South Auckland parks short changed
Playing fields in South Auckland have been shown the red card by Auckland Council, local board leaders say.
They're fuming the sports-loving people of the south have received just nine per cent of an $85 million council fund.
Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman John McCracken said children would be impacted the most.
The region has the highest proportion of children aged 19 and under in the supercity, he said.
''But we have been given a very small percentage, not even representative of the population or size of the area.
''The inequity in the distribution of that funding is absolutely bloody ridiculous.''
Most southern boards had invested large sums of their budgets into parks but a lot of other boards who didn't had received huge figures from the fund, McCracken claimed.
''Other centres in the inner city, Albert Eden for example - who in their 10 years of expenditure have not put one cent into parks - were given nearly $11m from that budget.''
Puketapapa Local Board has invested nothing in their parks but will get $6.456m, he said.
Manurewa Local Board has invested more than $7m but received less then one per cent of the council's fund - just $815,000.
Chairwoman Angela Dalton said her board was ''incredulous'' at the decision.
''We have chosen to invest in our parks. The irony of that is we now do not get the benefit from the $85m.''
The funding rwas an added insult to an area already at the bottom of the local board funding pile, she said.
Mangere-Otahuhu chairman Peter Skelton said his board's area has the largest population of young people and the most important thing to the boards of the south was their parks.
''Especially out in Otahuhu - there is so much work that needs to be done to some of our parks,'' he said.
He's not happy most of the $85m is going to the inner city and North Shore.
Auckland Council manager of local and sports parks Mark Bowater said the $84m was additional to the $61m legacy funding in the long term plan for sports field improvement projects.
It will be applied to areas of greatest need and which have the greatest shortfall in supply over the next 10 years.
Once the regional funding is prioritised and approved it will be allocated to the relevant boards to get maximum value out of the available funding.
The draft programme of work has been designed to provide sports field capacity that will meet at least 80 per cent of 2022 projected demand across the region, Bowater said.
He said Albert-Eden and other boards picked up a significant allocation of the funding because they inherited no legacy funding.
''This is an equitable outcome, when the legacy funding and the regional funding is combined.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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