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Major advance in marine event centre plans

MEDIA RELEASE


27 June 2003


Major advance in marine event centre plans:
Eastern Viaduct coming into public ownership

Auckland City Council will buy the eastern viaduct from Ports of Auckland Limited.

Auckland City Council’s Recreation and Events Committee chairperson, Councillor Scott Milne, announced today the city would buy the Eastern Viaduct for $5.1 million plus GST in what he described as one of the most important open-space purchases the city has made.

Councillor Milne said the acquisition was a vital part of the council’s strategy to turn the viaduct into the thriving heart of the city of sails – and open up the city to the sea.

It was also a valuable addition to the already council owned Te Wero Island.

The 6155 sq.m eastern viaduct is subject to conservation covenants and several rights of way providing access to marina berths and Hobson Wharf. The net usable area is approximately 3000 sq.m.

It is zoned Precinct Area 2 which means it can be used for open space recreation purposes and a proposed district plan will restrict building height to five metres.

Permitted uses include marine related activities and short term public visitor parking.

Councillor Milne says that the purchase of the eastern viaduct “puts in place another strategic piece of the overall waterfront jigsaw”.

“It will allow more Aucklanders – and generations of Aucklanders - to enjoy our magnificent waterfront.”

Viaduct harbour had always been designed to allow the city to develop a quality destination by the sea, not to host a single event.

The area should be a major destination for Aucklanders and visitors. Public space was needed.

“I can see it becoming the assembly and end point for parades up Queen Street, for example,” Councillor Milne said. ”And the home for the Volvo and global ocean races, dragon-racing, triathlons. It will become the heart and soul of a maritime city in a maritime nation.

“We need a critical mass of public land to make this work as an events area,”
Councillor Milne said.

The purchase would be paid for from the fund of contributions made by developers in the viaduct area. This fund usually generated about $10 million a year, though in the past year this had risen to $14 million. Rates money would not be needed for the purchase.

Ends

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