Little Village Project in Riverside Park: Council Response

[from Jeff Lyford, Parks and Places Specialist , Auckland Council, Orewa]

Posting this response from Auckland Council as it has had a wide circulation already in the village, FYI to the community. Please note Little Village information day on Sunday 12th March 11:30am-2:00pm. Do go along and air your views to the team – Ed.

Hi All,

Thanks to everyone who has provided input of feedback over the last couple of weeks. Council Staff are conscious that this has the potential to be a great project, but before any decisions are reached there is a process to undertake. I have broken it into several stages in an attempt to provide clarity.

  1. To obtain landowner approval from the Rodney Local Board for the placement of a building on a Recreation Reserve such as Puhoi Pioneers  Memorial Park, you must show clearly documented support from the wider community and user groups for what you are proposing to do.

      What this means in practice, is that you must show that a substantial majority of the local community either support the proposal or at the very least do not oppose it. We would expect that people are:

  1. a)   given the opportunity to listen to information and discuss the matter in an open community forum, such as the one scheduled on 12 March and
  2. b)   also provided with the opportunity express their views anonymously, e.g., via a simple survey monkey.

      Changes to the status quo on Recreation Reserves require a high standard of community consultation.

  1. A Community Lease is required to site a building on a Reserve. A lease passes the responsibility for the ‘improvements’ to the applicant within the terms of the lease.

      In this instance, a lease for the proposed purpose is not explicitly contemplated in the Reserve Management Plan; this makes the leasing process more complex. The attached Community Occupancy Guidelines set the process.

  1. a)   The group needs to be registered as an incorporated society or charitable trust as set out in the Auckland Council Community Occupancy Guidelines 2012 (AC COG 2012)(attached).
  2. b)   The group needs to have a business plan and a strategic plan or be prepared to work on plans detailing its proposal.
  3. c)   The group needs to have initial concept plans for its proposal.
  4. d)   Council Staff would workshop the proposal with the local board, staff may be required to recommend to the local board that a expressions of interest process be undertaken (page 10, AC COG 2012).
  5. e)   Subject to above steps have being met satisfactorily, then Staff would report to the local board recommending approval be given to Council to publicly notify and engage with iwi about the proposal.  If there are any submissions received that object to the proposal a hearing would be held made up with an appointed panel and Commissioner. This could be an independent panel or consist of local board members.


  1. Landowner Approval, is the final approval from the Local Board,
  2. a)   Subject to the process above and the EOI and Public/Iwi notification process, the Land Use Advisor and The Community Lease Advisor jointly report to the local board, recommending that landowner approval, agreement to lease and a community lease for the proposal are approved.
  3. b)   This process does not preclude the applicants responsibility to apply for all regulatory consents that may be required to undertake the project (e.g., building and resource consents).

Any questions on the community engagement please speak with Sue Dodds. Sue will be attending the public meet on the March 12 and will act as the conduit between the project group and Council.

The lease process is a legal agreement; Karen Walby can clarify the details and answer any questions.

I hope this explains the decision making process and gives a good steer to Larry and the rest of the project team on their next steps. Hopefully this has also provided some surety to the wider community that a robust process of community and Local Board engagement is required before any decisions are reached.




Jeff Lyford| Parks and Places Specialist | Park Services

Ph 09 301 0101| Extn: (44)3168 | Mobile 021 581 501| Fax 09 301 0100

Auckland Council, Level 2, Orewa Service Centre, 50 Centreway Drive, Orewa

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February in the Riverside Park

This is a good time of year for enjoying the Puhoi Pioneers Memorial Park. On the Loop Track two new seats are being installed along the top section as a gift by Val Dunn and family, and Arthur Dunn’s Memorial provides a scenic overview of village and valley. Dogs are permitted on the Loop Track. Should there be cattle in the paddock where the track crosses it, note that they are used to people and friendly, may approach you in curiosity, but should be ignored and certainly not be frightened.


Puhoi village from Dunn Memorial

Puhoi village from Dunn Memorial – photo by Theo Koops

The 5 km. long Puhoi Track is part of the national Te Araroa Track system, and has become well known among locals and visitors alike. It has fewer viewing places, but the scenery is varied, and the stands of mature native trees are magnificent. Dogs are not allowed on the parts of this track where it does not overlap with the Loop Track. Remember to have transport placed at both ends of the track unless you want a long walk to retrieve your car. A refreshment stop in the village after walking the track is highly recommended.


The meadow, past the first gate and near the old tennis pavilion, is an excellent place for picnics and informal recreation. It is also used for casual equestrian activities.


Horse riding is becoming a more popular pastime in the Park as well as elsewhere in the village. While permitted and encouraged in public areas in the Park, there are no bridle paths separate from the walking track so that, when on a track, avoid damaging or soiling it, especially when the weather is wet.


The Puhoi Community Forum is sponsoring an initiative to create a Riverside Walkway along the bank of the Puhoi river, starting from the second gate. The first stage runs some 300 metres to the cluster of macrocarpas and will consist of a stock-proof fence, a walkway/bridle path, and a planted riverbank. Work will commence on construction of the fence shortly. If you want to help with any part of this project, please contact Hans (phone 422 0026).


The grazing lease is in full use. Kevin Jones, the lessee, has done a great job of building culverts, clearing road tracks, extensively rebuilding parts of the old woolshed, making hay, refurbishing the old water pump, clearing logs, mending fences, and installing water troughs in different paddocks. He has brought cattle back in after the summer break. As stated on the notice at the first gate, please do not enter paddocks in which there are stock, except for the Loop Track, as noted above. On grazed paddocks, keep dogs leashed and horses under control.


The local community contributes to the upkeep of the Park. A working party will tackle weed control on February 21st. Please come along to the Park at 9.00. To help with Landcare activities, please contact Shelley (422 0076), Rodney (027 2793775) or Phillippa (422 0009).


Hans Everts, Puhoi Community Forum


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