Students picture the future with light rail - 3 June 2022 

Three Auckland schools have won a drawing competition for picturing a future on a new light rail line from the City Centre to Māngere.

Minister of Transport Hon Michael Wood presented the winning student from Māngere Central School with a $1,000 prize today, towards transport costs for their next field trip.

“We are really impressed with the creativity and the positive vision that has come through from our youth. Across the entries we saw an understanding of how light rail connects people to work, study and play within thriving urban hubs,” says Auckland Light Rail Group Project Director Tommy Parker.

The competition was run as part of the project’s community engagement programme in 2021. Children were invited to draw their future neighbourhood with modern, frequent and environmentally friendly light rail to get around.

Judges selected three winners from over 200 entries. Waikōwhai Intermediate in Mt Roskill and Waterlea Primary School in Māngere Bridge, will also receive a $1,000 prize towards transport costs thanks to their student winners.

“It’s wonderful to see this project being brought to life by the next generation. Light rail is much more than a transport project - it’s a step towards a better future for Auckland and one that our tamariki are clearly excited about,” says Tommy Parker.

Initially promoted through schools and at community events, the competition was extended when the country went into lockdown last August. It provided an activity at home for many children who submitted their artwork during the lockdown period.

The winning artworks are now displayed on bus shelters and buses along the City Centre to Māngere light rail route, with each of the buses seen by over 12,000 people every day. 

Auckland Light Rail will see light rail in a tunnel from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill, which comes to the surface and runs alongside the SH20 motorway to the airport. It would bring up to 97,000 new jobs and 66,000 homes – opening up new housing in Mt Roskill, Onehunga and Māngere.

For more information view the entries at the online gallery here.