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Aotea Square Design is a "Stark Concrete Jungle"

Aotea Square Design is a "Stark Concrete Jungle"

City Vision-Labour Auckland City Councillors who attended today's Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee are extremely disappointed at the quality of the design for Aotea Square that was approved to go out for public consultation today.

Councillors Cathy Casey and Glenda Fryer voted against the design as did independent councillor Bill Christian. However, their three votes against were narrowly beaten by the four Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) votes cast in favour by Councillors Baguley, Hay, Lister and Millar.

Councillor Casey says that the Aotea Square design "is stark with little or no shade and is certainly neither world class nor even distinctly Auckland.

"When you consider the money this C&R council is promising for a 'world class' Rugby World Cup is approaching $60 million, it is ludicrous that officers were given a ceiling of $25 million for the upgrade to Aotea Square, the heart of the city of Auckland. In the report, officers admit that if a 'premier' square is desired, additional design features would be required. I think the people of Auckland would rather have a world class square than a world class PR package for the Rugby World Cup!"

Councillor Fryer has visited civic squares overseas and says the Aotea Square design falls woefully short of these exciting spaces. "Where is the 'ooh' factor that will attract kids? Where is the Cuba Street type water feature? Where are the little bronze 'critters' that grace the streets of cities like Brisbane? Where is the fun for kids and, more importantly, where are the features that make this a uniquely Auckland place?"

The public will soon have a chance to have a say on the Aotea Square design when it is released for public consultation.

Councillor Casey says that people should have a long, hard look at the $25 million design and give feedback to the council on what they would like to see in the heart of their city.

"For me, Aotea Square is not just a flat square of concrete for public events, it can and should be a beautiful and interesting place for adults and children, for Aucklanders and tourists alike," Councillor Casey concludes.


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