After quick, 15 minute updates from me on the Ransomware virus and Graham Wright on the wider aspects of Internet Security, Avon Adams and Karina Abadia from the Tamaki Restoration Company (TRC) addressed our May Monthly Meeting on the Shaping Tamaki Together Project.
The TRC is jointly owned by Auckland Council (41%) and the Government (59%) and is mandated to lead on urban regeneration activity in Tamaki with particular regard to social transformation, economic development, placemaking and housing.
The Tamaki region basically comprises Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure. Avon started with showing this video, which presents Tamaki’s history, its background and the promise of its renewal.
All existing Glen Innes buildings are low-level ones but the new Unitary Plan proposes to raise height restrictions and expand social, affordable and private homes. The idea is to achieve a complete mix of typologies with the new housing, an approach which is becoming increasingly popular overseas but is also reflected in the new Hobsonville expansion.
So, starting in Glen Innes Central, building density will be intensified as part of a huge development upon what is an already strong, existing layout. Thus, the train station is just across the road and the motorways and airport are not far away. It is also hoped to place more industrial real estate on the other side of the railway tracks, with a pedestrian bridge connecting the two halves. With all that, together with its existing retail and service businesses and not forgetting its excellent new library, Glen Innes is certainly set to take off!
Further ahead, there are equally ambitious plans for Panmure, which now boasts its own, brand new train station only a few minutes walk to the main street.
Tamaki’s 2800 Social (State) Houses were transferred to its control. The 200 that were already beyond repair have been demolished but 300 are fine, The other 2300 will be demolished or converted into modern, warm, well ventilated and healthy homes and a further 5000 new ones built. The TRC has made a commitment to people currently living in social houses that they can continue on in a new house. Apartment blocks are proving to be a challenge because embody are a different style of living but retirees the TRC has talked to have expressed interest in downsizing and liaison is ongoing towards their closer integration as well.
The TRC has also started its own employment assistance program called Career Starts and this is being run, for the time being, from the Tamaki Jobs and Skills Hut. Their advice is very practical and includes how to write a CV, how to get a drivers licence (almost invariably a requirement!), how to apply for jobs and tips for performing well in interviews. Not surprisingly, many young people in the Tamaki region want jobs in construction but the retail and manufacturing sectors are also popular and equally in demand.
The TRC also looks to facilitate efficiencies among existing players, including the amalgamation of diverse health service providers. It also spends a sizeable amount of time liaising with all the decision-making groups, including the Auckland Council, the Minister, Auckland Transport, Auckland District Health Board, Architects, Engineers, Developers and, of course, existing residents and the wider public.
Obviously, in a project this size, politics and controversy will always be present. A case in point is the Point England Development Enabling Bill, in which it is proposed that Ngati Paoa purchases approximately 12 hectares of the Point England Reserve from the Crown for a housing development as part of its Treaty of Waitangi settlement. This has provoked strong objections from some local residents but Karina pointed out that the proposed sale would between the New Zealand Government and Ngati Paoa. So the Tamaki Regeneration Company is not directly involved but, if the sale did proceed, it would need to work with Ngati Paoa to make sure their plans fit in with all Shaping Tamaki Together’s goals.
Avon and Karina could have gone on discussing and explaining this wide-ranging project to us for hours but the meeting had to come to an end and they received a warm vote of thanks. The TRC website is an obvious source of more information and simply googling “Tamaki Restoration Project” produces yet more links, including YouTube videos of a number of meetings that the TRC has held with interested parties over the last few years.