Te Ao Māori artwork, purple mood lighting, sweeping timber ceilings - these are some of the features of a new $69 million Auckland train/bus station.
The Puhinui Station was officially opened on Saturday morning, then the public was invited inside.
Minister of Transport Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff opened the long-awaited upgraded Puhinui Station in Papatoetoe, shut while the new building rose.
Auckland Transport said hundreds of people visited the architecturally designed station between 11am and 3pm on Saturday.
From today, there will be faster, more frequent and easier connections to Auckland Airport with the new station providing connections to the electric AirportLink bus fleet.
The Papatoetoe station has been closed since September 2019.
It has drop-off zones and short-term parking bays, new and larger platform shelters, a HOP ticket gateline, improved safety, lighting and CCTV.
AT chief executive Shane Ellison said: "It's a special time to be able to unveil this stunning piece of architecture and design. Thanks to a partnership with mana whenua, which involved Te Ākitai Waiohua providing design leadership, we've now got an amazing station that will create key connections into Auckland Airport from all over Tāmaki Makaurau."
Alf Filipaina, a Manukau ward councillor, said the new station made for far better connections.
"The design also incorporates the future rapid transit network bridge - as part of the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project. This will eventually unlock 18 kilometres of a dedicated rapid transit path from Botany to Auckland Airport, via Manukau, and is part of Auckland's bigger rapid transit network."
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says it is another welcome investment for South Auckland.
"There are so many benefits to having such an amazing new asset in Papatoetoe. The new station will benefit locals, but it will also make it easier for the large number of airport workers who live nearby – who will now have a reliable and affordable public transport option for getting to and from work."
The station opening also coincides with the recently upgraded State Highway 20B and Puhinui Rd/Lambie Drive Improvements – providing dedicated T3/bus lanes and reliable travel times for customers on the AirportLink.
The AirportLink will run every 10 minutes from Puhinui, with a 10 to 12-minute trip to Auckland Airport, along bus lanes that operate daily from 7am – 7pm, Auckland Transport said.
The station was designed by Aurecon and Jasmax and built by a McConnell Dowell and Built Environs joint venture.
Puhinui Station is one step in the wider Auckland Airport-Botany Rapid Transit project, part of the wider Southwest Gateway Programme.
That programme involves Te Ākitai Waiohua, Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport working together to develop new projects.
Auckland Transport said this approach acknowledged Te Ākitai Waiohua kaitiaki and mana whenua role in Puhinui and the wider partnership with all mana whenua.