Manukau Station

Manukau does have its short comings

Today this comment about Manukau Station came up through my Facebook:

(The formatting came up quite well on PDF)

You can see the conversation and debate going on here.

You can also see me calling out Councillor Dick Quax twice on the matter. That would be due to his penny-pinching in the time of the former Manukau City Council (to which Len Brown was mayor and Quax was a councillor) of the order of around $6.12 million – to save 425 metres of track and the tunnel being located outside the south entrance of the Westfield Manukau Mall.

I am afraid that my centre-right representatives are lacking some forward vision planning (that they do go on about) to save $6.12 million and increased benefits of locating the station at the south entrance of the Mall. My comments in the debate show where the forward vision was lacking:

Ok two questions to which I will respond separately: I would agree with you there Michael – but mainly due to short comings. MIT will be built over the top of Manukau Rail Station so least there will be an anchor “customer” right above it. However that $6.12m to get the tunnel to the South End Entrance of the Mall is not prohibitive if the plan was done properly. The tunnel goes to the South End Mall which attracts both commercial and more to the point shoppers in the offpeak and weekends which help make the station viable (like Sylvia Park). Westfield with a bit of incentive would of most likely ripped up the south car park and develop it like the North End where you have a two level car park, plus farmers extended and the movies. Done really well the south end has the rail station and bus station in the basement, car parking on ground level and level one, retail on level two and offices/apartments for levels three through to six and maybe a sky roof garden on level seven. Done super well there would of been a sky bridge over Wiri now Manukau Station Road to the courts and rainbows end for the pedestrians. But no… Oh well – stuck with it now might as well do with what we have.

Where I am referring to is here on this diagram:

Click for full view at 1920×1280 resolution

But you can see where the station ended up, where it should have been, and the 425 metres missing that people would have to walk. Now you can still walk it – I have done it, however you would have to cross a busy road loaded with buses from the bus interchange being built at the station, cars and service traffic from the MIT building (on top of the station), one car park, another busy access portal that divides the mall from the old council building and hopefully not get hosed on by Auckland’s wet weather.

As I said in the Facebook debate, having the station where I have put a blue box where it would have been the best site if it was done properly. By properly I mean the following in coordination with Westfield Mall (the car-park would be replaced with a multi story building similar to the one on the east end)(I have modified the content from the Facebook original content):

  1. Rail Station and bus station on the basement level, with car parking as well (over two levels)
  2. Ground level would be the lobby, retail and pedestrian entrances
  3. Level One – Retail and Office
  4. Level Two – Office/Civic functions
  5. Levels Three to Seven – MIT or commercial office
  6. Levels Seven to Ten, residential or hotel
  7. Level 11/roof – sky garden

You would also have sky bridges connected to the Manukau Court and Police Station complex as well as Rainbows End so traffic did not have to cross Manukau Station Road.

So essentially the potential was there but blown again – due to lack of forward vision and good old-fashioned penny-pinching. Never mind, we have the station now and MIT being built above it. We still have a car park across the road that can be redeveloped for anyone bold enough with the vision to do so. Might take a crack at it in Google Sketchup and see what I can do.

Now as for the Manukau-to-Papakura link that is missing, another bug bear from crap planning – however I was reassured that the link is due to be built in 18 months time. This is despite some horrid train conflict movements from the EMU Depot and Port of Auckland Wiri Inland Port (both are on the wrong respective sides of the NIMT – Main Line) that would occur regardless of the third main line being built.

Right, back to my renderings and other articles

In the mean time: 2013…

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