By 2008 Manukau City Centre thus had some of the conventional trappings of a city: its long-awaited district court; if not a hospital, then at least a major medical facility; even the promise of a university. Ironically, in the same year, as the Government’s plans for a single Auckland supercity developed, Manukau found that from November 2010 it would no longer in fact be a city centre.
Whether Manukau City Centre will need to change its name remains to be seen. It will no doubt remain a significant commercial and administrative sub-centre. It will also have closer transport links with other parts of the region. On 30 June 2006 work began on the Manukau motorway extension, planned to link SH1 and SH22. In June 2009 work began on a spur line from the southern railway line at Wiri, and on 20 September 2009 the first sod was turned at the site of the planned new railway station at Manukau City Centre.
Part of Manukau’s future lies as an educational hub. In June 2009 Manukau Institute of Technology also announced plans for a branch campus in Hayman Park, close to the future railway station.
With the recent release of an urban design structure plan, the centre has a clear framework for its rejuvenation and long-term development (“a new vision for the city and surrounding areas”).
Community renewal projects are currently underway in the Rata Vine and Wiri areas, the closest housing estates to the centre.
On 28 July 2008 the Minister of Conservation announced plans to establish a new historic reserve, known as the Matukuturua Stonefields, incorporating McLaughlin’s Mountain (Matukutureia) and the remnants of nearby stonefields gardens.
Work also continues on a long-term project, initiated by the conservation group, Te Ara O Puhinui, to reafforest and establish a walkway on the banks of the Puhinui Stream. If completed, this walkway will reaffirm the area’s natural and human heritage, linking the historic Puhinui Reserve via the city centre to the unspoiled native bush of Totara Park.
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