Fire station ideas aired

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2013
Ian Gunthorp, left, and Sue and Doug Cole
Liz Willis
SPEAKING UP: Ian Gunthorp, left, and Sue and Doug Cole are among residents wanting community views heard on the future of the Takapuna Fire Station.

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Firefighters leave Takapuna Fire Station in Killarney St in January but its future use remains up in the air.

The station's neighbours are keen for the site to be used to extend neighbouring Killarney Park overlooking Lake Pupuke.

Ian Gunthorp spoke at Devonport-Takapuna Local Board's November meeting on behalf of 10 neighbours.

Auckland Council needs to recognise the potential community use of the property, particularly to extend the lakeside reserves, Mr Gunthorp said.

Mr Gunthorp says the lakeside reserves are heavily used by people throughout Auckland and will come under increasing pressure as Takapuna intensifies.

He raised the building's potential as a fire service museum or arts centre.

Mr Gunthorp said it was important they didn't become derelict eyesores used by street kids.

The property isn't up for sale and there is statutory process that can be protracted that needs to be followed first, New Zealand Fire Service national property manager Dominic Hare says.

A new Wairau Rd fire station is due to open in January and no decisions will be made until then, he says.

Issues affecting this process are being investigated now.

"In addition to seeking Auckland Council's views, we will be required to consider a number of significant issues as part of this investigation including the implications of the building heritage order, whether there was any land gifted, the Public Works Act and Treaty of Waitangi considerations," Mr Hare says.

The Fire Service is keen to work with the council because of strong community interest in the site's future, he says.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Mike Cohen expects the board will encourage Auckland Council to investigate buying the property if it comes on the market.

Mr Cohen says the issue is likely to be part of its local board agreement outlining priorities.

This is due to be prepared this month.

He says the local board agreement goes out for public feedback and the board will be listening to what residents would like to see happen to the site.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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