Major concerns at park
IT IS hoped that the death of a man in Myers Park will give impetus to further safety upgrades.
Work is expected to get under way early next year on the Waitemata Local Board’s $3.1 million Myers Park Development Plan which includes upgrades to some of the key entry points, lighting, park furniture, as well as vegetation management and lighting. Plans for CCTV are also in the pipeline.
But the Mayoral Drive underpass which runs through the park near where 54-year-old Steven Harris was fatally stabbed last Wednesday night is not part of the programme.
It is under the control of Auckland Transport and the board is in negotiations to transfer its ownership so it can be upgraded.
‘‘Hopefully this will give it impetus. Hopefully it’s fast tracked,’’ board chairman Shale Chambers says. ‘‘It has been a major area of concern. The general feeling I get from residents is that we will never fix Mayoral Drive issues until we fix the underpass.’’
A 49-year-old man who has interim name supersession was due to appear in the Auckland High Court today after being charged with the murder of Mr Harris.
He appeared in the Auckland District Court on Saturday after handing himself in to police the day before.
The park remained closed after the incident until Friday afternoon while ESR and a police specialist search team combed the area.
Acting Detective Inspector John Sutton says a number of items of interest have been found which are being forensically tested.
He is still unable to say what may have transpired between the victim and his alleged attacker.
Auckland City Police commander Inspector Andrew Coster says Myers Park is regularly patrolled by officers. ‘‘We are actively involved in monitoring it but we cleary can’t be there all the time.
‘‘It’s probably simplistic to say the problems are only about a location. There are a range of issues we’re trying to tackle. Myers Park would be just one of a number of locations we are interested in.
‘‘We’re obviously very pleased the local board has seen fit to invest in safety,’’ he says.
Standing guard: A policeman keeps watch at a cordon in Myers Park on the morning of Steven Harris’ fatal stabbing.