City church sees the light

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

An his­toric Auck­land city land­mark will fi­nally be lit up in all its glory.

St Pa­trick’s Cathe­dral on Wyn­d­ham St is near­ing the end of al­most five years of restora­tion and up­grade.

The $113 mil­lion restora­tion of the church in 2007 has been fol­lowed this year by an $9.2m up­grade of the sur­round­ing St Pa­trick’s Square which was also meant to in­clude new lighting in­stalled around the cathe­dral.

But an $800,000 bud­get blowout last year saw $450,000 for the lighting re­moved from the project.

At an Auck­land City Coun­cil arts, cul­ture and recre­ation com­mit­tee meet­ing last month coun­cil­lors voted to add the lighting back in.

The nearly half mil­lion dol­lar in­jec­tion comes at the cost of the Ex­change Lane up­grade, which will be post­poned un­til more funds are found.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Greg Moyle says it’s far bet­ter to do one project com­pletely and move on rather than do­ing bits and pieces.

Deputy mayor David Hay agreed say­ing: “The peo­ple of Auck­land will ben­e­fit from this his­tor­i­cal build­ing be­ing lit up.”

How­ever, not all coun­cil­lors were in favour of the re­al­lo­ca­tion of the funds, with coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey say­ing the coun­cil had done enough to help and called the lighting un­nec­es­sary.

“So far we’ve done St Pa­trick’s Square a great ser­vice,” she says.

“We would be do­ing the city a dis­ser­vice if we take money away from Peter to pay Paul.”

St Pa­trick’s Cathe­dral busi­ness man­ager Kevin Sher­lock says the staff there are thrilled the new lighting will be go­ing ahead once more.

“It’s a ma­jor part of the over­all up- grade of the square,” he says.

“We would have been miss­ing a big part of achiev­ing the out­come we were looking for.”

Mr Sher­lock says at the mo­ment the cathe­dral sits in shadow and the new lighting will make a huge dif­fer­ence as well as pro­vid­ing ex­tra se­cu­rity.

“It’s go­ing to lift the whole square and add to the good feel­ing of the square at night.”

He says the only con­cern for the cathe­dral will be pay­ing for the on­go­ing cost of power for the lighting.

The new lighting is due to be in­stalled by the mid­dle of next year.


Fi­nally fin­ished: St Pa­trick’s Square will be of­fi­cially re­opened to the pub­lic at a cel­e­bra­tion day this week­end.

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