Weekend Herald

Me­chanic moves for Mt Eden link

- Kingsland, AR · Auckland City

Craig Johns has al­ways had oil and grease run­ning through his veins.

He grew up around cars, and later — to­gether with wife Shayne-Louise — took over Crys­tal Mo­tors, the me­chanic work­shop his par­ents founded in 1968.

But in Oc­to­ber last year, big changes were afoot.

The Johns were told they had to move out of their work­shop, hav­ing ear­lier sold their land to City Rail Link Lim­ited to make way for the new un­der­ground rail net­work’s Mt Eden sta­tion.

“We watched our neigh­bours move out be­fore we did, we were the last ones stand­ing,” Shayne-Louise said.

“For us, it was, ‘ oh my gosh, this is re­ally hap­pen­ing’.”

“Leav­ing a place you’ve be­come so at­tached to for a very long time, you have to ad­just to that change and all the emo­tions it brings up.”

The Johns had been run­ning their busi­ness from the Ruru St work­shop in Eden Ter­race for 17 years. Yet de­spite the up­heaval, they were happy.

“I can’t speak for any­one else in the area, but we had a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence with City Rail Link,” Shayne- Louise said.

“We owned the land and they of­fered us a re­ally good mar­ket rate — and they also cov­ered our ex­penses for mov­ing.”

Af­ter sell­ing, the Johns also con­tin­ued on in their work­shop as CRLL’s ten­ants for an­other year and a half. But then CRLL told them it was start­ing re­de­vel­op­ment work and that they had to go.

Yet, by Oc­to­ber last year, just two weeks be­fore the dead­line, they still didn’t have a new place to move into. They con­sid­ered a ware­house in Mt Roskill, but would have had to close for two months to ren­o­vate it, some­thing that “fi­nan­cially and cash­flow- wise would not have been ad­vis­able”.

Luck­ily, an old panel beat­ers work­shop be­came avail­able on Kings­land’s New North Rd.

They moved in and Crys­tal Mo­tors im­me­di­ately did 30 per cent more busi­ness.

“We are on a main road now so we’ve got traf­fic go­ing past us all the time look­ing in, and we are around the cor­ner from VTNZ so if peo­ple fail their war­rant there then

They of­fered us a re­ally good mar­ket rate

Shayne- Louise Johns

they are com­ing to us for re­pairs,” she said. The only down­side was that with ap­point­ments fully booked some of Crys­tal Mo­tors’ old cus­tomers now found it hard to book in as eas­ily as be­fore.

“Let’s hope for all the peo­ple liv­ing in Auck­land city that this whole City Rail Link will even­tu­ally be the suc­cess Auck­land City Coun­cil has gone on about for all these years,” she said.

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