Orient Victory scraps Millwater tourism hub plans after community concerns
An overseas travel company has revised it plans to build tourist accommodation in north Auckland following community outcry.
It will now revert back to developing residential accommodation.
Orient Victory Travel Group bought land on the corner of Millwater Parkway, Bankside Rd and Miller Rise with plans to develop it with units – 62 per cent of which were to be used be used for the needs of tour groups from the People’s Republic of China.
Concerned residents formed the Silverdale Community Action Group and met with Rodney MP Mark Mitchell to discuss the development on September 5.
Mitchell was joined by Albany Ward councillors Wayne Walker and John Watson, and Hibiscus and Bays Local Board members Vicki Watson and Mike Williamson.
More than 150 residents turned out for the discussion at Silverdale School.
Residents objected to the development over safety concerns for school children, Millwater’s particularly narrow roads and over strained traffic infrastructure and the erosion of the original Millwater concept as a safe and caring destination fo families.
Then, unexpectedly, director of the New Zealand offshoot of Orient Victory, Stefanie Zhang, announced her presence and took to the stage.
Zhang, also a Millwater resident, apologised on behalf of her company for “for causing so much concern to the community”.
She said her company had heard the Millwater community’s voice loud and clear, and would change their development plans to make them for residential homes.
If the community was not happy with this, the company would give up the opportunity and sell the land, she said.
Mitchell welcomed Zhang’s announcement and said it was a good place to start.
He said he would organise a meeting with Zhang, the action group and himself to discuss the plans for the site.
“We still have to get everyone together around the table to actually get into the detail,” Mitchell said.