Growth projects

By: Phil Goff

Last month I turned the first sod to commence construction on the $1.4 billion Eastern Busway project. It’s the second largest infrastructure project in Auckland after the City Rail Link and one of the centerpiece projects in our 10-year Budget. Once complete it will help to significantly reduce congestion across the network, boost our regional economy and do for the East what the Northern Busway did for those north of the Harbour Bridge.

Closer to home for Hibiscus Matters readers: the design for the library plaza in Whangaparaoa has been approved and the project is continuing to progress. The approved design will help to develop the Coast plaza and library as a vibrant and accessible area for all, and will include a garden, play area, a public art tiled wall created by the community, shade sails and trees as well as new seating, steps and planter boxes throughout the space.

Developing community facilities like the Whangaparaoa library is part of council’s commitment to matching growth with upgraded facilities to ensure service levels are high and that our communities are well served. With thousands more homes planned for Auckland’s north over the next 10-20 years, the council is also developing a plan to support job growth to match the needs of new communities.

The Silverdale West Dairy Flat Industrial Area Structure Plan sets aside land to provide up to 10,000 jobs from light industry and business development, enabling people to both live and work locally. The plan details how the environment can be protected at the same time as commercial development is introduced. It also covers essential transport needs to service the area, including various travel choices, cycleways and walkways and motorway connections.

Public feedback on the plan closed on April 28. That feedback will be analysed, and the draft plan amended where considered necessary, prior to adoption of a final plan later in the year. Thanks to all of you who contributed your voices to the conversation.

Finally, next month Council will be running a public tree planting event at Metro Park East as part of the final push in my Million Trees project. In the first two planting seasons we put 648,000 mostly native trees and shrubs in the ground. We’re now gearing up to complete the million trees mission with another 450,000 trees planned for the coming season. By the end of this term, 1.1m new trees will have been planted across our region, creating carbon sinks, reducing erosion and making Auckland a greener, more pleasant place to live.The Metro Park East planting day is on Saturday, June 29.

I’d love to see you there. Please email milliontrees@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz to register your interest in taking part.

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