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Recreation and community facilities for Otahuhu

MEDIA RELEASE

17 April 2003

New recreation and community facilities for Otahuhu

Planning is underway for a new recreation/youth centre, library, aquatic centre and possibly a new community centre in Otahuhu. The project will cost between $13 million and $20 million when all stages are complete over the next 20 years.

The funding for the recreation/youth centre has been committed and building is planned to begin in 2004/05. Timing for the other new facilities is still to be determined but these facilities will be built in stages.

The chairperson of Auckland City’s Community Services Committee, Councillor Graeme Mulholland, says the city is committed to improving facilities to better meet the needs of local communities.

"The need for improved recreation and community facilities in Otahuhu has been identified for some time. Auckland City is now in a position to begin working with the community on the planning for these new facilities,” said Councillor Mulholland.

To accommodate the new facilities, the council is committing Fairburn Reserve and the Mason Avenue carparking area. The development will also affect eight residential properties.

As the first stage, people living around the site and the wider community are being advised that planning is starting. Councillor Mulholland says a “master plan” of the proposed new facilities and how they sit on the site is being developed and will soon be available for discussion and consultation with the community.

Auckland City’s Leisure and Arts Planning Manager, Erica Law, explains that a statutory process will soon be set in motion to designate the entire area for community and recreation facilities. The designation notice will be publicly advertised and all those affected by the proposal will be notified. Anyone will be able to make submissions on the proposal.

“We understand that those affected by the proposal will have questions and concerns and we have invited these people to contact Auckland City on an individual basis to discuss the matter,” said Erica Law. Public meetings will also be held over the coming months, with the first on Tuesday 29 April at the Otahuhu Town Hall, from 7pm.

According to studies carried out by the council over the last five years, Otahuhu clearly needs:
- a new recreation centre combined with a youth centre
- a small aquatic centre
- a bigger library
- and possibly a bigger community centre.

Councillor Mulholland says the current Otahuhu Recreation Centre is old, run-down, has poor access and only one sports court which is too small. Currently there is no public swimming pool in Otahuhu. The library, which is located on the ground floor of the old Otahuhu Borough offices, is limited by severe space constraints.

“We invite Aucklanders who wish to find out more about the new Otahuhu facilities to call Auckland City ph (09) 379 2020 or visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/otahuhu,"
said Councillor Mulholland.

Ends

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