Sta­tion work starts

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By KA­RINA ABADIA

WORK start­ing on a scaled down ver­sion of Par­nell Sta­tion has come as wel­come news to res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers.

Auck­land coun­cil­lor Mike Lee says it can’t come soon enough.

‘‘All we want is for peo­ple to be able to catch a train to Par­nell Vil­lage and to the mu­seum and the ic­ing on the cake is that the his­toric New­mar­ket Sta­tion build­ing is be­ing re­lo­cated and re­stored.’’

The re­vised plan doesn’t com­pro­mise safety or func­tion­al­ity but it does en­able fu­ture-proof­ing, Lee says.

‘‘Auck­land has a ten­dency to gold-plate which taken to the ex­treme means projects be­come un­af­ford­able. That’s what’s been hold­ing this sta­tion back.’’

The project will be com­pleted in stages, Auck­land Trans­port spokesman Mark Han­nan says.

‘‘This is to bal­ance the benefits against the costs, and to en­sure con­struc­tion starts in the cur­rent cap­i­tal con­strained en­vi­ron­ment.’’

The first stage is es­ti­mated to cost $6 mil­lion. It in­cludes the her­itage New­mar­ket Sta­tion build­ing and the rail plat­forms as well as the in­stal­la­tion of CCTV cam­eras, light­ing and other sta­tion ameni­ties.

The orig­i­nal $18.9m de­sign in­cluded an over­bridge. This will now come at a later date. Un­til then peo­ple can use the un­der­pass which is about 150 me­tres from where the sta­tion will be, Han­nan says.

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­man Shale Cham­bers sup­ports the start of con­struc­tion.

‘‘We’re not go­ing to get a won­der­fully in­ter­nally fit­ted out sta­tion. It’ll have to wait its turn.

‘‘In the mean­time peo­ple will have to walk down to the un­der­pass. It’s a de­tour so it’s less than op­ti­mal but the bridge over is not part of the cur­rent project.’’

Par­nell Inc gen­eral manager Ch­eryl Adam­son says the sta­tion will help connect up the area.

‘‘It will make the city a lot more ac­ces­si­ble and also pull to­gether the sub­urb so it’s not just cen­tred around one main road,’’ she says.

Par­nell Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee chair­man Luke Niue says he’s keen to see the sub­urb’s his­tory in­cor­po­rated into the de­sign.

‘‘We’re go­ing to work with Auck­land Trans­port in terms of cel­e­brat­ing the her­itage of the area. The Waipapa Stream is a fresh, nat­u­ral stream and the wa­ter was orig­i­nally used to make beer. Those sorts of sto­ries can be told.’’

Most of stage one will be com­plete by July and the sta­tion build­ing is ex­pected to be in place later in the year.

Ki­wiRail has put the rest of the 2.2 hectare prop­erty on Cheshire St on the mar­ket, na­tional prop­erty in­vest­ment and rev­enue manager An­drew Robin­son says.

The ten­ant Main­line Steam is in the process of mov­ing and will be out by the end of May.

The non-profit lo­co­mo­tive restora­tion trust hopes to shift to a South Auck­land prop­erty but the de­tails are yet to be fi­nalised, op­er­a­tions manager Michael Tolich says.

‘‘It’s un­for­tu­nate that we have to move but the land does be­long to Ki­wiRail. We can un­der­stand why they want to sell it.

‘‘Prop­erty val­ues are so high that a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion such as our­selves just can’t af­ford to buy it.’’

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