Ma­jor con­cerns at park

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHITTAKER

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.

Photo: SEAN WILLIS

Stand­ing guard: A po­lice­man keeps watch at a cor­don in My­ers Park on the morn­ing of Steven Har­ris’ fa­tal stab­bing.

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