Lawson takes up Tāmaki urban regeneration challenge
Debra Lawson takes up Tāmaki urban regeneration challenge today
The chief executive of the country’s first urban regeneration programme takes the reins today.
Tāmaki Redevelopment Company (TRC) chief executive Debra Lawson has more than 20 years’ experience leading urban regeneration programmes and will be accountable for delivering the Tāmaki Transformation Programme.
This wide-ranging programme will see Tāmaki (including Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure) in Auckland transformed over the next 15-25 years.
The TRC has been jointly-formed by the Government and Auckland Council and is the first company of its kind for New Zealand. It will lead transformation, undertaking some projects itself, procuring delivery of other projects, and influencing the direction of yet others.
The Tāmaki Transformation Programme is about creating a thriving, attractive, sustainable and self-reliant community. The Tāmaki community is working towards better education and health, more people in jobs and business opportunities, a better urban environment and improved housing options for all life stages for the people who live in the area now and those who will live there in the future.
The Tāmaki Transformation Programme is far more than a single project - it is a series of interlinking and complementary economic, social, urban space and housing projects creating a synergy that leads to transformation.
“Ms Lawson has an excellent and impressive track record as a chief executive in organisations delivering affordable homes and social infrastructure in the United Kingdom. She brings a real depth of experience and expert knowledge of urban renewal,” comments TRC caretaker director, Dr Lee Mathias.
Ms Lawson has worked at the leading edge of public-private partnership initiatives, delivering large-scale and complex urban regeneration programmes within the diverse communities of South London, with a strong focus on accountability to local people.
“I am fortunate to be coming into a programme that has a big legacy - so many people have already contributed their ideas, passion and energy to get us to this point. I am looking forward to continuing that journey and helping to bring the Tāmaki vision to a reality.
“The Tāmaki community has been an integral part of developing the vision for the Transformation Programme over the past few years, with widespread and continuous consultation with mana whenua and the local community. The new company is committed to work on behalf of the community to further develop that vision and to identify the necessary transformational activities.
“In my experience, the most successful urban regeneration programmes are those that fully engage the local community. Although I will have plenty to do, one of my early priorities will be to get out and about as much as possible in the coming months to meet people and listen to their views about Tāmaki.”
Ms Lawson says the first task for the new company will be to bring all the current and future initiatives and projects together into a single strategic framework. This will include catalyst projects to improve education, employment, health, environment, and safety. The Crown and the Council will approve the over-arching plan and business cases before full transformation projects start.
The TRC is based in offices in Apirana Avenue, Glen
About the Tāmaki Transformation
The new company, jointly-owned by Crown and Auckland Council, is expected to ensure a co-ordinated approach to create measurable improvement across four key components over time.
A social component will support Tāmaki residents and their families in getting the skills, knowledge and employment opportunities they need.
An economic component will strengthen the local economy, creating new jobs and business opportunities.
A housing component will optimise land use and existing housing stock, including progressing private housing development and delivering better social housing options in Tāmaki.
Meanwhile, a spatial component will create safe and connected neighbourhoods and spaces that support the social and economic development of Tāmaki and its community.