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Aotea Square plans completely over the top

7 November 2005

Aotea Square plans completely over the top

Upgrading Aotea Square has long been needed but the plans launched by the Auckland City Council this afternoon are way over the top, Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association said today.

"Auckland desperately needs so many basic infrastructural upgrades. Constructing an ostentatious glass canopy above Aotea Square and possibly relocating the central library are not necessary. Auckland has much more pressing needs elsewhere.

"Auckland City's rates are rocketing up, its transport infrastructural is failing on all fronts, and footpaths like those in Newmarket simply don't function. Only the mentally-deluded would view an over-the-top upgrade of Aotea Square as a priority at this point in time.

"It is not right ratepayers across the isthmus are being asked to fund $100 million worth of city centre upgrades over the next few years while their own neighbourhoods decay. Probably 95 percent of Aucklanders don't even work, live, or even visit the downtown area. What about the suburbs and the city's other 15 town centres? The Auckland City Council has long been accused of being CBD-centric and these over-the-top plans will confirm most people's worst suspicions.

"The city centre is being paved in gold, while the rest of Auckland struggles to get its potholes fixed. Downtown Auckland is important but going over board on the aesthetics is not going to ensure Auckland's economic success.

"Having a public square without a glass roof and having the central library on Lorne Street are not holding the city back. Both things work perfectly well as they are, so why fix them. This city council has bigger fish to fry and more urgent matters to attend," said Mr Brewer.

ENDS

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