Waiatarua residents are asking their council for a park - their nearest is 4km away. A few footpaths wouldn't hurt, either. Rowena Orejana tracks progress so far.
Many
residents of Waiatarua consider themselves "hill people".
They like their privacy and usually keep to themselves.
They are not recluses by any means. But the topography of the village deters spontaneous gathering.
The village has a town hall and a library with a playcentre down the back. It also boasts a restaurant and two cafes.
"We do things like quiz nights. About 50 to 60 locals come. We also have plays and debates," says Dave Pocock, who has lived in the area for 21 years.
"There is a book sale in two weeks."
During a public meeting to discuss the plan for the local area, it became clear that the residents do not want the village to change. They do, however, have two requests: footpaths and a park.
"The park would be a place where people can just go and chill out, not to an organised event, but for picnics.
If a kid brings his mates home and his mother wants them out of the house, they can go to the park and kick a ball," says Mr Pocock.
Footpaths, on the other hand, would ensure the safety of children going to and from school and of people walking their dogs.
Several footpaths are already being planned.
The community has bush walks which the people love.
The nearest park, though, is Parrs Park at the bottom of the hill - 4km away.
"It's not even local," says Tony Bacon, another resident.
"I think, personally, there should be a park here somewhere within a few minutes' walk where dogs can walk without a leash, where we can have a picnic without making a big deal about it."
Mr Bacon points out that the roads are long, winding and not really very safe.
Six months ago, the residents asked Waitakere Community Board for a park.
The board supports the request as residents have already been active organising events.
The council is negotiating to buy a relatively flat patch of land suitable for the community's needs.
"We just want a place where people can go when they feel like it," says Mr Pocock.
"Somewhere for kids to run and play safely."

Just visiting

In her book,

Song of Two Waters: An Early History of Waiatarua

, Jeanne Wade  explains that the name possibly came from visitors to the area who stayed at the Waiatarua Boarding House. The same visitors later referred to the place, which was originally named Nihotupu, as Waiatarua.

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