Coun­cil split on new green space

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

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.”

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

The pro­posed walk­ing link in Arataki, which will not be built af­ter a close vote at Hast­ings Dis­trict Coun­cil.

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