Auckland Council backs proposal to reopen WWII tunnels under CBD

Auckland Council is backing a proposal to reopen and renovate a vast network of tunnels lying beneath Albert Park.

The tunnels were built in 1942 by over one hundred council workers who were too old to go to World War II.

In eight months they built three and a half kilometres of tunnels, with first aid rooms and toilets.

They were built to house 22,000 people in the event of an air raid over the Auckland CBD.

Developer Bill Reid has been trying to get the tunnels reopened for 30 years.

"The meeting yesterday was the best meeting I've been to in 30 years. Mayor Goff was extremely supportive, Mayor Goff to me is the right man in the right place at the right time," he said.

"These tunnels belong to Auckland city and the Auckland public."

Mr Reid wants to see tourist attractions in the tunnels including glow worms, black water rafting, cheese and wine cellars and small goods stores.

He says with the cooperation of the Council, a tunnel from Victoria St to Parnell could be open by Christmas for pedestrians and cyclists.

Newshub.