Out of step over fitness gear in park

CLOSED EARS: Little Shoal Bay Protection Society chairman Tony Holman says the Kaipatiki Local Board shouldn't ignore residents' views over the installation of adult fitness equipment.
CLOSED EARS: Little Shoal Bay Protection Society chairman Tony Holman says the Kaipatiki Local Board shouldn't ignore residents' views over the installation of adult fitness equipment.

The Kaipatiki Local Board is ignoring the community by installing adult exercise equipment in Little Shoal Bay Reserve according to the Little Shoal Bay Protection Society.

Society chairman Tony Holman says a strong response from the community shows that many people do not want the equipment in the reserve, especially on the site proposed.

There are many reasons for the opposition, he says – mainly the high cost at around $80,000, unsightly structures and taking up green space.

Mr Holman says there has now been three consultations with the community.

The first, the board's promotion of the project, showed around 35 per cent were opposed, he says.

The society also surveyed the same area which showed 90 per cent were totally against it.

"The board ignored this information, and the society's submissions, resolving to proceed as planned," he says.

The society then carried out a wider survey across much of Birkenhead Point and Northcote Point which showed 80 per cent totally against the proposal and an additional 5 per cent against the proposed site.

Mr Holman says board chairwoman Lindsay Waugh wrongly stated that the society was advised of the initiative more than two years ago and chose not to respond to the board.

It only learnt of the proposal secondhand, he says.

"We find it reprehensible that Ms Waugh is refusing to correct her statement in any meaningful way to the people she has misled."

Ms Waugh says the board minutes are verified and are the official record of events.

"The recent survey was to canvas community views on the preferred location for the equipment and the board voted in support of the majority view and recommendation as recorded in our minutes."

Ms Waugh says the project dates back to a 2010 Birkenhead-Northcote Community Board decision.

On June 14 last year the Kaipatiki Local Board then allocated $80,000 to facilitate the project subject to consultation with the community.

"It has been through several stages of the democratic process," she says.

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North Shore Times