Residents upset a water treatment plant might be built in their neighbourhood have opened a gallery close to Watercare’s head office.
Save Oratia has exhibited photographs, videos, music, stories and clothing from the west Auckland suburb of Oratia about 100 meters from the offices of Watercare in Auckland CBD.
The pop-up gallery opened this month as part of Save Oratia, a campaign by locals to protest Watercare’s proposal to build a water treatment plant in the suburb, displacing homes in the process.
Save Oratia spokesman Paul Goldsmith said the idea behind the central Auckland pop-up gallery was to show the rest of the city what the area had to offer.
“Watercare’s engineers have recommended building a new plant in our backyards, so we’re planting ourselves in theirs – in the nicest possible way,” he said in a media release.
Watercare was considering four sites for a replacement to its Huia Water Treatment Plant, two next to each other on Parker Rd, Oratia.
The other options were to rebuild its 90-year-old plant in Titirangi or to build adjacent to its existing site – in native bush.
A decision regarding the location of the plant was expected on May 30.
Depending on the location, the new water treatment plant would cost up to $400 million.
Goldsmith said the idea behind the central Auckland pop-up gallery was to show the rest of the city what the region had to offer.
About 30 families, including some that had lived in the area for six generations, lived in fear that Watercare’s decision would displace them from their homes.
“We want to let central Aucklanders know that the precious Waitakere foothills, which are used as a playground by so many city dwellers and noted as being of local, regional and national significance in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act, are under threat,” Goldsmith said in the media release.
Not everyone could visit Oratia so Oratia brought “the country to the city”, he said.
The Oratia Gallery was located at 31 Remuera Rd, Newmarket, and open Monday to Friday, from 7am to 2pm.