They say that all politics is local, and in the Three Kings community the big local issue is development at and around Three Kings quarry.
For me, there is huge potential here. Like most locals I agree that a large number of houses could be built on the site. My vision is for a high quality medium density development that includes affordable housing, is surrounded by a beautiful network of public open space, is connected into the Town Centre and public transport, and centred around a plan to rehabilitate Big King/Te Tatua-a-Riukita, our precious local maunga.
The issue is that the current Fletchers development plan does not meet these objectives. There is no commitment to affordable housing, large areas of public open space would be privatised or enclosed for development, housing is in a 15-19 metre deep hole which will require an elevator of 90 stairs to access the town centre. The maunga, which has been brutalised over one hundred years of quarrying is basically an after-thought.
That’s why I have been campaigning for a better way at Three Kings. On the Local Board I have spent years working with local community groups to develop an alternative plan for the site. We developed the ‘Three Kings Plan’ which provides a high level overview of how development could occur to meet multiple objectives, and that we employed renowned landscape architect Richard Reid to create an alternative plan for the site. I’ve stood with the community in the Environment Court to put forward suggestions for how we could have a better development.
Recently the Environment Court gave an interim ruling in the case which upheld most of the points that the community has been making. There is an opening here for a sensible compromise that allows a large number of houses to be built while meeting community objectives for a quality development. I’ve called on the parties to sit down and work out a sensible settlement based on the Environment Court’s direction.
I believe that as a local representative it is important to stand up and fight for local issues, even when it’s hard. In this case, the combined weight of Fletchers, Auckland Council, the National party and central government agencies have been attempting to force the Fletchers plan through.
Working together as a community we’ve made real progress so far, and I will continue to back a better way for Three Kings as Mt Roskill’s MP.