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Locals launch Petition over fate of historic Bomb Point

Locals launch Petition over fate of historic Bomb Point

Newshub and TV3 News covered this event this morning.


With just a day’s notice, near 100 Hobsonville Point locals turned up for an impromptu protest and launch of a second ‘Save Bomb Point’ petition. The first petition was in 2016 which gained near 700 signatures. This second petition's requests is ‘that the House of Representatives set aside 11.2 ha of Bomb Point land as reserve, to be managed by Auckland Council’.

At the rally speeches were made by Bomb Point Action Committee (BPAC) chair Grant Dixon, Upper Harbour Local Board member Nicholas Mayne, Hobsonville Point Residents Society chair Errol Haarhoff and Auckland Councillor John Watson. All spoke in favour of the whole park being retained as reserve and expressed frustration as to how long it is taking to occur.

Locals from Hobsonville Point and neighbouring areas are appealing for help over a stalemate in negotiations about the future of Auckland’s historical Bomb Point.


Bomb Point is a large piece of coastal land used recreationally by people from all over Auckland. It has historic significance as a former munitions storage site for the New Zealand Air Force and includes numerous historic buildings.


Concern centres on the rezoning of the land as residential during the Unitary Plan process. Bomb Point owner, Housing Land Communities (HLC) which is part of Housing New Zealand, originally promised that the land would not be built on. In the 2015 Unity Plan review, HLC got the land rezoned as residential which significantly increased its value. HLC wants the Council to buy the land for a public reserve but the Council has said the new value puts it beyond the parks and reserve budget. Residents are concerned that a stalemate over the land’s price is stalling the resolution of its status and future.


“If Auckland Council walks away from the prospect of adding Bomb Point to its line-up of reserve land, it is vulnerable to possible development,” says local resident and chair of BPAC Grant Dixon. “HLC has said it has no intention of developing the land but there is no guarantee and it could have a change of leadership or heart.”


Dixon says the government has made special contributions to purchases of land before. Examples are Awaroa Bay in 2016 and the Clent Hills Station in 2004 and could do so again. “I’d argue this is even more important, as this purchase will benefit a huge local population that will grow to the size of Gisborne City.”


The Bomb Point Action Committee has now launched a paper version of the petition. An electronic version will be online soon at https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions

Timeline:


2003 - Bomb Point land transferred from NZ Air Force to Housing NZ ownership as part of a 30.5ha $22 million parcel. At time of transfer Bomb Point land valuation was $8 million
2006 - HLC established to develop Hobsonville Point for housing
2008 - Waitakere City Council resolved: "Bomb Point should become a major destination park" and requested Auckland Regional Council to secure the land
2010 - The 'Super City' Auckland Council was formed
2015 - As part of the Unity Plan review HLC succeeds in having Bomb Point rezoned from 'Open Public Space' to 'Mixed Housing Suburban’
2016 - First 'Save Bomb Point' petition gained 669 signatures and was sent to the Minister of Housing
2017 - Bomb Point land given a Council Capital Valuation of $50 million
2018 - Auckland Council and HLC negotiations stall after Council offer is rejected by HLC.

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