Critters come to city
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.