Manukau Courier : December 10th 2010
3 MANUKAU COURIER, DECEMBER 10, 2010 NEWS THIS SATURDAY And every Saturday afterwards 6PM - MIDNIGHT Free live entertainment, 200 stalls, 50 food stalls, Xmas bargains, arts n crafts, fashionware, antiques, electronic games, rides. All weather, in the carpark under The Warehouse, Westfield Pakuranga Plaza Phone 576 5223 or 027 689 9520 No to men's prison plans By KAREN MANGNALL WE HATE it and you can't do it -- that's the clear message Auckland Council's sub- mission should give to a board of inquiry into a proposed 1500-bed men's prison in Wiri, councillors say. The government has set up the board to fast-track a Corrections Department bid to redesignate land at the existing women's prison to allow a privately built and run men's jail next door. Blunt opposition to the pro- posal is the theme of a raft of suggestions from the council's urban design forum to staff preparing submissions for next Friday's deadline. Chairman Cameron Bre- wer says the submission has to cover all the effects of what would be one of the biggest concentrations of prison staff and inmates anywhere in Australasia''. It should also call for the government to explain what plans it has to deal with the country's high incarceration rates other than building prisons ad nauseam'' around Auckland. Every councillor to a man and woman'' who spoke at November's debate on the Wiri men's prison proposal opposed it, Mr Brewer says, and the council's submission should reflect that. We don't want Manurewa to be prison central.'' He's urging Manurewa residents to get written submissions in by December 17 and ask to speak at next year's hearings. Then they will have a couple of months to get their thoughts together and do some more work on it,'' he says. Councillor Noelene Raffils kicked off the suggestions and asked why the council's submission can't say: We hate it and you can't do it''. The fundamental question it should ask is why the men's prison is needed at all, coun- cillor Cathy Casey says. The council needs to put a coherent argument for work- ing work with the govern- ment to develop a range of policies to make that prison unnecessary'', councillor Richard Northey says. Councillor Arthur Anae says the submission should ask why nowhere else has been considered for the prison, especially as Turangi wants it. Operative plans manager Warren Maclennan says the council's been asked by the Environmental Protection Authority which runs the board of inquiry to report on planning issues raised by the men's prison. Council staff are also help- ing the Manurewa Local Board with its submission and will prepare one from the council with community views. The key will be to raise matters of concern'' over the prison's likely social, econ- omic, transport and cultural impacts, he says. Once our submission goes in, then we will have time to commission further expert reports.'' The draft submission will go to the full council next Thursday. Call the Friend of Submitters on 378-4936 for help with making a submission. See www.epa.govt.nz or call 0800-382-527 for more information. Signals ease motorway merge Ramp signals will start oper- ating on Monday for southbound traffic going from State Highway 20 on to the southern motorway at Manu- kau. They're part of the NZ Transport Agency's redesign of the merge'' between the motorways where a bottle- neck has been causing long delays for southbound drivers heading home. Auckland state highways manager Tommy Parker says the agency's also widening SH20 at the ramp signals to three lanes so more vehicles can merge on to the southern motorway. Ramp signals have proven effective at easing congestion and merging traffic elsewhere around Auckland's motorway network, he says. They have a double advan- tage of improving safety and smoothing the flow of traffic as the two motorways join.'' The three ramp signal lanes can be used by all traffic -- cars, vans, trucks and buses -- with no priority access for heavy vehicles. The signals will only oper- ate at busy times such as the afternoon peak. Drivers should expect delays while people get used to them, Mr Parker says. Electronic signs will alert drivers on the southwestern motorway that they are approaching the ramp signals. There will also be new lane markings on both motorways. People should drive with care and remain in their lanes when they get the green light to merge,'' he says. The temporary lane and speed restrictions introduced in October will be lifted when the ramp signals are switched on. Longer term, the agency's looking at bringing forward work on widening SH1 south of Hill Rd to three lanes in each direction, Mr Parker says. -- Karen Mangnall Moving house: It was a mammoth effort to move Papatoetoe's historic phoenix palm to a spot just six metres down the road. Photo: SIMON WATTS Big lift for phoenix palm tree One of Papatoetoe's oldest residents has moved house. The phoenix palm on Sta- tion Rd has been moved six metres to a more centrally located area. It's making way for planned cycleways which are being included in bridge raising and widening works at the St George St overbridge. The bridge is being upgraded as part of the electrification of the Auck- land rail network. The 16 metre tall tree weighs 18 tonnes and needed an 80 tonne crane to move it. It was donated to Papatoetoe in 1930 by Mr E A Pricet.
December 9th 2010
December 14th 2010