Pot Calling The Kettle…


What a joke the latest uproar is about the new Mt Eden prison building overshadowing the motorway and Auckland Grammar fields and giving a bad image of Auckland to visitors.

It won’t take long for those visitors heading to the city to discover how ugly Auckland is.

The cheek of civic officials to complain about the new jail when they approved the disgraceful vandalism of Auckland’s skyline with shocking apartment buildings, especially in the Hobson St and waterfront regions.

Auckland's waterfront scarred with ugly apartments approved by the council

Remind me who approved the Scene apartment buildings blocking out the waterfront from Anzac Ave and scarring the waterfront landscape?
Remind me how many of those ugly uptown Auckland apartment buildings were encouraged by the council and how many are not just a blot on the landscape, but have turned out to be leaky buildings and should be bulldozed?

So what exactly is wrong with the new Mt Eden jail. It’s already next to an historic but very ugly prison in the heart of the city.

Auckland's new prison rising next to our oldest one in Mt Eden

The problem is that the bold and correct call was not made before the new prison was constructed - and Auckland’s lower security prisons moved away from the central city.
The old original Mt Eden prison could be turned into a museum or quirky shopping complex or something.
But now the decision has been made, we have to live with it in a city where it’s too late to turn back the clock and stop the dreadful scurge of apartment buildings, approved by rate-hungry and visionless council people.
If they really believe the prison is ugly, let’s hear an apology for the damage done elsewhere and moved made to correct it.




  1. Ian says:

    Well put Jon. Auckland (and Wellington too) has a fair number of plain ugly buildings. The council was nothing more than a rubber stamping cheerleader for developers throwing up whatever eyesore they wanted to.

  2. DanC says:

    Such a shame, little foresight. If the heritage listed buildings of the Mt Eden Prison was to have converted into mixed use and a prison was built somewhere else out of the city. Eden Terrace would slowly become a very cool place. It has rail, close to the CBD a park and character buildings.

  3. rtc says:

    Totally agree Jon, I was sickened by Banks politicking on this issue when on his watch he rubber stamped all developments coming through the council. We can thank Hubbard for the Urban Design Panel, Banks’ laziness however have left us with the Ob-Scenes and Hobson street shockers all of which would look right at home in the suburbs of most former communist bloc cities.

  4. ingolfson says:

    “and a prison was built somewhere else out of the city.”

    I agree with Rudman - if we want to stuff more and more people into our prisons to compete with the US on per capita prisoner numbers, we should face that fact. Right outside of our homes. I would agree with a law requiring all prisons to be built in residential areas. They are accommodation units after all.


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