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Places and Spaces

Kia Tautīneitia te mana motuhake o Ahuriri
Uphold the absolute uniqueness of Ahuriri

Last year, many in our community told us how they had really come to value their local spaces and places.

When looking ahead to the next 10 years, we definitely want to maintain our extensive parks and reserves network but we also need to renew some of our ageing playgrounds and to create new places for our communities to connect.

At the same time, we know some of our existing facilities are in need of upgrades and maintenance, and compliance levels and insurance costs are on the rise. We have increased our budget by $135.6 million over the next 10 years to make sure we look after what we have. To view our budget see Capital Projects

We can’t do everything at once and will need to schedule the work over a number of years.

Other Key Projects

Last year, after assessing a range of options, we confirmed that the Napier Library would return to its original site, although not necessarily to its original building. We have also been looking into returning our Mayor, councillors and staff to a central office. We have brought these two projects together and have started developing a spatial plan for the entire site and will consult with the community in the coming months. Dealing with the project as one means that we can avoid duplication in the facilities themselves and save money overall. We have set aside $55 million for the whole development with a goal to start construction in 2024/25.

We had a plan to significantly upgrade and refocus our National Aquarium, taking it to a new level of experience – a marine centre of excellence. Project Shapeshifter (our aquarium redevelopment project), was highly dependent on receiving substantial external funding which has not eventuated. We signalled last year that Project Shapeshifter had become less of a priority for Council, particularly without any central Government support.

We have removed the funding contribution tagged for the project but will continue to maintain the facility while we investigate options for its future. These options could include a refurbishment of the current facility, using the building for something else, or eventual closure of the facility. When we have reviewed the options, we will consult with the community about the facility’s future. In the meantime, we have funding set aside for repairs and basic renewals to keep the building operational.

Even with the reinstatement of the Greendale Pool (owned by the Ministry of Education), we know we are outgrowing our current aquatic facilities. We had a plan to develop a new facility at Prebensen Drive because of issues with the Onekawa site, including its previous use as a refuse facility. But we put the development on hold last year, in order to further investigate the Onekawa site and to confirm whether a redevelopment of the current facility is possible. The contamination investigation is complete and the report is expected to be available to Council shortly. Once the report is in, we will take another look at our situation before seeking feedback from the community. Because this will take some time, we have removed the funding allocated for the development from this Long Term Plan. In the meantime, we have funding set aside for repair and basic renewals to keep the building operational. Our options will be clearer when we review our plan in 2023.

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