Council split on new green space
It was green spaces versus community need at the Hastings District Council when councillors voted against a new walking reserve in Havelock North.
The Arataki Reserve purchase would have had the council spend $203,000 of unbudgeted money on a plot to build an access way from the new Arataki development into a current council reserve.
The access way would have been 415sq m , which is roughly the size of a netball court.
The council was split on the matter at an October 25 meeting, with seven councillors voting to not the fund the project. Six wanted to.
The debate focused on those who thought investing in green space was always a good idea, and those who thought the money could be better spent in other communities.
Councillor Tania Kerr, who spoke against funding for the reserve, said for her it came down to the money.
“It’s unbudgeted, we didn’t have a plan to do this, it’s not in any of our plans or our budgets.”
She said the council needed to be aware there were areas in the district which had an abundance of green spaces, and areas which were lacking.
“Havelock’s in the fortunate situation of having above average areas of parks and green spaces.”
Councillor Malcolm Dixon, who voted for the reserve to be built, said when the council approved plans for development at Arataki it made a mistake by not requesting an access through the corner.
“We are now debating this because of a stuff-up through the council.
“Please don’t penalise these residents, who are going to be there for the next 100 years, by not allowing a back access.”
Councillor Rod Heaps said more green space was always a good investment.
“It’s more trees, it’s birdlife, it’s biodiversity. We need it and our communities need it.”
Jacoby Poulain, who represents Flaxmere, said her community were facing the opposite issue.
“We have some alleyways and access ways which are antisocial and we want closed, but we have been told . . . over and over again that there’s not the budget to close them.”
The proposed walking link in Arataki, which will not be built after a close vote at Hastings District Council.