Opaketai Beach Haven Garden
One of the central sections in the Beach Haven shopping area was the site of the old Post Office. The Post Office was demolished a number of years ago in a fire. With the support of the Kaipatiki Local Board, Auckland Council's parks department purchased the site to turn it into a park and garden for the local community. Until the plan was completed, the Beach Haven Placemaking Group (with council approval) organised a community planting day to utilise the space.
The design for this space has been driven by feedback from the local community. Based on the feedback the garden has a paved area, plenty of open space to enjoy, an outdoor stage for entertainment, play areas for children and space for trees, flowers and productive plants like fruit and vegetables. Connecting this to the rest of the village is the wharf theme and a community noticeboard.
The garden is maintained by a group of volunteers (with the council responsible for lawns and furniture).
A special name for a unique space
Opaketai is the ancient name of a small bay south of Beach Haven Road, where driftwood would wash up during westerly storms, and where a seasonal kāinga (village) for fishing and shorebird snaring was located.
It is one of a number of seasonal kāinga around the Kaipātiki and Upper Harbour areas of high cultural significance to Te Kawerau ā Maki and Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, who hold mana whenua of the area.
This ancient name is a taonga which is gifted to the Beach Haven Garden in recognition of the significance of the whenua and of the Beach Haven community.
Mana whenua was engaged at the concept design stage, with Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei providing valuable input into the project through key themes and cultural design elements.
Ngā Hau e Whā - by Katz Maihi
Raukūmara pattern, kai kete
Tāwhiri-mātea pou - by Lenard Phillips