The Government unveiled a 300-home development by the Tamaki Redevelopment Co Ltd & Ngati Paoa on 12ha of the Pt England Reserve yesterday, and the mayor, local councillor & local board promptly called for the proceeds to be invested in new open spaces.
Agreeing the size of the reserve on the shore of the Tamaki estuary would be a helpful start, while the Government should win the huffing & puffing battle. Building & Housing Minister Nick Smith talked about 48ha, 11.7ha going into housing, 2ha for a marae, and said 18ha was used for grazing cows. Mayor Phil Goff said almost 46ha was vested in Auckland Council, with an underlying Crown title.
The minister said proceeds would go to better recreational facilities and improving the reserve’s amenities. The argument is therefore over the quantity of amenities.
Pt England Reserve is the largest tract of public open space on the Tamaki River foreshore and provides both sportsfields & rural open space. Dr Smith said the Government intended to introduce legislation to lift the reserve status over 11.7ha and sell it to Ngati Paoa for the housing development.
Dr Smith said: “The greatest constraint to resolving Auckland’s housing challenges is finding suitable land, particularly in close proximity to the central city. The Pt England Reserve has been poorly used for decades, with 18ha of it used for grazing cows.
“This plan is about replacing the cows with homes and enhancing the balance of the reserve with improved recreational & cultural facilities. This initiative will give more families a warm, dry, affordable home, improve amenities in the area and help to resolve Ngati Paoa’s treaty settlement.
“The Pt England Development Enabling Bill that facilitates the use of the 11.7ha of the 48ha reserve for housing will be introduced to Parliament tomorrow [today]. Ngati Paoa will have the right to develop this land for housing and will pay fair market value. A further 2ha is being provided for the development of a marae as part of the cultural redress of the treaty settlement.
“The Government is committed to 100% of the proceeds of the land for housing development being reinvested in the Tamaki community. We are in discussions with the Auckland Council on the redevelopment of the reserve and a significant portion of the funds will be required for enhanced recreational facilities & improvements in the reserve’s amenities. Any balance will be reinvested in the adjacent Tamaki redevelopment.
“This Pt England development is complementary to the adjacent Tamaki regeneration project. The redevelopment of existing housing has the additional challenge of providing replacement homes in the interim, and in this way the Pt England development will help accelerate Tamaki.
“The project is very similar to that at Riccarton racecourse, where part of an under-utilised reserve is being used for housing and being enabled through special legislation. Our expectations are to achieve a minimum of 20% social houses & 20% affordable houses, but the details of the housing development are yet to be negotiated with Ngati Paoa.
“This is the ninth Crown land housing site to be announced and the sixth in Auckland. The programme is about the Government using its landholdings to help increase housing supply, and nationally we now have 1500 additional homes in the pipeline.”
Mr Goff, the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board & Cllr Denise Lee called on the Government to reinvest the full proceeds of its sale in new & improved public open spaces for the local community.
Mr Goff said: “The Point England land was set aside decades ago for Aucklanders to enjoy for sport & recreation. Our strong & shared view is that all money from the sale of this land should go back into enhancing public open spaces in the area.
“Given the local population is expected to surge in the Tamaki area by 20,000 in the next 2 decades, and housing will need to intensify, it’s vital that residents still have access to outdoor spaces they can enjoy with their families.”
Mr Goff said the council & government had discussed what would be done with the proceeds of the sale, but an agreement was yet to be reached.
The council and the Tamaki Redevelopment Co are working on an open space network plan which involves redeveloping existing parks, including Pt England Reserve.
Attribution: Ministerial & mayoral releases.