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Wesley a New Town a Place with the Spirit of People

Wesley a New Town a Place with the Spirit of People

‘Wesley is more than bricks and mortar. The building of a new town and a new school is a positive step in the school’s evolution.’

Ian Mune as a Wesley student of 1956, went on to state that he barely recognises the place and nor would a future student in 2020. ‘It is the spirit that I recognise.’

‘He tangata, he tangata, he tangata - It is the People, it is the people, it is the people.’

The iconic Kiwi actor and former Wesley student, presided over at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new town on Saturday morning.

The President of the Methodist Church, Rev Tovia Aumua, who was handed the ceremonial spade to break ground on the new town, said he was honored to start construction. ‘To coin the famous words of Neil Armstrong, it is one small move for us today, one giant step forward for the new town of Wesley.’

The ceremony was an opportunity to further explain the rationale behind the decision to build the new town which would include around 5,000 new homes, a business hub, high-speed broadband, rail station and complementary retail sector.

Chris Johnston, speaking on behalf of Grafton Downs Ltd and the Wesley College Trust Board, said Saturday’s event was the start of the largest private initiative ever seen in Auckland.

The many guests included local Franklin families, Pukekohe residents, business interests and the multiple parties instrumental in getting the project off the ground. These included Auckland Council and major infrastructure providers. All spoke positively about the project and its future prospects to enhance and grow the community.

The ground-breaking event was preceded by a dawn karakia led by Ted Ngataki from Tainui and attended by a crowd of 60 iwi/hapu and Wesley College Trust Board representatives.

For more information please contact:
Nicky Evans
Email: media@wesleynewtown.co.nz
Phone: 027 600 3259
Web: www.wesleynewtown.co.nz
Click here for media resources

About Wesley – the new town
• Wesley is a joint venture between Grafton Downs Ltd and Wesley College Trust Board.
• The name ‘Wesley’ has been chosen because of its historical connection to the College and the land where the town will be built. It has been received positively by the Franklin community.
• 5,000 homes are planned for the new town on 294ha within five minutes of Pukekohe. The development will be fully landscaped in keeping with its rural environs.
• The project has been under development for the last 10 years and is now at the stage where infrastructure and construction can begin.
• It is the first new town undertaken by one entity with an active development role and ongoing/retained ownership of some elements.

About Wesley College
• The first Wesley College was built at Grafton Auckland in 1844. It moved to a larger site in the suburb of Three Kings in 1848.
• In 1914, four members of the College Board – Andrew Caughey, George Winstone, Stephen Ambury and Rev Joseph Simmonds bought the land at Paerata North in Franklin from local farmer Andrew Casey.
• The land was transferred to the Wesley College Board in 1918. In 1922, the pupils transferred from Three Kings to their new site.
• Since then, the College has provided a full scholastic and boarding facility.
• Many of its heritage buildings including Wesley Chapel have been gifted by Auckland benefactors. They will be retained and repurposed for the new town which will add to its history.
• The school has produced some notable pupils including Sir Richard Taylor, Temuera Morrison, Ian Mune, and several international rugby players including Jona Lomu.
• The Wesley College Trust Board aims to provide education for its pupils in perpetuity. The income generated from farming the land wouldn’t be able to achieve the Board’s long term mission which is why the new town is being built.

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