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Hillsborough Land Acquired for Premier Park

Auckland City Council - City Scene

Auckland City has purchased a 1.68 hectare piece of Hillsborough land, which will become a key open space in its plan to create a quality premier park of region-wide significance.

Council has bought the land in Korma Rd from the New Zealand Marist Brothers Trust Board as part of the city’s ‘open space’ plan. Chairperson of the City’s Parks and Recreation Committee, Councillor Phil Rafills, says that he is excited about the purchase. Last year his committee voted to allocate the remainder of its 1998/99 open space acquisition budget for this piece of land.

Council set aside about $19 million in 1998 for the gradual acquisition of land to achieve a premier park in Hillsborough, one similar in stature and maturity to Albert Park, Cornwall Park and the Domain. This follows market research that identified strong support for the creation of additional premier parks, rather than increasing the number of smaller reserves.

"Once funding approval was given by Council, negotiations started with the four major land owners in the Hillsborough area - to signal Council’s interest in securing land for open space purposes as they chose to sell it."

The site acquired contains a natural amphitheatre which could provide opportunities for staging and viewing events or access and carparking for the Park. The property includes Marcellin Hall, a vacant 1960s building formerly used for theological studies, which will be removed to achieve Council’s open space objectives.

Auckland City will shortly be seeking expressions of interest in the removal of Marcellin Hall.

Councillor Kay McKelvie, chairperson of the Finance and Property Committee, emphasises the open space values of the site to the park concept as a whole, as being the sole reason for acquisition and says that, as a result, the removal of the hall is essential.

"The hall is a non-relocatable brick building. The former owners are aware of Council’s intention to remove it and do not have any objection.

"Council will continue to look for opportunities to buy more land in this area."

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