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Te Auaunga Awa launch calls for community celebration


2 November, 2016


Te Auaunga Awa launch calls for community celebration


An event to mark the start of a major community transformation will be held this Saturday 5 November 2016 in Mt Roskill, as construction begins on Te Auaunga Awa restoration.

The launch will encourage local residents to discover and celebrate what is happening in their back yard, and will be attended by Mayor Phil Goff alongside members of the Puketāpapa and Albert-Eden Local Boards.

Two reserves are being transformed to stop stormwater flooding and restore the natural ecology of the awa (stream). The works include replacing a concrete stormwater channel and underground pipes with a wider, natural flowing waterway plus thousands of native trees. This will create Auckland's longest uninterrupted urban stream.

Plans for the surrounding reserves have been developed in collaboration with the local community, local boards and mana whenua and will include new cycle paths, walking trails, play spaces, a community fale, outdoor classrooms and a beginners BMX track.

The project is managed by Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters department, formerly known as Stormwater, and is an excellent example of the department’s new and expanded focus on improving Auckland’s waterways and their connection to communities.

“Protecting our waterways is vital to Auckland’s identity,” says Craig McIlroy, General Manager of Healthy Waters. “That means improving infrastructure as well as keeping our streams, coastline and harbours healthy and full of life.

“With Te Auaunga Awa’s restoration, we’re also working with our colleagues in the Community Empowerment team. They’re ensuring the key role of locals, mana whenua and community groups in shaping this project, by either building on existing community assets or creating new spaces.”

The Healthy Waters department is committed to optimising the investment in stormwater infrastructure alongside natural environments, as well as providing for priority growth areas, special housing areas, and flood projects.

About Te Auaunga Awa project
Te Auaunga Awa is a tāonga (treasure) in Wesley, Mt Roskill. Originally a swamp, the land was drained and a concrete stormwater channel installed in the 1930s. However, the area continues to be affected by significant flooding issues.

The project area is a 1.3km section of Te Auaunga Awa through the Underwood and Walmsley Reserves in Wesley, Mt Roskill; starting at Sandringham Rd Extension and finishing just downstream of Richardson Rd.

The project has led to an innovative new partnership between the council, Te Whāngai Trust and Wesley Intermediate School, where a native nursery on the school’s grounds will provide training and employment opportunities for locals for the next seven years, while also supplying the native plants.

Unitec are training 18 local unemployed youth free of charge to get them to ‘level 2‘ which will enable them to start an apprenticeship. Fulton Hogan has been contracted to carry out construction works from 7 November 2016 through to early 2019, and has agreed to take on at least five of these apprentices.

Roskill Together is working with Auckland Council to deliver the launch event.

Te Auaunga Awa project launch event:
Saturday 5 November, 2016
10.30am-1.30pm
Walmsley Reserve, Sandringham Road Extension, Mt Roskill.


ENDS

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