A proposal to transform a street in New Lynn into a Chinatown-styled retail district has been shelved.
Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey outlined to councillors in October a proposal to redevelop part of Totara Ave as a precinct reflective of traditional and modern China.
The proposal included large ornamental gates, a retail district, and an area conducive to hosting Asian cultural events.
But Mr Harvey told the Herald last night the idea had been put on hold because rail developments would make the site unusable.
"The plans for a transport hub eat up too much of Totara Ave, reducing it to about the size of Vulcan Lane. We needed a street which could fit at least 50 or 60 shops," he said. The $700 million development of the underground rail station in New Lynn reduced the available space on the street from 200 metres to approximately 50 metres.
Mr Harvey said New Lynn was the most natural place for the idea to work, because of its high density of Chinese, and said that the council was not immediately seeking another location.
The proposal was met by criticism this week by residents who felt the idea was a poor use of council funds, and not in line with New Lynn's history. New Lynn Residents & Ratepayers spokeswoman Joanne Ngatai claimed the proposal did not reflect the identities of all New Lynn's residents, and she objected to the lack of council consultation on the idea.
Mr Harvey said their criticisms missed the mark because the idea was retail based, and not a cultural transformation of the suburb.