Passions roused over Matakana pony park

The Matakana Branch Pony Club has confirmed that the only possible option for it to keep going is Option A, informal shared use.

Feelings are running high over the future use of Jubilee Park in Matakana, following an Auckland Council recreational needs assessment and call for public feedback.

The 3.8ha park in Matakana Valley Road is currently home to the Matakana Branch Pony Club and Matakana Tennis Club, both of which lease their premises for a nominal $1 a year. However, when the pony club’s last lease expired in 2015, Rodney Local Board resolved to find out if there were competing recreational needs for the land before granting a new one.

An assessment was carried out last year by Bespoke Landscape Architects, who have come up with three potential future layouts for Jubilee Park – Option A, informal shared use, where the pony club is maintained, but areas of land behind the tennis courts are for community use; Option B, an equal division of space between the pony club and community; and Option C, a transition to purely community use and phasing out of the pony club. The pony club says that the only possible option for it to keep going is A, informal shared use.

The consultation process, which runs until May 6, has prompted a war of words on local social media and at a Have Your Say event at Matakana School on April 9, with some residents branding the exercise as a needless attack on the pony club and traditional rural values, others calling for skate and bike tracks and easier access for all, and still more hoping for a workable compromise that keeps the pony club, with new facilities as well.

All the potential layouts and consultation documents can be viewed at shapeauckland.co.nz, where online feedback forms should be submitted. Views can also be sent by email to parksnorthfeedback@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz. The deadline is Sunday, May 6, after which all the feedback will be analysed and a report will be available on Shape Auckland by the end of May.


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