Auckland Central National MP Nikki Kaye says she will not stop fighting for business owners suffering losses because of the City Rail Link construction, after a publican said businesses have gone broke and some owners are on anti-depressants.
Some Auckland Councillors today fronted up at the historic Shakespeare Tavern on Albert Street to hear the concerns of business owners in the area. They renewed calls for City Rail Link Limited (CRL) to support them financially.
CRLL is building the $4.4 billion tunnel, funded by the Government and Auckland Council, but the project has faced delays.
Shakespeare Tavern owner Sunny Kaushal told the meeting that landlords and building owners have refused to show any compassion to the business owners.
"They bluntly tell us to ask the council and the CRL. it's taking a huge toll on our personal health. Stress has increased to an unbelievable level impacting our health and family lives," Mr Kaushal said.
"Every day begins for us with stress and ends in depression. Some of the business owners sitting here are even on anti-depressant tablets.
"CRL must take responsibility for the business disruption they have caused over the years in this street, and they must pay financial support without any delay," he said.
"Two years on we have still no clarity and trust of this project and its shareholders."
Mr Kaushal said affected business owners have, borrowed hugely and the debts are mounting beyond sustainable levels.
"Their lives and everything are at huge risk. These businesses have gone financially broke. We are struggling to make our businesses stand, pay staff wages, council rates, rent, GST, excise tax and the suppliers' invoices," he said.
Nikki Kaye said the "life-wrecking" that has occurred for businesses and "stonewalling" she has had in trying to get information on the project needs to be rectified.
Ms Kaye said tomorrow she'll go back to the Minister of Transport and Auckland Mayor to repeat that "a little bit of financial assistance would go a long way".
She said CRL have told her no compensation has happened but that they've referred seven parties to make compensation claims under the Public Works Act.
Auckland Councillor Mike Lee told 1 NEWS it's unacceptable for something that's just 400 metres long to take so long and be so destructive and disruptive.
Mr Lee held out hope for the business people as the local body elections loom this year.
"People from the council are more ready to listen to the public during the election period. And so I'm just hoping that the mayor, who is in a major election campaign, will be a little bit more flexible form now on," he said.