Bird­cage space

Auckland City Harbour News - - LETTERS -

I was sur­prised to read in the Auck­land City Har­bour News, May 31, of the com­plaint made by the chair­man of the Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board that the Bird­cage Res­tau­rant and Bar had been al­lowed to ‘‘com­man­deer public space’’.

I think that the out­door din­ing/ drink­ing fa­cil­i­ties are an ex­cel­lent fa­cil­ity and an ap­pro­pri­ate use of that space – which if left empty would be a bare ex­panse of con­crete used only by skate­board­ers (who have fa­cil­i­ties across the road in Vic­to­ria Park). I have en­joyed a drink there in late af­ter­noon sun; I have also walked through the seat­ing with­out feel­ing in­tim­i­dated by pa­trons or staff and I’ve cy­cled through it on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions – it is cer­tainly not hin­der­ing public ac­cess through the plaza. This street fur­ni­ture causes far less in­con­ve­nience to other users of the plaza than is caused by some of the ta­bles and chairs on foot­paths else­where within the lo­cal board’s district.

I as­sume that NZTA is get­ting a de­cent fee out of the Bird­cage for the use of this area for out­door din­ing/drink­ing area which is de­servedly pop­u­lar. Har­bour News, May 31.

We have watched with in­ter­est the con­struc­tion of the Vic­to­ria Park Tun­nel, the mov­ing of the Rob Roy build­ing up and down Franklin Rd, and then the devel­op­ment of Wa­iatarua Plaza over the past num­ber of years.

After much an­tic­i­pa­tion came the es­tab­lish­ment of the Bird­cage Res­tau­rant & Bar.

Once the out­door area devel­op­ment be­gan we could see that this was go­ing to be a very at­trac­tive and lively venue.

Any­one who walked through the plaza dur­ing the sum­mer after the Fe­bru­ary open­ing would wel­come the pos­i­tive changes and ex­cel­lent use of the area. Phil Hous­ton and his team have brought the area alive. Now we have two Auck­land Coun­cil di­vi­sions with dif­fer­ent views on what the Bird­cage busi­ness can and can­not do.

Come on mem­bers of the Waita­mata Lo­cal Board, act like re­spon­si­ble, in­formed adults.

There is plenty of space for ev­ery­one to walk around the area and the out­door fur­ni­ture and planter boxes do not in­hibit walk­ing up and down Franklin Rd.

As for the in­tro­duc­tion of an­ti­skate­board studs be­ing a con­cern, that is surely a state­ment out of left field.

The skate­board­ers have a won­der­ful pur­pose-built Skate Plaza no more than 500 me­tres from the Wa­iatarua Plaza where they can per­form their im­pres­sive skills with no dan­ger to the public.

On the mat­ter of planter boxes be­ing left out overnight, about an hour after read­ing the story, we walked through Wa­iatarua Plaza on our way to the Wai­heke ferry.

As we walked by De­gree Res­tau­rant and the Wa­ter­front Res­tau­rant in the Viaduct Har­bour, there were planter boxes and fur­ni­ture on coun­cil land that we be­lieve have not been moved for years.

The ques­tion is, why is the Bird­cage any dif­fer­ent?

So please, Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board, leave the plaza as it is and move on to mat­ters that do re­quire your at­ten­tion and leave Phil Hous­ton and his team to run their busi­ness and pro­vide a ser­vice to the public.

We have fre­quented the Bird­cage on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions since Fe­bru­ary and found it to be a most wel­come and en­joy­able es­tab­lish­ment with an at­trac­tive and invit­ing out­door area.

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