City church sees the light
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.