We’re looking at leasing the land at Opie Reserve to Ngāti Hineaute Hapu Authority, which is planning to build a kōhanga reo (kindergarten) and an urban marae (meeting house) there.
Opie Reserve is a 4,200-square-metre green space in Highbury, between Opie Place and Wilson Crescent. A property review identified it as an underused reserve, and in 2023 we asked our community if it should remain as a recreation reserve or be changed to a local purpose-community reserve.
The feedback received during the public consultation went to the Strategy and Finance Committee meeting on 7 June 2023. After noting the strong positive response in the submissions, the Committee decided to reclassify the reserve as it would better serve the Highbury community than if the area remained as a sports or recreation park.
We recently received a proposal from Ngāti Hineaute Hapu Authority to lease the land to build a kōhanga reo and a marae at the reserve.
Ngāti Hineaute chairman Chris Whaiapu says the hapu’s intention is to build a new Kōhanga Reo and urban marae that will serve the growing needs of its Rangitāne whānau, wider community and people.
“The kōhanga reo (kindergarten) will be built first as we have outgrown our current facility. We intend to build a facility that will future proof an enrolment number of up to 60 tamariki (children). The new urban marae will be a facility for whānau, for Ngāti Hineaute, for Rangitāne and the whole community. We have always wanted to rebuild a new marae and it has been a long-held aspiration of Ngāti Hineaute since our last marae was destroyed by arson in 1925. We are excited to develop these new facilities on Opie Place.”
Ngāti Hineaute will be responsible for applying for and managing any required building or resource consents.
A high-level concept plan is shown below. This development is intended to be carried out in two phases, the first phase intending to be the development of the kōhanga reo, including building facilities, carparking and infrastructure. Phase Two will be the development of the Urban Marae.
To read more about the proposed lease, head to the meeting agenda.