Tun­nel spares no­body

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

Not even Mt Al­bert’s movers and shak­ers have been spared from the dis­rup­tions caused by the Waterview con­nec­tion.

Com­mu­nity board mem­bers and Auck­land city coun­cil­lors are among hun­dreds of res­i­dents whose homes are af­fected by the com­bined sur­face and tun­nel op­tion.

Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald is not go­ing to move from the bun­ga­low he has spent 18 years ren­o­vat­ing.

“I’m 54 now. Crikey, I can’t do it again, so we’re stay­ing put.”

He says even though the new mo­tor­way won’t run through his prop­erty he be­lieves its value will de­crease by $100,000 be­cause of its prox­im­ity to the $1.4 bil­lion project.

“Who am I go­ing to sell it to now?”

Mr Macdon­ald says the new con­nec­tion has up­set a lot of peo­ple.

“No one around here wants to move. It’s not 365 houses be­ing taken, it’s 365 fam­i­lies be­ing evicted from Avon­dale, not only from their homes but from the com­mu­nity.”

Auck­land city coun­cil­lor Noelene Raf­fills has lived in Blockhouse Bay Rd for four years and be­lieves the New Zealand Trans­port Agency has done well with its com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

Her home is close to the tun­nel sec­tion but she’s not too con­cerned.

“When the first road was pro­posed peo­ple com­plained, when the tun­nel was pro­posed peo­ple com­plained and when the lat­est pro­posal was made peo­ple com­plained.

“There will al­ways be peo­ple com­plain­ing.”

Trans­port agency chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off Danger­field says af­fected peo­ple will be com­pen­sated fairly.

And the pub­lic will be able to air their con­cerns at a se­ries of meet­ings with the Waterview con­nec­tion project team. • Peo­ple can meet the project team at the fol­low­ing venues on th­ese dates:

June 2: Owairaka Pri­mary School from 3.30pm to 8.30pm.

June 3: Waterview Methodist Church, Fir St, from 3.30pm to 8.30pm. An in­for­ma­tion day will be held at the same church on June 20 from 10am to 3pm.

A sec­ond in­for­ma­tion day is on July 4 at the Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Cen­tre from 10am to 3pm.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Not happy: Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald and his wife Glenys un­der­stand that the tun­nel will go un­der prop­er­ties just down the street from them.

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