by Kay Thomas, Whau Local Board Chair
Revoking reserve status creates a lot of disquiet in our community. Whau Local Board members share this uneasiness and last year revoked a resolution by the previous local board to remove reserve status from Saunders Reserve, Avondale. Also of concern is the reserve status of Davern Lane Reserve in New Lynn. If reserve status is revoked, Auckland Council can sell the site and Davern residents will lose a valuable green space containing mature native trees.
I am waiting to voice the board’s opposition to this revocation at two hearings, one on Plan Change 60 which would enable the revocation and one on the actual revocation. Both hearings have been delayed because of lockdown.
But sometimes reserve status can be revoked for constructive purposes. At our October business meeting Whau Local Board members voted to revoke the reserve status for land affected around the proposed Avondale Library and Community Hub building. Reserve status limits commercial activities from taking place on site. We voted for the status of the land to change so a wider range of activities at and around the new facility are available for residents. The kind of commercial activities board members are thinking of include markets and coffee and food carts.
The land will continue to be held in Auckland Council ownership under the Local Government Act 2022, but as a safeguard against future privatisation the board passed the following recommendation: “that the Whau Local Board is approving this revocation of reserve status in the spirit of enabling community access and opportunities, with the explicit intention that the land remain in public ownership and control for the benefit of current and future local residents for recreational use.”
The revocation is now open for public consultation with submissions closing on 16th December 2021. You can find more information on lodging a submission at: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/public-notices/Pages/proposed-reserve-revocation-part-195-955-great-north-road-avondale.aspx