Crit­ters come to city

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

FEA­TURES to at­tract chil­dren will be con­sid­ered as part of the Aotea Square up­grade.

Auck­land city coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey won the sec­ond round of her bat­tle to have chil­dren’s needs in­cluded in the plans.

“There is noth­ing in the plan for Aotea Square that has any wow fac­tor for chil­dren,” she told the coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day.

Dr Casey called for of­fi­cers to con­sider adding art fea­tures like “crit­ters”, small an­i­mal sculp­tures for chil­dren to dis­cover and play on.

The hard-fought con­ces­sion came af­ter she failed to pass the same amend­ment at the arts, cul­ture and recre­ation meet­ing the day be­fore.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Greg Moyle said the square was de­signed to be an open ur­ban space, not a play­ground.

“We have much more se­ri­ous busi­ness than wor­ry­ing about lit­tle crit­ters run­ning around the place,” he said.

But the plan won sup­port from mayor John Banks and all but four Cit­i­zens & Ratepay­ers mem­bers at the coun­cil meet­ing.

Ex­tra trees, more shade, and higher qual­ity paving stones are also among changes to the up­grade plans.

Pub­lic feed­back on the draft de­signs show Auck­lan­ders want more seat­ing, lights, and bet­ter dis­abled ac­cess.

The use of nikau palms will be re­viewed be­cause of the call for more shade to be pro­vided in the square.

The coun­cil ap­proved adding an ex­tra $1.17 mil­lion to the $25m bud­get for the im­prove­ments.

The ex­tra fund­ing will also pay to shift an ex­haust vent, add stain­less steel ex­pan­sion joints and higher qual­ity paving stones around the town hall.

The money will come from sav­ings in other parts of the carpark roof re­pair project.

If more sav­ings can be found, ex­tra cash will be spent on shade struc­tures and more en­hance­ments to func­tional fea­tures.

Coun­cil­lor Glenda Fryer failed in her bid to give a higher pri­or­ity to shade fea­tures.

And a move to in­clude a wa­ter fea­ture recog­nis­ing the site of the Horotiu stream, put for­ward by coun­cil­lor Graeme Easte, was also re­jected.

Detailed de­sign will con­tinue on the project un­til March.

Work is ex­pected to start on the carpark roof re­pairs in Novem­ber.

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