Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Coastal park with marae planned for bomb dump

Hobsonville proposal would see air force munitions storage area shared with iwi.

The site is intended as part-settlement of a Treaty claim package to be signed soon. Photo / Kenny Rodger
The site is intended as part-settlement of a Treaty claim package to be signed soon. Photo / Kenny Rodger

The former Hobsonville airbase's bomb storage area could become a new waterfront park, shared with a marae for Te Kawerau a Maki, which has a Treaty of Waitangi claim over part of the 9ha Crown-owned headland.

A site of 2800sq m at the southwestern edge of the point is marked on a concept plan, commissioned by developer Hobsonville Land Co and the Office of Treaty Settlements.

The office has been in negotiations with Te Kawerau a Maki.

The site is intended as part-settlement of a Treaty claim package to be signed soon. The marae site proposal has been revealed to Auckland Council's parks, heritage and recreation forum.

The council already owns a coastal esplanade reserve on the isolated fist-shaped headland, which has a track used by joggers and dog walkers.

Bomb Pt shows as open space in the 2500-home staged development preliminary plan for Hobsonville Pt and is linked by a harbour-hugging road to the old seaplane base and new ferry wharf to downtown Auckland.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse has described the land as a potential "westie version of Viaduct Harbour" with a 4.5km coastal walkway, including the headland.

Forum chairman Sandra Coney said the considerable heritage value of Hobsonville was being preserved with the council's purchase of some buildings from the base which was developed from 1926-1945. She welcomed the presence of a marae and the chance for the marae to tell the stories of the people who were there before the air force.

A heritage impact report on the marae proposal was prepared for the Office of Treaty Settlements by Salmond Reed Architects. It said the marae development next to the waterfront, of three buildings at first, would not have a negative impact on wider heritage values of Te Onekiritea-Bomb Pt.

It also said the site was fit for the purpose and was a sound basis for the iwi to engage with the council on a pre-approval process for development.

Hobsonville Land Co is due to lodge a plan change for the "future development area" which includes Bomb Pt.

The council and the developer will determine the ultimate composition of residential and open space area.


Headland

Te Onekiritea (known as Bomb Pt), Hobsonville

• 9ha headland - isolated from Hobsonville Pt housing project

• 4 raised foundations of 1960s buildings in bomb storage complex are on marae site

• 1939 layout of rest of the storage complex stays

• 1350s on, Maori occupied upper Waitemata Harbour

- NZ Herald

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