Back to top anchor
Back to content top anchor

1 week on and still no answer for businesses impacted by City Rail Link works, intersection closure now only days away

Press release
Thursday 24 Jun 2021

One week on from when more than two dozen businesses impacted by the City Rail Link gathered and only days before a major city centre intersection closure, businesses have still not had an answer on financial relief so desperately needed.

Whilst Minister Wood has confirmed that he is working on options Viv Beck, Heart of the City Chief Executive says words must translate into urgent action. “These businesses have been left waiting for too long and they need certainty now.”

In a letter penned in response to Minister Wood, Viv Beck has outlined the significant impact the slow response to date has had, along with the lack of willingness to meet.

One of the key points is the severe additional stress that businesses have incurred since the February timeframe that was asked for in response to a proposal from Heart of the City seeking financial relief. The letter outlines that “As Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, you are well aware of the need to support people impacted by stress in the workplace. Who has the responsibility for supporting those impacted by a large public project of this nature?”

“We appreciate that you and Minister Nash have shown empathy for these businesses and that you have asked your officials to review options. However, empathy does not pay their bills and with respect, the speed of response is unacceptably slow. People’s health and welfare is at stake and the Government has had more than enough notice of the issues for these people to expect more.”

Businesses in the area say that since the significant coverage of their plight last week, they have had overwhelming support from their customers, showing that public opinion is in their favour. Many say their customers are deeply surprised there is no financial support available, and that no one, not even Mayor Goff, a neighbour of the businesses, has come to see them.

Albert Street area business owner Antonio Ariano says that “We just need to be heard and a decision made. The level of stress and distress is unbearable, we can’t be kept waiting like this.”

Beck says “This situation is a blight on our city. These people are paying a devastating price for progress and if the decision makers would come and hear their stories, I think they would agree.”

But despite the public support, and with no other options available to them, impacted businesses will gather again tomorrow, this time on the corner of Victoria Street & Albert Street, at 10.15am, with more questions to be asked of the decision makers:

  • Prime Minister Ardern
    • “What’s your punishment for cruelty?”
    • “Where’s the kindness for us?”
  • Minister Wood
    • “How much longer do we have to wait?”
    • “Why won’t you meet us?”
  • Mayor Goff
    • “Why have you not come to see us?”
    • “How many eggs will you have to break?”
  • Minister Nash
    • “Have you spoken to Minister Wood this week to resolve this?”
    • “What are you doing for our small businesses?”
  • Sir Brian Roche
    • “Have you asked the Government to help us?”
    • “You are known as Mr Fixit, why haven’t you fixed this?”