Mt Al­bert slum fear

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

MT AL­BERT res­i­dents are feel­ing short-changed by a lack of in­vest­ment in their sub­urb.

Mem­bers of the Mt Al­bert Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion say the area is a world away from the clean, tidy, com­mu­ni­ty­fo­cused place it once was.

Rub­bish over­flows in the streets of the shop­ping vil­lage, the moun­tain is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, the rail­way sta­tion is dirty and un­safe and a multi-unit hous­ing de­vel­op­ment threat­ens to cause a prob­lem, they say.

When the Mt Al­bert coun­cil amal­ga­mated with Auck­land City Coun­cil in 1989, $15 mil­lion worth of as­sets were handed over.

The group wants to know where the money has gone and is de­mand­ing the coun­cil pay more at­ten­tion to the sub­urb.

They have or­gan­ised a meet­ing for June 11 and en­cour­age any res­i­dents who want to have a say to go along.

As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber Tony Mayes says of­fi­cials need to step up and help.

“Most of us have lived here all our lives and we want to keep on liv­ing here,” he says.

“We don’t want to move away but peo­ple will if some­thing doesn’t start to change.”

The Mt Al­bert Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion was formed to give res­i­dents a chance to pur­sue their con­cerns about the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

The main topic of dis­cus­sion at next month’s meet­ing will be the Mt Al­bert vil­lage shop­ping area.

The Mt Al­bert train sta­tion is also an is­sue be­cause it is cov­ered in graf­fiti and un­safe at night.

The group wants more at­ten­tion given to the up­keep of the moun­tain’s walk­ways, grass verges and trees.

They are also wor­ried about a Hous­ing New Zealand de­vel­op­ment planned for 24 St Lukes Rd, which they say lacks 72 carparks, will cause traf­fic prob­lems and could be­come a slum.

They are ap­peal­ing to the En­vi­ron­ment Court and want more res­i­dents to be­come in­volved.

Group mem­ber Mary Crotty says Mt Al­bert is a won­der­ful place to raise a fam­ily, with lots of open space, houses with large back­yards, and ac­tiv­i­ties nearby such as Motat and the zoo.

But she says it is sad to see how much the area has de­te­ri­o­rated.

“We all know it’s a great place to live and we used to have lots of pride,” she says.

“But coun­cil just hasn’t done its job.”

Group mem­ber Roy Goode says Mt Al­bert needs to be given as much at­ten­tion as Mt Eden.

“Peo­ple just want to pass through Mt Al­bert as quickly as pos­si­ble,” he says.

“We used to be ahead sta­tus­but now we’ve gone the op­po­site way and if some­thing doesn’t change it’s go­ing to turn into a slum.”

Auck­land City Coun­cil street amenity ser­vices man­ager Kevin Mar­riott says the level of street clean­ing Mt Al­bert re­ceives is con­sis­tent with other sim­i­lar shop­ping cen­tres.

Lit­ter is col­lected and bins emp­tied at least once a day and ur­gent is­sues are at­tended to, he says.

A coun­cil spokes­woman also says im­prove­ments to moun­tains are pri­ori­tised by ex­ist­ing qual­ity, whether or not the area is an iden­ti­fied growth area and what other projects are planned.

A spokes­woman for the Auck­land Re­gional Trans­port Author­ity says Mt Al­bert train sta­tion is on the list for an up­grade.

She says work is likely to hap­pen in 2010 to co­in­cide with elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the rail sys­tem.

The Mt Al­bert Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion meets at Gladstone School at 7pm on June 11 and all are wel­come.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone Mary Ino­mata on 846-4509 or email: mary@ jnz-ent.co.nz.

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