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Ask Phoebe: Stokes Pt memorial shut while work goes ahead on bridge

By Phoebe Falconer

3 comments
The lack of parking around the arena was intended to encourage people to use public transport. Photo / Greg Bowker
The lack of parking around the arena was intended to encourage people to use public transport. Photo / Greg Bowker

Recently I tried to visit the memorial headstone for the men killed during the building of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Positioned under the bridge at Stokes Pt, it is a solemn place with magnificent views over the harbour. However when I visited it was sealed off with mesh and razor wire. Why is this, and when will the reserve be open to the public again?

Paul Titchener, Grey Lynn.

This reserve has been temporarily cordoned off by the New Zealand Transport Agency as a safety measure while work on the bridge is being carried out above the memorial. On weekends, however, when there is no work on the bridge, the gates are left open for people to visit the memorial stone and the nearby site of a pa. This will continue until November 2012. In the meantime, the NZTA is working with Auckland Council to improve landscaping of the Stokes Pt Recreation/Te Onewa Pa areas. This project will include permanent fencing that will close only when future maintenance work on the bridge could create a risk for people visiting the memorial and reserve below.

Are there any plans to build a carpark building near Vector Arena on the old railway station property? There seems to be a lot of empty land there and it would be great to see it used for parking for arena patrons. Something similar to the rugby stadium in Wellington would be great. Margaret Wills, Auckland.

The lack of public parking at Vector Arena was deliberate, to encourage the use of public transport and to avoid traffic snarl-ups before and after events on this heavily used road. There are four carpark buildings within six to eight minutes' walk of the venue, and with Britomart only 1.2km away, the public transport options are many and varied.

We, like numerous others, were impressed by the activity stabilising Newmarket Park. Substantial planting will ensure the park returns to its former glory. But for some reason the work has come to a grinding halt. Why is this, and when will the contractors be back to finish the job? And how long will it take to complete? Charles Goldie, Remuera.

The remediation and stabilisation works were finished in May, and the final site tidy-up is expected to be done by April. This will include the removal of remaining earth, minor work on the southern slope, a bit of tidying around the ponded areas, reinstatement of all the footpaths on the upper area, and the replacement of park furniture (benches, tables, lighting, etc). More than 10,000 native trees and plants have been used in the landscaping, and there are even log refuge piles for when the native copper and ornate skinks are reintroduced. All good stuff, it seems to me.

* A column late last year incorrectly stated that council parking wardens could issue infringement notices to vehicles parked in any shopping centre carpark. This is not the case, as these carparks are on private property. The exception is for vehicles parked in parking buildings operated by Auckland Transport.

- NZ Herald

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