Va­lerie to start dig­ging the CRL tun­nel

Central Leader - - LIFESTYLE & LEISURE - CA­TRIN OWEN

An Auck­land City Rail Link dig­ging ma­chine has been named af­ter Olympic gold medal­ist Va­lerie Adams - un­be­knownst to her.

Florence and the Ma­chine, Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood, and Kowhai were all put for­ward by stu­dents at Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary School in Pa­pakura for two bor­ing ma­chines that will dig un­der Auck­land’s CBD.

But it was Va­lerie and Maia that were cho­sen to name the ma­chines that Con­nec­tus, a McCon­nell Dow­ell and Hawkins joint ven­ture, will use to dig the City Rail Link (CRL) Al­bert St stormwa­ter tun­nels.

The name Va­lerie was sub­mit­ted by both Jas­mine Matthews and Kauri Poki in hon­our of Adams’ strength.

The womens shot put­ter has two Olympic gold medals and four world cham­pi­onship gold medals to her name. Most re­cently she won sil­ver at the Rio Olympics.

Adams says she was quite sur­prised when she found out she was the name­sake for the ma­chine.

‘‘It’s quite an in­ter­est­ing ob­ject to have named af­ter me, but I guess it’s ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause it’s strong and so am I,’’ Adams said.

She said she would have pre­ferred being named af­ter a Fer­rari but did see the funny side.

‘‘It’s kind of hi­lar­i­ous, I just hope one day I can ride on this ma­chine.’’

Maia is the name for the smaller ma­chine and was sub­mit­ted by eight-year-old Es­ther­bella Haenga. it was a ‘‘won­der­ful’’ op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘To think they can all take a ride on the CRL in years to come and know they’ve been part of its cre­ation makes this mean­ing­ful and special.’’

The two ma­chines will re­place the ex­ist­ing stormwa­ter main and

Jas­mine Matthews named one of the tun­nel bor­ing ma­chines Va­lerie, af­ter Olympic gold medal­ist Va­lerie Adams.

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