Industry Infrastructure, Track Construction, Train Stations

New stations switched on for CRL

The City Rail Link (CRL) project is celebrating the arrival of Matariki with the simple flick of a switch to pierce the long winter nights of Tāmaki Makaurau with walls of light. 

At five o’clock on Tuesday, lights were switched on at CRL’s striking new stations at Te Waihorotiu in the city centre and at Maungawhau on the North Auckland/Western Line.

City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney spoke about the important milestone.

“Aucklanders already know we are delivering a world class railway and now they can see first-hand it is one unique to their city as well,” Sweeney said.

“The Matariki lighting highlights the stunning influence the project’s Mana Whenua Forum and mana whenua artists have had on our designs.”

At Te Waihorotiu, thousands of aluminium fins wrap three sides of the impressive Wellesley Street entrance building, which forms the cornerstone of midtown’s transformation and regeneration.

At Maungawhau, 80 fins and triangles designed to show the tears of Ranginui, Sky Father, part of the station’s overall telling of the Māori story of creation will be floodlit.

Floodlighting at both stations will be temporary and will become permanent later this year.


The rise of the Matariki stars marks the start of the Māori new year. Artist for Te Waihorotiu, Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Manu) says that the normalisation of traditional knowledge used in the CRL project has been impressive and a step in the right direction for Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa.

“All work in the initial pre-planning stages has paid off and now we see the fruits of that early work as we begin to unveil the stories of Te Waihorotiu, Poutama (and the pursuit of knowledge) and through the various design thinking that has gone into the last 10 years,” Tipene says.

“This station and this project are a testament to the nationhood we must strive for, and the excellence the Poutama facade design recognises brings to the fore a narrative that all of Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa can be proud of.”

Seven ultra-thick glass skylights have been installed to let light into Te Waihorotiu Station, 15-metres below ground.  The skylights represent the seven stars in the Matariki constellation, also known as the Pleiades cluster.

Representatives of CRL’s Mana Whenua Forum will perform karakia later this month at Te Waihorotiu to mark the successful installation and completion of its facades.

Completion of the sky element facades signals progress as fit-outs continue across CRL’s three new stations, including Karanga-a-Hape, with a goal to largely complete this work by the end of the year.