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HNZ sits on Ferguson Rd park plan

Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013

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A community-driven proposal to transform a vacant Housing New Zealand site into a park for children is gathering dust as the government agency delays its response.

Ferguson Rd residents want to create the park as a safe place children to play and where community members can network with each other, resident Vanessa Naden says.

In October last year, Housing New Zealand's assets development manager Sean Bignell confirmed the agency's support for projects that benefit the community but nothing has changed since then. Residents and community heavyweights, including the Glenn Family Foundation, police and local board members are pushing the idea but Housing New Zealand concerns over safety and security have slowed momentum, sending stakeholders back to the drawing board.

"It's disappointing that they might turn us down but they're going to make up their minds anyway," Ms Naden says.

Otara Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator and local board member Poutoa Papali'i wants to see the proposal go ahead.

"From a Neighbourhood Support perspective we've supported it from day one."

The unused 50 by 16 metre site backs on to several HNZ properties.

It is a magnet for illegal dumping and taggers.

A HNZ spokesperson confirmed the agency was still in discussion with residents and that it had no plans to build halfway houses for paroled prisoners on the empty land.

"Following a meeting with the group and their representatives, we have asked them to provide some further information about their proposal. As soon as this information is received we will meet with them again," the spokesperson says.

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- Manukau Courier

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