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Early construction start in Aotea Square

Auckland City Council

14 October 2008

Early construction start in Aotea Square

Construction was formally launched this morning for the upgrade of Aotea Square, at a special ceremony hosted by the Mayor of Auckland city, Hon. John Banks. The Aotea Square redevelopment involves repairing and strengthening the Civic car park roof, a facelift for Aotea Square and alterations to the front of Aotea Centre.

The mayor says that the project has been a complex one from the start and he is pleased to see the plans finally turning into reality. “There is a buzz of activity around the place, hoardings are going up, and there is a sense that things are starting to move. Work has started ahead of schedule, so we are hoping for an early completion.

Aucklanders will be rewarded with a top quality square in two years, in time for Rugby World Cup 2011,” he says. The first phase of the project involves repairing and strengthening the Civic car park roof. A new roof will be installed over the existing one, which means that all the landscaping in the square must be removed.

Four art works, Mountain Fountain, Te Waharoa o Aotea, Te Wero and Sir Dove-Myer Robinson have already been moved into safe storage. Approximately sixty trees will also be removed in coming weeks to make way for construction. They will be replaced by new trees as part of the final landscape plan.

The final landscape design for the square is expected to be confirmed in December by the council’s Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee. The actual work will follow later in the construction programme, as will alterations to the front of Aotea Centre.

The project is expected to be completed in October 2010. Councillor Greg Moyle, Chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee says the redevelopment project aims to breathe fresh life into the square. It will turn the square into an acclaimed public open space and events venue that caters to young and old, and to all interests, activities and tastes. “It will be able to host major big screen events, music concerts and cultural festivals among others, that can draw crowds of up to 20 000.

There is also room for everyday activities including buskers, recreational activities or family picnics,” says Mr Moyle.

The redevelopment is part of the council’s plan to create a lively arts, culture and entertainment hub with a distinctly Auckland feel. The area, referred to as the Aotea Quarter, is ringed by a cluster of popular attractions, including Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Town Hall, Auckland Central Library, Aotea Centre and The Civic Theatre.

Businesses in and around the square, involving parking, retail and entertainment, will remain open throughout construction. The council will work closely with the contractor and other major stakeholders to minimise disruption to users and visitors. A project ambassador will be on site every weekday morning to help keep the public informed.

ENDS

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