A new guardian will watch over workers preparing to mine the first 50 metres of tunnel at Mt Eden for the City Rail Link.
In the spirit of mining tradition, a statue of St Barbara, the patron saint of miners, was blessed in a dawn ceremony and placed in a shrine near the tunnel entrance.
Ceremonies like this have been repeated worldwide for centuries wherever people go to work underground, said Francois Dudouit, project director for City Rail Link's Link Alliance.
"St Barbara is their guardian and her presence gives assurance that they will be safe below ground."
A statue of St Barbara also watches over workers building the Karangahape underground station.
The saint was an early convert to Christianity who was discovered hiding underground and killed by her pagan father.
Work will start shortly mining the first 50 metres of tunnel at Mt Eden to accommodate the project’s Tunnel Boring Machine.
The machine will excavate the tunnel up to the new Aotea underground station in central Auckland.
Aucklanders will get the chance to see the Tunnel Boring Machine at a public open day being held at Mt Eden early next month.
More details will be announced in mid-November.
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Hi Neighbours, Like many, Sir Ian Taylor learned only at the age of 68 about the Polynesian migrations across the Pacific Ocean. He hopes a new education website will inspire especially maori and pasifika kids they have innovation in their DNA. Did you know the stories? Read below:
In 2019, French teenager Eloi Rolland arrived in New Zealand to study. He partied, got a job and made friends. But six months later he disappeared without a trace. A year on, police say “his fate remains unknown” and his case looks set to be referred to the coroner. Caroline Williams reports.
During his time in Auckland, Rolland went to the zoo, enjoyed nights out, worked at a popular bar, dabbled in modelling and, with friends, visited Piha on the rugged west coast.
Before his disappearance, Rolland expressed to his family that he wished to visit Piha again, and on March 6 last year, he did just that.
He has not been seen or heard from since.
“Each day we feel more and more worried and more helpless," his father Thierry Rolland tells Stuff.
Click 'read more' for our full report.