Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Public transport top of the list for Albert-Eden-Roskill ward

Improvements to public transport are top of the agenda in Albert-Eden-Roskill, as residents seek to balance a need to accommodate the ward's growth with a desire to maintain their leafy green suburbs.

The ward stretches from Mt Eden to Mt Roskill, with the different suburbs having unique needs from the council.

Mt Albert Residents' Association co-chairman Sir Harold Marshall said he was concerned about the impact the planned development of the Unitec campus would have, with more than 1000 new homes planned, and the congestion this would bring along Carrington Rd.

Bill Ralston and Mike Lee fight it out for Waitemata and Gulf ward
Mayoral hopefuls share their vision for future of Auckland
Battleground Auckland - Key match-ups to determine outcome of October's elections

He said Mt Albert had been a "forgotten suburb" since the Super City amalgamation in 2010.

"It's definitely been neglected in the past but it's very much in better heart now and things are beginning to improve."

He said Auckland Council was beginning to engage more with Mt Albert residents and he was confident improvements would be made to the area's centre.

Auckland University Students' Association president Will Matthews lives in Sandringham, and said housing and transport were the biggest issues for students living within the ward.

"Those issues go hand-in-hand because the further out you have to move, the more expensive your transport becomes.

"If you're where I am, at the bottom of Sandringham, near Mt Roskill, you're entirely reliant on buses to get in [to the central city]. If the buses aren't running, it's impossible to get into the city.

"The availability and quality of public transport is a huge thing for people who are having to get up Dominion Rd or Sandringham Rd on a regular basis."


Meanwhile, in Mt Eden village, people spoken to by the Herald were mostly indifferent to the elections.

Most were concerned about the area's growth, and how transport would be affected.

Divisions within Auckland's political right are under the spotlight in the race for Albert-Eden-Roskill's two council seats, as a fresh-faced lawyer with National Party backers goes up against former mayor Christine Fletcher.

Rob Harris is standing for council on behalf of Auckland Future; Communities and Residents' Fletcher is one of two incumbents along with City Vision's Cathy Casey.

Harris said housing, transport and rates affordability were hot topics within the ward, and he believed there was a need to speed up consent processes.

He said the area was "crying out" for more sports fields and green space.

Fletcher said transport was "undoubtedly a key issue". She supports light rail initiatives within the area.

"People are nervous about the Unitary Plan, but there's general support for it," she said.

"We haven't had the physical or social infrastructure to support our massive growth. Most people accept there will be intensification, provided there is the infrastructure there to support it."

Fletcher felt residents were disappointed that the council hadn't been more sensitive to protecting the area's heritage.

Casey said there was a need for more affordable housing, provided it was "well-designed".

She also said it must "not be at the expense of the community".


Monday: Auckland mayoral hopefuls share their vision
Tuesday: Waitemata
Wednesday: Albert-Eden-Roskill and Manurewa-Papakura
Thursday: Albany and Howick
Friday: Licensing trusts and DHBs
Next Tuesday: All the Auckland wards, plus regional highlights, in our local body election supplement

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 25 Oct 2016 20:43:34 Processing Time: 749ms