Aotea Markets stalled
HOPES of relocating the Aotea Markets to Lorne St have been dashed.
Auckland City Council has rejected closing the north end of the street for the market because of traffi issues.
Councillor Graeme Easte says the council needs to change its attitude towards the markets.
He says traffic issues were always going to make things tricky, but not impossible.
“You can’t wish these facts away,” he says.
“But it could have been resolved.
“There doesn’t seem to be much of a will on the part of council to find somewhere.”
Mr Easte says establishing an inner-city market elsewhere would be an asset to the city.
He says the council should be prepared to provide a little bit of input.
Market stall-holders have to leave Aotea Square by Christmas to make way for the $80 million redevelopment and carpark roof repair.
It’s unlikely the markets will return once the work is finished in 2010.
The report to the council’s transport committee meeting says the twice-weekly road closure would be unlawful because a street can only be closed for 31 days a year.
The market would also restrict access to the ASB Bank building carpark.
Loss of mobility parking spaces, potential for flooding in wet weather, and the loss of up to $500 a day in parking fees were also factors.
Transport committee chairman Ken Baguley says having the markets on Lorne St is “just technically not possible”.
He says the matter has been referred back to council officers who will continue talks with stall-holders to find another location.
Stall-holder Jo Goffe-Robertson says the council shut down the Lorne St plan very quickly.
But she is undaunted and still “cautiously optimistic” that they will find somewhere to go.
Stall-holders are looking at options including the Viaduct Basin and Ms GoffeRobertson is negotiating a possible agreement with the K Rd Business Association.
She says the markets will probably have to become a breakaway group of 15 to 20 stalls.
Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney says he is appalled at the Lorne St decision.
“This is another piece of bureau-speak about why we can’t do something,” he says.
He says the markets are a wonderful piece of urban community-building.
“Most cities embrace the idea of markets.”