Engaging the community
The AMETI Transport project in Auckland's eastern suburbs is designed to reduce congestion, improve transport options and unlock economic potential in the area. The community has had a tangible influence on the location, function and form of the project throughout the process.
Working closely with Auckland Transport WSP Opus sought comment on the issues, constraints and opportunities from a local perspective. To achieve these aims, WSP Opus developed its innovative Deliberative Feedback mechanism (DFM). Operating in a similar way to a focus group, a select group of the community representatives was invited to attend the DFM workshops, including stakeholders, Iwi and the Local Board. Important cultural and heritage values were identified that led to community participation in the project. The results were the development of the Van Dammes Lagoon Environmental Management Plan, which aims to transform an existing reserve into a more valuable community asset, and the final roading solutions changing the focus of the community away from roading to optimise connections with other transport modes such as rail, buses, walking and cycling.
Over time, this process altered the community view of the project. It’s now seen as a positive scheme for the people of Panmure, Mt Wellington and Glen Innes. The consultation and engagement undertaken for the project is seen as providing balanced information and is a format which will be used on future projects to achieve the best social and environmental outcomes for communities.
WSP Opus and Auckland Transport were nominated for and won the New Zealand Engineering Practice Award for Excellence in Community Engagement for their work on the AMETI Panmure Project. This award recognises exceptional engineering activities that effectively engage with and empower community values, or an individual who has improved community understanding of engineering or facilitated a change in engineering practice in response to community needs.