By Kim Meredith
Auckland councillor Alf Filipaina says the proposed Auckland Light Rail decision to bypass Māngere Town Centre has spared locals from giving up recreational land.
The government's Auckland Light Rail (ALR) unit released the proposed route last week and despite strong public feedback from the community about wanting a station in central Māngere, the decision was made to not include a stop in the suburb's town centre.
Filipaina said ALR went to great pains to contact elected members from the community's local board and governing board to explain at length the reasons behind the decision.
It was important the local community were informed about what could have been lost if the current plan for the light rail were constructed through the middle of Māngere, he said.
"The interesting thing is that putting it in plain terms there would have been losses for our community."
The proposal would have taken recreational areas away from the community, such as David Lange Park in Bader Drive situated close to the town centre.
"They [ALR] put it in plain terms, we need to make sure what the actual benefits are going to be for our community, it's important to understand why and how the decision was made," Filipaina said.
Community leaders have longed called for an upgrade of its town centre, hopeful this would be a public-led project that invested in the centre and give it a much needed makeover.
Filipaina said the loss of recreational land as well as other recreational areas had to be balanced against the objective of cutting down travel times.
Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air