Residents take park safety fight to local board

Northpark residents have handed a petition over to the Howick Local Board calling for action to be taken to reduce anti-social activity and violence at Tarnica park.

Concerned residents have launched a petition asking for action to be taken to reduce anti-social activity and violence at an east Auckland park.

The Northpark residents presented the petition to the Howick Local Board on Monday night.

The petition calls for lights and a security camera to be installed at Tarnica Park in an effort to make it safer for people to use.

The ongoing problems at the public greenspace include a range of anti-social activity by young people who gather at the park from Thursday through to Sunday nights.

Some of them consume alcohol, get into fights, vandalise the playground equipment and verbally abuse and threaten members of the public, the residents say.

The Northpark residents are supported by Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross.

Mr Ross told the board he shares the residents’ frustrations around negative behaviour at the park.

“The biggest catalyst for the residents wanting to take action was when a weapon was presented and used at one particular incident,” Ross says.

One of the Northpark residents who presented the petition, Gordon Luke, says they’ve had people set fire to the playground and paint abusive graffiti everywhere.

Another resident, David Jamieson, says people can’t play football or cricket at the park because of the mess left behind.

“The park is unsafe to use. I’m forever cleaning up broken bottles.”

Howick Local Board chairman David Collings said work was already under way by the board’s staff to investigate the problems at Tarnica Park.

He also suggested sprinklers as a possible deterrent for vandals.