Auckland CBD isn’t bouncing back the way it should

Auckland CBD isn’t bouncing back the way it should

I was out in Auckland city last night – which if you know me, you know is extremely rare on a weeknight for me to be out anywhere, far less the CBD. But I was driving through downtown Auckland with my kids in the car and I couldn’t believe how heaving town was for a Thursday night.

Bars and restaurants full, people sitting cheek by jowl at tables both inside and out on the street, it was buzzing. I said to my kids, “look at this! Town’s on fire!” and my very wise 22 year old son said, “Mum, you just wait, past 8 o’clock you do not want to be in here, it gets as rough as guts.”

Luckily I didn’t plan on being in town past 8pm, but I knew he was right. Once the post work drinks and dinner crowd go home, Auckland’s CBD transforms into a pretty unsavoury place. And I note even during the day it’s getting untenable for some retailers.

Clothing store Huffer said this week that Auckland’s just not safe anymore, which anyone who lives in Auckland knows. From guns going off, to ram raids, to violent crime, to the CBD full of homeless, to retail theft.. the list is endless. And it’s depressing.

Especially if you’re a born and bred Aucklander like me, who’s grown up in this city, loved this city, owns property in it, raised kids in it. I was asking a real estate agent the other day how people live in town, right in the city centre, which should be prime real estate, proximity to great shopping, parks, ferries, buses, great eateries.. but how do they 1) navigate their way round it in a car, and 2) feel safe walking at night? 

I mean you can’t take a car anywhere because there’s no parking and you’d be congested in traffic forever anyway, so you may as well walk, but if you’re walking, are you taking your life into your hands?

It’s noble that Mayoral hopefuls keep saying they’ll fix congestion, and they’ll clean up the city, they’ll crack down on crime, but how are they doing any of that? The problem is the Mayor is just another councillor, and if the Auckland Council hasn’t done any of that yet, what makes you think they’ll start now? A new Mayor is still just as powerless.

This is especially true when you’ve got the idealogues at Auckland Transport wanting to turn the city into one giant cycle lane. So it makes me sad what’s happened to Auckland.

We’ve got family living in other cities who love where they live. Christchurch, Dunedin, Northland, they love it. They relish their environment and are enjoying the spring back to life post Covid. But Auckland has just not managed that same bounce back.

Many shops have closed permanently, the aforementioned Huffer’s had two ram raids, another clothing store in town I know of has had to electronically tag every single piece of clothing due to the surge in shoplifting. Not that it changes anything given Police are not that interested. So I’m not sure how we fix Auckland, or what we can do to restore her back to her old glory. Is that even possible now? 

And if it’s not possible, how many of us stay and just put up with a city in decline, versus actually bailing on it?

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here