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AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, AUGUST 21, 2013
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MT ALBERT CAMPUS
Mt Albert town centre to get new lease of life
By EMMA WHITTAKER
Under way: Albert-Eden Local Board
chairman Peter Haynes and board
member Pauline Anderson say the Mt
Albert town centre renewal has been a
top priority. Photo: EMMA WHITTAKER
Long held plans to renew the Mt
Albert town centre are finally kick-
ing into gear.
A town square will be developed
in what is now a car park next door
to 911 New North Rd after the
Auckland Council and the Albert-
Eden Local Board secured a long-
term lease for the site last week.
The $5 million project will forge
a link between the newly rebuilt
train station and the shopping
A ramp will connect the station
with the square.
It s fair to say the people of Mt
Albert have fallen out of love with
the town centre. This is the first
step towards re-capturing some of
Mt Albert s former glory, local
board chairman Peter Haynes says.
For the past two decades
residents have held hope that the
renewal would happen.
They have been consulted on the
idea on at least three occasions in
that time without anything even-
tuating, Dr Haynes and board
member Pauline Anderson say.
The current attempt is partly a
legacy project of the Auckland City
Council and some funds were set
aside in the local board s budget
upon its formation.
Work couldn t begin until the
train station upgrade was complete
and long negotiations for the land
lease delayed progress until now.
It s been a lengthy process, Dr
It s been the board s main proj-
ect since day one and the whole
board is thrilled to bits about the
The community will be consulted
over coming months about what
will be included in the square.
Seating is a given and art work is
The linking bridge will likely be
installed by Christmas and it is
hoped construction work will start
End of the road for hall?
By JESS LEE
History: The Waitemata Local Board is looking at funding options to remove
Herne Bay's former Masonic Lodge and incorporate it into Salisbury Reserve.
Photo: JESS LEE
Council officers didn't
believe there was a need
for the hall and to be fair
to them it seems they
Waitemata Local Board
chairman Shale Chambers
THE FUTURE of Herne Bay s for-
mer Masonic Lodge has been been
up in the air for a number of years
but it seems a final decision will be
bringing it to the ground.
The site and building at 12
Argyle St, adjacent to Salisbury
Reserve, was purchased by the for-
mer Auckland City Council in 2010
for open space purposes.
The Waitemata Local Board has
decided not to proceed with a
resource consent application for
community use of the building and
is now looking at funding options
for the hall to be torn down and the
area incorporated into the reserve.
Auckland Council recommended
the hall be removed in a report to
the local board in February last
year due to the benefits of the site
as open space.
Lack of use, ongoing mainten-
ance costs and a need to change its
zoning means it would cost more to
keep it as a community venue than
to remove it.
Only not-for-profit organisations
are eligible for a community lease.
Community consultation on the
use of the site and building took
place in 2011 attracting 145 sub-
We thought we owed it to the
community to put it out for consul-
tation, local board chairman Shale
Council officers didn t believe
there was a need for the hall and to
be fair to them it seems they were
The Combined Probus Club of
Ponsonby continued to use the hall
for its monthly meetings on a
monthly tenancy until its lease was
terminated by the council this
The local board voted five to two
in favour of instructing council
officers to extend the Probus Club s
lease until December 31.
But club representative John
McGuire says the club is happy to
move to a new meeting place at the
nearby Herne Bay Petanque Club.
Local board member Greg Moyle
would like to see the hall remain to
be used as community space.
I wouldn t build it but on the
same page I wouldn t destroy some-
thing that s not being a problem,
You ve got an existing local hall
there that s not really costing us
anything to maintain or operate
and a local group who are happy to
manage it and maintain it.
It s the only hall of its type in
Herne Bay, he says.
The Herne Bay community
hasn t used it to the same extent
because historically it wasn t avail-
able and now that it is available it
hasn t been properly promoted or
If we pull it down it s open space
and there s no real need for more
open space there.
Herne Bay resident Derek Wat-
son has lived next door to the hall
for more than 20 years and says he
wouldn t be sad to see it go.
It seems to be mostly sitting
empty but once a month the Probus
group take over the street parking
It s a bit of a nuisance, Mr Wat-
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