As slow as government departments move, when they really want to move fast, they can. Free from all the hassle and moans and gripes of legitimate public concern, such as the Resource Consent process, the Building Consent process, an Archaeological dig etc, in order to get the Memorial Park complete by April 2015, a new NZTA road has leapt into place, skirting round the back of the (once) sacred turf of the Memorial green space. You’ll be driving on it by Christmas…

If you are interested in knowing more about the works around the Basin Reserve and the Memorial Park, then click on the words BASIN RESERVE either here, or up top in the menu. You’ll find a whole lot of back catalogue information on what we call Option X.
First up was the country’s biggest / fastest wall, which appeared literally overnight, and now faithfully screens off the tiny Mount Cook School from the roar of the motorway nearby. They’ve only been asking for that since, forever: at last they have one. It looks permanent enough to be really permanent – although it will probably come down once the Trench is complete. Complete with a fearsome steampunk robot, testing the air like a cyborg. Exterminate! Exterminate!

Next up was an archaeological dig – in double-fast quick-time. Three or more large buried treasure rooms were uncovered, exactly where they thought they would be, and they were surveyed, noted, and then demolished down, back to basics, so to speak. From what I understand, the foundation walls discovered were the bottom of the practice rifle-range drill halls, buried there since about the first world war. They’ve kept the bricks – some, old convent convict-made bricks, maybe for later use.

And then of course there is the new road. If you have your wits and eyes about you, you may have noticed it – but chances are, you may not have seen its progress yet. Never mind – you will soon. At Christmas, there will be a brief bit of interruption, and then the road will change – when you come back after Christmas, there will be a new route through the park. Its truly a shame that after all the (hasty) care they are building this road with, that it will be gone for good two Christmasses later. The road snakes out from the end of Sussex St, next to the Creche of Compassion, and yes, they have chopped down the big tree at the corner already. The big pohutukawa will be next.


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