Mt Albert slum fear
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.