Alice brings Xmas cheer to typhoon victims


The NZ Transport Agency says workers at Auckland’s Waterview Connection project raised almost $4000 for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines through an on-line auction featuring Alice, the project’s giant tunnel boring machine.

People had the chance to have a “date” with Alice by bidding for tickets on the Trade Me website for the opportunity to visit the machine.  A total of $3823 was raised from four separate auctions, which will be donated to the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan appeal.
“This is a fantastic Christmas gift for the people of the Philippines from generous people across the country,” says the Transport Agency’s Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker.  “The auctions generated a huge response – there were around 10,000 views on-line – and our Waterview team are chuffed at the support they’ve had.”

There were two successful bids of $1015 each, a third of $1004, and the fourth of $789.

In the new year, the four successful bidders will get a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the project, which is the largest roading and most challenging project ever undertaken in New Zealand. The tour will include a visit to Alice,  who is underway on the first leg of her two-year underground journey from Owairaka to Waterview and back.  Ticket holders will be guided by internationally experienced tunnelling experts. 

The on-line auction was the idea of Waterview workers, who include 10 from the Philippines. Workers had already donated more than $1500 from their own pockets to the typhoon appeal, which was matched dollar for dollar by the Well-Connected Alliance delivering the project to complete the Western Ring Route – a Government Road of National  Significance.

“The auctions were a wonderful and innovative idea and we hope Waterview’s contribution will help lift Christmas spirits as the people in the Philippines recover and rebuild after the typhoon,” Mr Parker says.