Marae to lose parking space to Ring Rd

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 15:00 04/04/2014
Kirikiriroa Marae
Nick Reed/Fairfax NZ

PARKING PROBLEMS: Kirikiriroa Marae is suffering of lack of parking due to the Dey Sy road works. The reserve that is utilised by the visotors, is blocked by the road works.

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A lack of parking space outside one of the city's main marae and a potential loss of reserve land is occupying city bosses' minds as the Hamilton Ring Road pushes south.

Hamilton City Council staff will meet with representatives from Kirikiriroa Marae next week to discuss concerns over the loss of parking space outside the Dey St marae.

The extension of Wairere Dr to Cobham Dr will cause a loss of berm space along Dey St which the marae had used as free parking.

Speaking at the council's finance committee meeting this week, Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman said a suggestion by council staff that marae visitors park on nearby Wellington St was unrealistic.

He said many kaumatua and kuia were in their late 70s and 80s and expecting them to park and walk to the marae was not a realistic option.

''Sometimes they [marae] have no need for parking and other days they have 300 or 400 people on the marae,'' Chesterman said.

In response, councillor Martin Gallagher said the council had given away a lot of parking along the city's west town belt. He would be concerned if parts of the east town belt, which runs alongside Dey St, was lost to parking.

''From a policy governance point of view there's some of us that have an absolutely microscopic eye on that historic east town belt so it's got to be a win-win for both parties,'' Gallagher said.

''I'd be very alarmed that any more of what is currently green space is taken away like we got in the west town belt.''

Councillor Garry Mallett said he could not understand why marae visitors could not organise mini vans for one-off type events.

Meanwhile, a staff recommendation for the form and function of the intersection of Wairere Dr and Cobham Dr will be presented to the council's strategy and policy committee this month.

Gallagher said the intersection would be ''hugely important'' for the city and was the final link in the Hamilton Ring Road system.

Councillor Angela O'Leary asked staff brief councillors on the intersection design before the strategy and policy committee meeting.

''Some of use have advocated over a lot of years for lights in particular places and we get sold a roundabout,'' she said.  ''It's eventually dug out and we get lights anyway or you get lights and a roundabout.''

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