Auckland's Mt Roskill Village centre is in line for a long-awaited upgrade, but some of it will have to be re-done if light rail ploughs through the area.

A local leader, however, says the pattern on the road surface will only be anti-slip paint, not new paving.

Sketches by a design firm of how the scruffy area at the intersection of Dominion and Mt Albert Rds might look have been published by the Puketāpapa Local Board.

They show elegant, patterned basalt paving for footpaths, timber poles forming decorative sculptural elements and irregularly shaped seating "modules". Part of the road is to be covered with an anti-slip treatment which is coloured grey and black, and patterned like the footpath.

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"Patterns derived from whāriki - woven mat - designs contain meaning and make references to the stories and features of the landscape, flora and fauna," say the design firm, Boffa Miskell.

"Basalt paving patterns … reference the stories of the landscape, flora and fauna of Mt Roskill.

"Tall timber sculptures symbolise the tree species that made up the forests that once stood in Mt Roskill."

Board chairman Harry Doig is excited to be on the cusp of the upgrade at the Mt Roskill Village, which he said had been repeatedly delayed for various reasons over the past five years.

"We have been wanting to do something with all the Dominion Rd shopping centres [which are] looking the worse for wear.

"We've got an opportunity where Auckland Transport is doing major work to get Dominion Rd ready for double-decker buses. We're piggy-backing on their street work, to pretty-up and make the centre a bit more attractive."

He withheld the likely amount of ratepayer money the board would contribute to the job for fear of tipping off potential bidders for the work.

Auckland Transport said the cost of its work - footpath maintenance and bus-stop improvements - would be less than $100,000.

Doig emphasised that the road treatment would be an anti-slip surface - spray-on paint - so no great investment would be lost with the construction of light rail.

"We would be hoping when light rail goes through to do something more permanent.

"The basalt paving is the footpath - this will be installed in sections which can be removed and reinstalled if necessary, minimising any disruption from potential light-rail works."

This week, a business association said a $1.5 million Auckland Transport scheme to modify 24 verandas on Dominion Rd to accommodate double-decker buses would be a waste of money when light rail might be only several years away.