Focus on Whangaparaoa

By: Julia Parfitt

Over the last fortnight our focus has most certainly been on Whangaparaoa, particularly its future and development as a lively community hub.

The Hibiscus and Bays Local Board officially launched our Whangaparaoa Town Centre Plan at a widely attended breakfast with many community groups, local business and property owners including the representatives of the perspective owners of Coast Plaza. After the breakfast, we had the chance to sit down with the mall’s prospective new owners and hear some of their exciting plans for the future. While they were still speaking to all their tenants, they were able to confirm they have new retail tenancies lined up. They also expressed a desire for Coast Plaza to become more community facing and welcomed the opportunity to work with the local board to achieve this. This was particularly heartening as the plaza is such a vital part of the plan. We need to work together if we are to achieve the better connected and attractive town centre that in earlier feedback people told us they wanted.

Before March 26, make sure you go online to shapeauckland.co.nz or drop in at the Whangaparaoa Library. You can look at what’s planned and give us your feedback. We’ve already received a number of comments.

The new pop-up Community Hub at 8/770 Whangaparaoa Road has had a dawn blessing. It’s a hub of activity as they get ready for opening their doors later this month (HM March 1). Already there is great community spirit with All Heart donating furniture and there have been individual donations of office and kitchen equipment.

This facility was first mooted over 20 years ago with the Hibiscus Coast Family Centre Trust registered in 2009 under the former Rodney District Council and land set aside in Link Crescent. In 2016, an assessment confirmed the need for this facility with the local board providing funding for the pop-up community hub and a part-time community worker. We believe this will demonstrate the need for a permanent, purpose built facility to the community and key funders. Ultimately, the facility will provide a one stop meeting place for the community, encompassing social services, hot desks for local businesses and rooms for education and training.

Drop in from March 24 and meet the new community activator, Sara Mason and her team of volunteers. They will help you access community services or could arrange for your group to meet at the facility.

Finally we will soon be calling for nominations for our biannual Hibiscus and Bays Community Volunteer Awards. Volunteers enrich and make such a positive difference in our community. While all volunteers are worthy of recognition in every organisation or community there is usually someone who has gone beyond the call of duty. If you know of such a person in your organisation, you should nominate them. We would especially like to acknowledge our youth who work in our community and celebrate their contribution. Info: hibiscusandbayslocalboard@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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