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Proposed Western Reclamation concepts on display

Friday 9 September 2005

Proposed Western Reclamation concepts on display for public comment

Concepts for the evolution of 18 hectares of Auckland’s Western Reclamation, between Westhaven and Viaduct Harbour, go on display for public input at the Viaduct tomorrow.

The draft concepts provide for direct public access to an additional 2.6 kilometres of waterfront, including 1.6 kilometres of new public boardwalks, and for public open space that accounts for about 20% of the total 18 hectares.

Respected San Francisco designer Peter Walker, in conjunction with local firm Architectus, has developed the draft concepts, which are intended to transform the largely industrial area into a world class waterfront precinct.

Ports of Auckland, which owns the land, is seeking input from the community on the concepts before submitting its plans to Auckland City for consideration.

The overall concept is for major new public spaces that will provide greatly increased access to the waterfront, marine and fishing industry precincts, and a mixture of living, working, retail and recreation spaces.

“Ports of Auckland has taken into account a range of views as a result of consultation with stakeholders over many years, and most recently during the visioning consultation with Auckland City and the Auckland Regional Council. Our aim is to facilitate dramatic improvements in the area that will make it a favourite place for locals and tourists alike,” said Chief Executive Geoff Vazey.

Special features

Among the new concepts going on display for public comment are:

- A new bridge linking Te Wero Island in Viaduct Harbour with the Western Reclamation, enabling public transport and pedestrian links with Quay Street and a large new public plaza extending through to Westhaven. The bridge would pivot to allow access for boats to come and go from the Viaduct Harbour.

- New waterfront parks – one on the northern end, designed to create a new promontory with elevated views over the harbour and back over the city; and one on the Westhaven edge, giving views over the marina and upper harbour.

- Development of a canal environment alongside Wynyard Wharf, with the wharf itself being redeveloped to provide an open-air public swimming pool as well as offices.

- Development of a completely new wharf environment – North Wharf – with a precinct for fishing boats and fresh fish markets.

- A large reflection pool on the western edge of the reclamation, which will also serve to filter stormwater from the area before it enters the sea.

- A planted pedestrian connection to Victoria Park.

- A possible fountain in the new public space where this boulevard intersects with the proposed major east/west public plaza, which provides the “spine” of the redevelopment.

It is suggested that a new name for the redeveloped area could be “Kahurangi”, which is translated as “blue or precious jewel”.

Staged development

Geoff Vazey says if all goes to plan, the staged evolution of the area could commence in 2009.

New buildings will need to be in accordance with the final overall concepts and will complement the public spaces and features that are created in the area. Ways of funding various public features and the necessary upgrade of infrastructure have yet to be determined.

Ports of Auckland will not develop buildings on the sites but intends to lease the land for development. Ongoing investment returns earned from these leases will go to Auckland Regional Holdings thereby helping to fund transport and stormwater programmes in the region.

Working with the City and ARC

Ports of Auckland has been considering the future of its Western Reclamation assets for some years.

The Company was part of the Auckland Waterfront Advisory Group (AWAG) until 2003, and has been an enthusiastic partner with Auckland City and Auckland Regional Council in the more recent visioning process for an over-arching vision for the wider waterfront between the Harbour Bridge and Mechanics Bay.

Ports of Auckland’s draft concepts are an extension of this process. Final concepts will take into account the outcomes from the recent visioning workshops conducted in late August and early September, and will also be subject to additional discussion with Auckland City and Auckland Regional Council.

The draft concepts take into account the extensive public feedback to date, the AWAG findings, Auckland City’s 11-point plan for the area and the Auckland Regional Council’s Regional Policy Statement and Regional Growth Strategy.

Display details

The public display opens tomorrow (Saturday 10 September 2005) at the former information centre in the Eastern Viaduct, near the New Zealand National Maritime Museum. It will run until 25 September and will be open from noon to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and from noon to 2pm then from 5pm to 7pm on week days.

Full details of the Western Reclamation concepts are available on www.tankfarm.co.nz.

ENDS


Introduction from Geoff Vazey, Chief Executive,
from the Western Reclamation Design Concepts brochure

Friday 9 September 2005


Welcome to Ports of Auckland’s design concepts for the repositioning of the northern end of the Western Reclamation. The successful evolution of this site is vital to Auckland’s continued growth and development and represents an extremely rare opportunity to create a vibrant new, world class waterfront precinct.

Originally reclaimed by our predecessor the Auckland Harbour Board, the Western Reclamation has been managed by Ports of Auckland as an industrial facility including: fishing, marine, petrochemical and bulk storage activities.

We are now at a transition point. Over the next 20 years, many of the existing leases in this area expire, providing an opportunity to facilitate the next phase in the evolution of this key part of the waterfront.

As part of an extensive analysis of this area, Ports of Auckland has undertaken a concept design process to evaluate how those parts of the reclamation it owns could be repositioned over the next two decades.

The concepts are preliminary in nature. While significant work has been undertaken, considerable additional analysis is required to substantiate these ideas and develop mechanisms for their delivery.

Before embarking on these more detailed processes, Ports of Auckland is reviewing its concept analysis with the Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City, key stakeholders and the wider community.

Public input will assist in the development of the masterplan, and in establishing the detailed proposals necessary to make formal changes to the district and regional plans.

To undertake this process, we looked at international examples of waterfront development and commissioned a leading design team to develop concepts that are both inspirational and practicable for the Western Reclamation.

Local firm Architectus teamed up with San Francisco based Peter Walker & Partners, an acclaimed international firm recognised for its leading large scale urban and landscape designs, including the 400 hectare Millennium Parklands in Sydney.

Ports of Auckland’s concepts for the Western Reclamation are being displayed in September for public feedback and further discussion with Auckland City and Auckland Regional Council.

The design display illustrates the background to the site, highlights the principles that have influenced the plan, and explains the content and character of the concepts.

We thank you for taking the time to review this material. We hope you find it an exciting starting point for the evolution of this area. We welcome your participation.

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