Reviving Māngere Town Centre On A $0 Budget

Published: Thu 18 Apr 2024 03:52 PM
The heart of Māngere in south Auckland is desperate for a refresh, but there's "no money" to revive it.
"If we don't make a change, this town centre will be non-existent," Māngere town centre manager Leatuao Larry Tupa’i-Lavea says.
Tupa’i-Lavea told Māngere community leaders that the town centre board has $0 to work on developing the crumbling town centre.
“There is no money,” he says.
He says local retailers face heavy competition with Auckland Airport’s new development Mānawa Bay set to launch in August.Māngere town centre manager Leatuao Larry Tupa’i-Lavea says the operation has $0 to revamp "the heart of Māngere".
“But this is the heart of Māngere,” Tupa’i-Lavea says.
“Māngere town centre can’t do anything on its own to make Māngere best in South Auckland.”
He says the main priority for the team is deciding what Māngere wants for the space and making decisions that support the community, starting with choosing the right retailers.
“Liquor stores are interested in the space – do we want this?” Tupa’i-Lavea asks.
“We want to understand what the town centre is about before approving retailers,” he says.
Tupa’i-Lavea says the centre used to be home to the likes of Farmers and ASB bank.
“We’re now looking at what strategic businesses we want here. Diversity of businesses is important.”
He says current retailers are “extremely anxious” after Māngere town centre had its first ram raid last month.
However, working on a “budget of $0” means initiatives to deal with retailers' concerns around crime are all voluntary.Last month, the centre had its first ram raid leaving retailers "extremely anxious".
Tupa’i-Lavea says security for the centre is currently offered for free by Mealamu Security, who are working to scope the area for security risks.
Meanwhile, he says Pacific and Māori wardens feel the area is “too dangerous” to monitor.
But he says he wants to use any available resources to train and upskill volunteers
“It’s about having a pleasing place to come to,” Tupa’i-Lavea says, acknowledging the centre is a longstanding space for Pasifika and Māori community members and businesses.
Alka Prasad - Local Democracy Reporter
Content from the Local Democracy Reporting (LDR) service is published by Scoop as a registered New Zealand Media Outlet LDR Partner.
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