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Joint consultation on waterfront finished

13 September 2005

Joint consultation on waterfront finished: Vision to be agreed end-October

Over the past three weeks, three public workshops have marked the end of consultation on a vision for the future development of Auckland’s waterfront.

Over 200 Aucklanders participated in the interactive workshop sessions, which were held in response to public demand for more input before the vision was finalised.

Once complete, the vision, which is being developed by Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) in partnership with Ports of Auckland, will provide a broad framework for future development and management of the wider waterfront area – stretching from the Harbour Bridge in the west to Mechanics Bay in the east. The vision will outline principles which more detailed planning will need to take into account.

Auckland City’s Mayor Dick Hubbard says he was encouraged by the great turnout and the flow of creative ideas.

“It shows the importance people place on this special part of the city and the potential they see in developing it in the right way.”

ARC chairman, Michael Lee says that the detailed feedback provided over recent weeks will be incorporated into the final vision, and will help ensure that more detailed planning takes into account the views of those who live in, work in, and visit the area.

“The waterfront is one of the region’s greatest assets, and we are committed to getting the high-level framework in place to help ensure that the waterfront develops in a way that is as good as or better that what has been done internationally.

“If we are to have a truly world-class waterfront, that reflects the uniqueness of Auckland, then we cannot afford to continue with the ad-hoc, piece-meal approach to development.”

Top of the workshop agenda for most people were the amount and location of public open space, how the transport network will work, where the bulk liquid facilities at the end of Wynyard Point should go, and the mix of activities.

Other issues that were highlighted at two stakeholder-specific workshops, which looked in more detail at the key issues that face the visioning process, were:
- how the development of the waterfront will be funded and managed
- the extent of the marine industry on the Western Reclamation/Wynyard Point
- the importance of opening the water's edge to the public and how this is achieved
- the importance of high quality urban design.

Mr Lee says that once the big picture, long-term direction for the waterfront is finalised, then plans and proposals for specific parts of the waterfront can be considered more closely.

Both councils welcome the contribution that Auckland Regional Holdings-owned Ports of Auckland Limited, a significant land owner of the area, has undertaken recently. This has culminated in the concept plans for the Western Reclamation/Wynyard Point area which are currently on display to the public.

“It is great to see some new ideas for the public to comment on. However, we believe it is vital that we also focus on the process of developing the vision so a holistic view can be taken to the detailed precinct planning,” says Mr Hubbard. “We have one opportunity to create this vision. It will be the foundation for planning this area in the future. We have the commitment of the very best people to work on the very best outcome for the future of the area.”

The vision for Auckland’s waterfront will be adopted in late October, and publicly released in November 2005. It will include maps and graphics, clear principles for future development, evaluation criteria, explanations of the key issues and options, including those regarding transport, and the bulk liquid, marine and fishing industries. The vision will also include an action plan outlining key actions, timeframes, and opportunities for further public input.

ENDS

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