Decades ago, town centre upgrades were all the rage. Brightening up the footpaths was seen as an effective way to change the look of mainstreets all over NZ. What was not foreseen was that some of those surfaces would become ongoing pedestrian hazards, especially when wet. Now streets are being returned to the utilitarian look of exposed concrete as the safest option.
Locals have been vocal in advocating for the problem to be fixed to avoid hurting more people. In 2019, the Whau Local Board partnered with AT to fund the footpath project. WLB members Susan Zhu and Catherine Farmer voted against this proposal as they wanted the project to be fully funded by AT. Then the project was also set back by covid.
Now Stage 2 of the replacement program is underway at pace. It is being done in four sections to reduce disruption to local businesses. When finished, the only slippery bricks remaining will be in the Spider area. This section is being left to be replaced at the same time that the new library and community hub is completed by Eke Panuku.