So the other night I had a couple of people in the back of the rickshaw and I rode them up to the bridge over Myers Park. As they got off the bike they were talking like they didn’t really want to pay the fare.
Now granted it was three in the morning, granted they were drunk and aggressive when they boarded the bike. So maybe I shouldn’t have picked them up. But I have been doing this for a while and was confident I could handle them. They offered me a choice of half the quoted fare or nothing. So we argued and they started assaulting me. Then a paddy wagon full of police showed up and sorted them out.
Hooray for police. But to be honest Myers park is known for it’s after hours problems so I should have expected it. I believe it was last year that a tourist was shot dead there by police.
It is also very difficult to walk through the the park at night without being harassed by security about your intentions.
Despite all this I quite like the park. It has some great Moreton bay Fig trees, an enormous old kindergarten, a replica statue of Moses and has the dubious honour of being located where the Horotiu river should be.
Lonely old Moses is situated at the top of the park near St Kevin’s arcade. Apparently he was gifted to Auckland with Michaelangelo’s other great sculpture ‘David’. But Auckland refused David. Perhaps his penis was too racy and council members were more comfortable with the many sculptures of women with bare breasts located around the city. It’s a bit of a pity as the two sculptures were fashioned from the same quarry as the original.
The river Horotiu originally flowed down the valley that is Myers park, formed a swamp in Aotea square and then continued on down Queen st to the ocean. Clearly the river is the reason for the main trading street in Auckland being where it is. It’s a shame that this river could not be a more prominent feature here. In Seoul, South Korea, their Main Street had the same issue; a river that was forced underground so that scores of polluting cars could fill the road and make the city unliveable. So they took away all the cars and created a beautiful causeway full of water and trees. The citizens descend into the causeway to get away from the busy street full of shopping and work and enter a peaceful world class park and river feature that endears people to the city.
Imagine if the same thing could be done in Auckland. The river could start in Myers park and become a beautiful lake in Aotea square and then an incredible causeway down the now renamed Queen river causeway. In this way Myers park could be the origin of a beautiful city feature instead of the place to be violent away from the cctv and security haven that is Auckland central.
But until then the taniwha Horotiu will continue to wreck his revenge on his domain, inspiring violence until his river is restored.
Riding through the streets of Auckland I see a lot of incredible, weird and broken things at the small end of the night. A lot of folk having the ride of their life: A lot of people devolving. These are my reflections.