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The Britomart train station blessed at dawn

The Britomart train station blessed at dawn

The site and platforms of the Britomart train station were blessed at 6.30am this morning. More than 150 guests joined the ceremony conducted by Ngati Whatua Kaumatua, among them Takutai Moana Wikiriwhi.

The blessing recognised the history of the site and bestowed upon it the wish for a “safe journey and good fortune to all.”

The site was first visited by waka and much later sailing ships. Remains of the old Gore Street jetty were uncovered during the excavations to build the new centre. Prior to the Chief Post Office (CPO) being opened in 1912, it was also the site of Auckland’s first inner city rail station, and will now be an integrated transport centre, connecting trains, buses and ferries in the central business district (CBD).

The Mayor of Auckland city, Hon John Banks, and Auckland City Council’s Transport Committee chairperson, Councillor Greg McKeown responded.

“The Ngati Whatua contribution to this project has been important throughout,” said Councillor McKeown, “and it is appropriate that this blessing was the first of several functions as we lead up to the official opening.

“Britomart has always been a busy place for people, transport and commerce. The development of the transport centre will play an important role in the on-going development of Auckland’s CBD.”

Councillor McKeown referred to Britomart as “he waka eke noa, a canoe on which everyone may embark.”

At the conclusion of the blessing, the Kaumatua invited a speech from Hon John Banks and Auckland City’s chief executive, Bryan G Taylor, blessed the food. Mayor Banks thanked Ngati Whatua for their constructive partnership with Auckland City, and also acknowledged the workers on the site.

This celebration is one of the four planned opening events of the Britomart Transport Centre: the first train back to downtown Auckland in over 70 years is planned for Monday 7 July 2003 (depending on weather conditions and signalling) the official opening will take place on Friday 25 July 2003 with the re-opening of the former CPO the free festival day for the public on Saturday 26 July 2003 will celebrate the significance of the centre for the Auckland region and the nation.

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