If you have walked down Auckland city’s Albert Street in the last five years, you would have noticed that the roads are very difficult to walk or drive down because engineers are building a new rail link under the road.
The businesses in this area are hidden behind many safety barriers and are suffering huge financial losses.
Albert Street used to be a very good place to have a souvenir shop because it was close to the wharf. Tourists would walk up from the cruise ships and buy New Zealand health food, fashion, souvenirs and go to restaurants.
Now, there are no cruise ships because of Covid, and the building work makes shopping difficult.
The government set aside twelve million dollars to compensate businesses affected by the building. The money will be used to help pay business owners’ rent. However, business owners have been refusing to take the money because it is not enough. They say they should be given a lot more money in compensation because they have lost so much.
Anny Quan, the owner of the Natural Health Shop in Albert Street says that seven years ago, her business was worth one million dollars, but now it is impossible to sell it. She had to close her doors because of criminals coming into the lonely shop and stealing from her. Now, she just sells online. Would you like to support her online business? You can visit it here.
engineers: people who build large or difficult things
rail link: railway that connects to other railways
safety barriers: things that stop people from going into dangerous areas
financial losses: losing money
compensate (verb), compensation (noun): give something to replace something that was lost or damaged
refuse: say no
criminal: someone who does things that are forbidden by law
wharf: a wharf is like a carpark for boats