­bell did,’’ he says.

‘‘Last year we cel­e­brated the cen­te­nary of his pass­ing and we felt it was ap­pro­pri­ate to look for­ward to the next 100 years.’’

New York-based land­scape ar­chi­tec­ture firm Nel­son Byrd Woltz will lead the de­vel­op­ment of the plan in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the New Zealand com­pany Boffa Miskell.

‘‘Our aim is that the park con­tin­ues to pro­vide a pro­found and rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence for the cit­i­zens of Auck­land.’’

He says the way the park al­lows Auck­lan­ders and vis­i­tors ac­cess to such a large open space in the mid­dle of the city and get close to an­i­mals and both Maori and Euro­pean his­tory makes hav­ing a long term vi­sion and plan im­por­tant.

‘‘Im­por­tantly, while the mas­ter plan will es­tab­lish a vi­sion it will not limit the abil­ity of fu­ture trust boards to make es­sen­tial de­sign and main­te­nance de­ci­sions in the light of cir­cum­stances ap­ply­ing in their day.’’

Mr Ayr­ton says it may take as long as 20 years to see any kind of change im­ple­mented.

‘‘You won’t see overnight change, that’s not what the process is about. It’s about the longer term.’’

Nel­son Byrd Woltz se­nior as­so­ciate Breck Gastinger says de­sign­ers have al­ready got a few ideas for how to im­prove the park.

‘‘Some of the things we’ve no­ticed is im­prov­ing the run­ning and walk­ing trails and cir­cu­la­tion.

‘‘Just main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo is not a sim­ple thing. You have to plan ahead to make sure the ex­pe­ri­ence con­tin­ues as trees near their ma­tu­rity. Es­tab­lish­ing some of the same vi­sion that al­lowed this place to be es­tab­lished is re­quired for the fu­ture,’’ Mr Gastinger says.

The mas­ter plan will be de­vel­oped over the next year to 18 months.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

Big fu­ture: Corn­wall Park di­rec­tor Michael Ayr­ton, sec­ond from left, with Nel­son Byrd Woltz land­scape ar­chi­tects Breck Gastinger, Chloe Hawkins, Jeremy Jor­dan and Evan Grimm.

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