Aotea Mar­kets stalled

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.”

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