Local Board Gives $15k To Boost Businesses Hit By Giant Slip
The slip in Rawene car park.

After a giant slip hit a parking lot, Auckland’s Birkenhead is getting $15,000 to encourage shoppers back into the town centre ahead of Christmas.

The Kaipātiki Local Board agreed to give $15,000 to the Birkenhead Town Centre Association at a board meeting on November 15.

Construction work had reduced parking spaces before the slip hit, and association chairman Pete Taylor said the money would fund a marketing plan to say: “Birkenhead still has free parking”.

Media attention seems to be giving the wrong impression about Birkenhead’s parking situation given recent events, Taylor said.

“It is certainly not the case that there is no parking left in Birkenhead,” he said.

In the past six months, the Birkenhead town centre has dealt with Rawene Car Park space shortages caused by Auckland Transport renting out public car parks to the neighbouring private developers, as well as the Rawene car park slip.

Most recently, Auckland Council confirmed a $3-million construction plan to upgrade town centre would be going ahead on schedule, despite pleas from business owners asking for a deferral.

The Birkenhead Town Centre Association wants to promote the fact city shoppers can jump on the ferry to Birkenhead, and enjoy the experience of free parking while shopping.

“There are also lots of activities in Birkenhead leading up to Christmas, so the timing of the promotion is good,” Taylor said.

“It will make a difference to lift the public awareness about what is available. The $15,000 will help us tell that story better.”

The local board’s $15,000 funds were reallocated from a budget originally for earmarked for a Birkenhead development programme.

Kaipātiki Local Board chairwoman Danielle Grant said the money was available because a few other projects have been delayed.

“It felt like there was a big need, and they had a good marketing plan,” Grant said.

The board decided to supplement that marketing plan and encourage people in the area to shop locally, she said.

In the meantime, Auckland Transport is working alongside the local board and Auckland Council to identify ways to improve parking and connections in Birkenhead.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 28 November 2017 > Business Day – stuff.co.nz