Submissions on the notice of requirement for the City Rail Link close tomorrow at 5pm. Even though on this blog we all support the project, we think it’s still worth making a submission – for a few reasons:

  1. Inevitably the NZ Herald will at some point run a “how many submissions were for or against the project” even though submissions are never an accurate gauge of public support for something. (The grumpiest opponents are always the most likely to go to the trouble of making a submission).
  2. Some submissions are likely to oppose the project and potentially even appeal a final decision (should the designation be approved) to the Environment Court. Submitting now means that you’ll be able to stay involved in the process and ensure that Auckland Transport don’t make any dumb compromises in order to satisfy opponents.

So what to say? Well below I’ve outlined some key points that you might want to make in support of the project:

  • General support of the project (assuming you share our support). This is really important to highlight that anything else in the submission is subservient to the general support. While other elements of the submission may arguably¬†further improve the project fundamentally what is proposed is sound and should be granted the necessary consents. It may be worth mentioning that the Auckland Plan highlights the CRL as Auckland’s number one priority transport project.
  • Support the decision to retain the East Facing Connection rather than the Inner West Interchange. The EFC will allow a direct link between Newton and Grafton – ensuring the capacity of the CRL is fully utilised and also that Grafton Station will continue to play a meaningful role in the rail network.
  • Support the general alignment of the route and the location of the three stations. Aotea at the heart of midtown, K Road serving an area furtherest from the existing rail network and Newton station acting as a catalyst for the growth of an area with enormous development potential. There is an interesting argument to be had around whether construction of the some of the stations should be staged but this consenting process is all about protecting the footprint so issues about sequencing are irrelevant here.

As suggested in this previous post, there are some potential improvements, though relatively minor, that could be made to the proposed designation footprint:

  • Designate an area across the site at the corner of Elliott and Victoria Streets to ensure future access between the corner of Darby & Elliott streets and the entrance to Aotea Station. This will enable a level entrance to the station from Queen Street along Darby – rather than unnecessarily forcing people to climb up Victoria or Wellesley streets to then go down again to the platforms.
  • Require further information about how Albert Street will be rebuilt after it’s dug up between Wellesley and Customs streets. If possible we should try to remove the slip lane between Wellesley and Victoria streets and also improve the quality of footpaths along all of Albert Street from their current embarrassing state.
  • Provision of a second station entrance at Newton station on the eastern side of Symonds Street – to relieve pressure on what would otherwise be just the one entrance to this station in a not particularly pedestrian friendly part of Auckland.

Submissions are pretty easy to make – just fill in the online submission form here and make sure you note that the submission applies to all the notices of requirement.

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  1. Thanks for reminding me and giving me something to add to my submission…

    Submitted now, so one more tick in the “lets do it” box.

  2. Done! Grafton station is an incredibly important asset to those of us who work or visit the hospital

    1. Patrick while it’s true Khyber Pass is a more romantic name, I quite like the fact that calling it Grafton makes an important link in people’s perceptions that the station is close to the hospital and to the medical school. In reality the station is still quite a bit of a walk from both places but at least calling it Grafton makes sure it’s perceived as being fairly close.

  3. Do we need to serve a copy of the submission to AT even if submitting online? The council website is not entirely clear.

    1. Very good question. Unless it’s specifically stated I suspect not – I’m sure the computer system at Council can send AT copies if need be.

  4. I made a brief submission a couple of weeks ago – basically saying that although I live in Wellington, I also value this project as I believe it will make a positive difference to the country as a whole (not just Auckland).
    It’s a good idea to have voices outside of Auckland endorsing the CRL as well – to counter the “Why spend on Auckland?” rumble that inevitably arises from the rest of the country whenever big Auckland projects are touted.

  5. I made my submission, but after clicking the button I didn’t get any message saying the submission had gone through and been accepted.
    Is this normal? Should I do it again? I don’t want to submit twice.

  6. Submissions close tomorrow anytime up to midnight. It’s an Auckland Council process and you should get an acknowledgement of receipt. It might be worth doing it again if you haven’t. Any duplicate submissions from the same person will be culled. Council provides a copy of submissions received to Auckland Transport and vice versa if they come to AT through the mail etc.

      1. OK all redone.
        The only thing different was that the first time I missed a field, which I then corrected and resubmitted, but maybe this confused the system and it didn’t go through correctly.
        Bit of a concern that it didn’t go through last time, and I wonder how many people that may have happened to.

  7. Has anyone else been asked to talk to AT about their submission in detail? I’ve recieved an email asking if I’d like to come in and talk to a planner and engineer about my specific comments, which were copied from above plus a few lines on heritage!
    Was just wondering if this was their approach to all submitters

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