Boss ready to transform eastern suburbs

Last updated 08:55 03/09/2012
Auckland state house
FAIRFAX NZ

ALL CHANGE: State housing in Auckland's eastern suburbs will be overhauled in the next 25 years.

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The chief executive of the country's first urban regeneration programme takes the reins today to begin a 15 to 25-year programme to transform Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure.

Auckland Council and the Government formed a company  - Tamaki Redevelopment Company - earlier this year to deliver the Tamaki Transformation Programme which aims to create a thriving, attractive, sustainable and self-reliant community through a series of "interlinking and complimentary" economic, social, urban space and housing projects.

The Tamaki community is working towards better education and health, more people in jobs and business opportunities, a better urban environment and improved housing in the area.

Debra Lawson, who has more than 20 years' experience leading urban regeneration programmes, including delivering affordable and social infrastructure in the UK, will lead the project.

"I am fortunate to be coming into a programme that has a big legacy - so many people have already contributed their ideas, passion and energy to get us to this point. I am looking forward to continuing that journey and helping to bring the Tamaki vision to a reality," she said.

Lawson said the Tamaki community had played an integral part in "developing the vision" for the project and the Tamaki Redevelopment Company was committed to working on behalf of that community to "further develop that vision and to identify the necessary transformational activities".

"In my experience, the most successful urban regeneration programmes are those that fully engage the local community. Although I will have plenty to do, one of my early priorities will be to get out and about as much as possible in the coming months to meet people and listen to their views about Tamaki."

Lawson said the first task was be to bring all the current and future initiatives and projects together into a single strategic framework.

This will include projects to improve education, employment, health, environment, and safety. The Crown and the Council will approve the over-arching plan and business cases before they begin.

The Tamaki Transformation Programme was announced earlier this year by Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

He said  East Auckland was chosen because it was an area with ''significant potential''.

''It is close to the Auckland and Manukau central business districts. It has a young population, a sense of history and community, green spaces and near-coastal location.

''Tamaki is a key growth area for Auckland and its future prosperity will have a flow-on effect for the rest of the country."

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