What you think of the Canopies
chairman of the Plimmerton Residents Association in the article cited.
But it was the revelation by Peter Matich, senior policy analyst, that the ratepayer might have to pay for the maintenance of Mana Esplanade if it becomes a local road that was revealing.
It is the first public declaration out of the council I have seen despite making many internal unanswered requests over 20 years for comparative costs between highway options.
Perhaps councillor Tim Sheppard could provide the full ratepayer costs of maintaining all of Centennial Highway, residual SH58, and Grays Rd given climate change before the annual plan falls due.
His latest circular e-mail committing himself and the ratepayers to expensive loans for interchanges at Waitangarua should also be an eye-opener to new councillors on how poor information flow have led to piecemeal rather than holistic planning. A word of praise, however. I applaud the annual plan summary, which is a great improvement over trawling through so much stuff. Get rid of the Canopies and reinstate everything back to how it was before 1995. They have not worked! It is cold under the Canopies and a lot of businesses have moved out through lack of custom, because the public don’t like shopping under them.
Apart from when I have the need to go to the drycleaners, I avoid going under the Canopies.
The cost of replacing the canopies cannot be justified, so the money contemplated or put aside for this, could be put towards turning this into another mall-like area. (This would not necessarily mean seven days shopping, but flexible hours for shop owners.)
If the canopies were to go, the poles already in place holding them up could be used to hold a permanent roof structure, that would keep everything warm and dry with a clear-light roof that was transparent for some natural light and some sunshine.
The ends and the side of the mall by the car parks would need to have doors to keep out the cold winds, so that it became a self- Get rid of them and brighten up the city. My wife and I loved the Canopies.
They were perfect to walk under in the pouring rain (who walks on the edges?).
What killed the area was the Post Office moving.
A lot of foot traffic was lost, which caused The Windmill to fold The problem isn’t really whether the Canopies should remain, but what to do with the space under them.
There are almost no worthwhile retail shops left in the area, which has become rundown, an eyesore and a bit of an embarrassment.
The only businesses that really seem to prosper under the Canopies are the loan sharks, which in its way is an indictment on the sort of people who now spend most time in the area.
To my mind there would be little debate about whether the Canopies should remain if there were some worthwhile businesses in the CBD.
As it is, the existence of the Canopies seems to be blamed for the fact that there are no decent shops or other businesses there, but the Canopies are a red herring.
The focus should be on filling the area with good-quality retailers and other organisations.