INDEPENDENT NEWS

Mayor Hubbard Fast-Tracks Newmarket's Upgrade

Published: Thu 10 Nov 2005 09:49 AM
Media release
Newmarket Business Association
9.30pm - Wednesday 9 November 2005
SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT MADE TONIGHT
Mayor Hubbard fast-tracks Newmarket's upgrade
New Zealand's premier retail district, which has been aggressively agitating for new footpaths over the past six months, had its calls answered with a surprise announcement by Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard tonight," said Newmarket Business Association head, Cameron Brewer tonight.
At a local meeting attended by over 100 Newmarket businesspeople, Mayor Hubbard publicly announced for the first time that $5million would go to replacing priority footpaths in Newmarket over the next two financial years - $2million in 2006/07 and $3million in 2007/08.
The Mayor along with Auckland City general manager of City Development John Duthie confirmed physical improvements will start to be made as early as the first quarter of 2007 - 15 months away.
"We have always said the council's original intention to begin the town centre renewal programme in 2008/09 was too late. Newmarket's increasingly shabby and unsafe footpaths are totally unsatisfactory. Tonight's surprise announcement is good news for New Zealand's leading shopping district. Without doubt it will be well received by my 1,400 members.
"I was employed by Newmarket businesses to do all I could to turn this issue into a political hot potato. Four successive Auckland City Councils have overlooked Newmarket's decay. Tonight the Mayor fronted up and delivered a solid commitment that was beyond Newmarket's expectations. For that Newmarket businesspeople will be grateful.
"The council was so keen to shut this issue down it has taken the bold step of making substantial expenditure promises before even confirming the forthcoming annual budgets, but that's fine by Newmarket. The Mayor also indicated that Newmarket is the benefactor of capital expenditure that was earmarked for the central city's Vulcan Lane upgrade that has since been cancelled. That also suits Newmarket perfectly.
"This is the biggest news for New Zealand's best shopping precinct for many years. We are now halfway to a $10million-plus complete town centre upgrade, said Mr Brewer.
Ends

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