Tagata Pasifika

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New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Security to patrol Auckland bridge to curb partying, drinking

Ngā Hau Māngere Bridge opened in 2022. Photo: Supplied
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Local Democracy Reporting | Free Public Interest News Service

A South Auckland resident is relieved access to a local bridge will be restricted overnight to curb the drinking and partying at the popular spot, which he calls the ‘Mission Bay of South Auckland’.

The $38 million Ngā Hau Māngere pedestrian bridge has been a night time hot spot for people to gather since it opened in 2022, with complaints of rowdy behaviour, including loud music and defecation.

A two-month trial will start soon to restrict access to the bridge at night, including a night-time security guard.

Resident, Malcolm Turner, said it was about time authorities did something about the bridge.

“It’s been super emotional because just wanting to get a good night’s sleep is part of a normal life but for many, we’ve been at our wits end,” Turner said.

“We’ve been hearing screams and glass broken, loud noises from cars. It’s a lovely place but it’s good to respect it as well.”

The antisocial behaviour was so bad at one point, residents took matters into their own hands and blocked off access to the road on weekend evenings with a makeshift barge, just to enjoy some peace and quiet.

“When the bridge opened, it was beautiful, like the Sky Tower version of South Auckland, so many would come. But it’s become like the Mission Bay of South Auckland with the disruptive gatherings.”

Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board chairman Tauanu’u Nanai Nick Bakulich said he hasn’t come across any recent complaints about disorder at the bridge.

“Pre-new bridge construction, there was a lot of anti-social behaviour activity. The community has been asking for a solution,” Bakulich said.

“This is our response to what some local residents have been asking for.”

Funded by Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport, a barrier on a section of Coronation Rd was being built, to restrict access to the bridge by cars at night, between 10pm-5am.

Bakulich said the two-month trial was expected to begin at the end of April, or early May.

People can still access the bridge from 10pm during the trial, just not via their vehicles, he said.

A security guard would also be stationed at the spot in the evenings, for the duration of the trial.

Bakulich said the trial was made possible after the passing of the Reshaping Streets legislation in 2023, which provided an opportunity for road controlling authorities to trial a modal filter (preventing some vehicles) on a public road.

To date, threat of fines for parking a vehicle between 10pm to 5am, or police moving people on hasn’t been effective.

Secured with a combination lock, AT would compile a register of people intending to use the boat ramp to be provided with code to enable access.

Bakulich said AT would evaluate the situation at the end of the trial, to determine if the gate should be permanent.

Local democracy reporting

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