Sixty-five residents from Bayswater, Belmont and Devonport aired their views on the draft Devonport-Takapuna Local Board plan at a community engagement workshop attended by local board members on Monday night (1 August).
The workshop was held as part of the board’s focus on hearing what residents want in their Draft Local Board Plan, which sets the course for the board and outlines the aspirations and projects for the local area, with a view to amending the plan before it is adopted.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Chris Darby said he was delighted so many residents had turned out to voice their opinions and offer suggestions.
“The big issues that came up were re-development of the Devonport Wharf, walking and cycling improvements, better bus links and, of course, ‘sorting out Lake Rd’,” Mr Darby said.
“There was interest in future trams but concern that they would not impact on traffic flows.
“Residents offered various solutions to Lake Rd’s congestion problems including alternative routes and increasing the number and frequency of buses.
“Heritage issues were high on the list, with a call for clear and innovative ways to identify and record our local history, both Maori and European.
“Suggestions included the provision of interpretative plaques and ways to understand heritage in a broader sense. They told us ‘heritage is not just about Victorian villas’.”
Mr Darby said some residents called for the promotion of Devonport as a destination for the arts as well as heritage.
“There were also calls for an emphasis on sustainable commercial development of Devonport village and strong agreement that improving the local economy was a priority,” he said.
“Many people agreed with the board’s proposal to focus on getting Takapuna up and running and to improve broadband in the area and told us to ‘just get on and do it’.
“There was also a concern about civil defence preparedness, which was not mentioned in the draft plan.
“Board members spent the evening being all ears and did not mention their own views. Local board staff recorded residents’ views.
“Interactive workshops like this are one of the tools the new board is using to tap into community views. The turnout was great and people seemed quite upbeat with the new approach.”