INDEPENDENT NEWS

Onehunga’s New Library And Community Centre

Published: Fri 31 Aug 2001 02:16 PM
Onehunga’s New Library And Community Centre Will Soon Be On The Way
The former Onehunga Chambers Building will be demolished to make way for a $5.1million Community Centre and Library, ending a protracted planning process spanning several years.
An independent peer review has confirmed that the new building will provide the best facilities for Onehunga. Auckland City Council hopes to start work on the project within about a month, pending the granting of resource consent.
Community Development Committee Chair, Councillor Penny Sefuiva says she is relieved the matter is settled and Onehunga can have the library, community centre, community office space and public square it desperately needs.
“The building will provide the best public facilities for Onehunga and will greatly enhance the township. It is representative of the community’s needs and I am saddened that a small community faction managed to delay progress on the building for so long,” she said.
“It is very disappointing that some Maungakiekie Community Board members refused to accept advice which the peer review has now reaffirmed.”
Councillor Sefuiva says many professionals tried to make the old Onehunga Chambers Building space fit the community’s requirements but it could not be made to accommodate the necessary functions.
“The old building does have historic associations for some in the community and while this is respected, it was just not suitable for modern needs,” she said.
Councillor Sefuiva says she admires the integrity of local councillors Richard Northey and Catherine Harland for “hanging in there” while the heated and costly debate raged.
“This review vindicates the position taken by both local councillors and the Community Development Committee. It has proved an expensive delay for the council, both financially and in staff time,” said Councillor Sefuiva.
“It was a very difficult time for staff and I congratulate them for withstanding the pressure they were put under,” she said. “We can now all put the past behind us and move on with a project that will serve Onehunga well for very many years.”
ENDS

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