City Rail Link disruption claims victims

Auckland’s City Rail Link has taken its toll on businesses, with one restaurant owner struggling to sell her venue for a third of the original price and a classic pub in need of financial help. However, the company behind City Rail Link has claimed that it undertook all necessary measures and has not been required to pay compensation to anyone.

Sunny Kaushal, owner of the Shakespeare Hotel, said that by his estimate at least six Alber St businesses had been forced to close since work got underway. He wrote to City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) to request compensation.

“In the last quarter (Jan 2018 – Mar 2018) itself it has lost about $125,000,” Kushal wrote. “And in the recent one month i.e. in the month of April 2018 the sale was down by about $55,000, making a loss of about $39,000 in one month. The business has already lost approximately over $1.5 million since the project started.”

CRLL chief executive Sean Sweeney said that the company, which is jointly owned by the Crown and Auckland City Council, had taken a number of steps to ensure that businesses wouldn’t be disrupted.

“While CRLL has a responsibility to be prudent with taxpayers’ money, the plan makes clear that businesses are able to seek their own independent advice regarding any compensation rights that may be available to them under the Public Works Act if they consider that their businesses have suffered negative financial impact as a result of the project,” he said.

“The act says that if a landowner would have a right of action under common law, the local authority must compensate the person to the extent warranted by the adverse effects and CRLL would meet its obligations under this act. To date, no compensation has been paid to any business.”