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Opening Up Auckland’s Waterfront

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Opening Up Auckland’s Waterfront

In two days time a key area of Auckland’s waterfront is re-opening and expanding by half a kilometre.

Waterfront Auckland is celebrating the opening of the first stage of the 25-year Wynyard Quarter revitalisation on Saturday 6 August with a dawn ceremony and full day of free public entertainment and activities.

Wynyard Quarter is a 36-hectare area of reclaimed land stretching from the eastern side of Viaduct Harbour to the Western Wall facing the Westhaven marina.

Waterfront Auckland, a council controlled organisation of Auckland Council, is redeveloping 185 hectares of formerly industrial land into a mixed-use urban environment which accommodates the fishing and marine industries alongside residential, entertainment and community facilities.

The stage one transformation includes new, vibrant public spaces, buildings and amenities. Completed projects include a new pedestrian bridge linking the eastern side of Viaduct Harbour (Wynyard Crossing), Gateway Plaza, the Gordon Moller designed (of Sky Tower fame) Viaduct Events Centre, nine new restaurants and bars at North Wharf, a revitalised tree-lined Jellicoe Street (now more a boulevard than street) and Silo Park, a new inner city park at the foot of the old Golden Bay cement silos.

John Dalzell, Chief Executive of Waterfront Auckland, says the first stage of the Wynyard Quarter is completed as visitors arrive in Auckland in time for the Rugby World Cup, enabling them to experience the newest part of Auckland’s waterfront. This new part of the city showcases the latest international design thinking in sustainability and celebrates our sea-loving Pacific culture and maritime history.

“The Wynyard Quarter is prime waterfront land that in the past has been used predominantly for port and storage purposes. I think visitors to the area this Saturday and thereafter will be astounded at the new public spaces, amenities and places available to them that sit right by the water’s edge.

“Aucklanders have been asking for access to their waterfront for a long time. We are very pleased to present Auckland ratepayers and residents with this newly redeveloped land at Wynyard Quarter where they can touch the water, smell the sea, watch the action happening in the harbour and its immediate surrounds as well as grab a great meal, coffee, fresh fish and produce.”

Mr Dalzell says the areas on show this weekend are the result of 35 resource consents, 45 building consents and 2 district plan changes.

“Over the last 16 months the Wynyard Quarter has literally been home to 300 construction workers, in the later stages working in two shifts six or seven days per week.”

Waterfront Auckland has completed the following seven legacy projects:

• Wynyard Crossing – an opening bridge accommodating pedestrian and cycling access between Te Wero Island (Auckland Viaduct) and Gateway Plaza (Viaduct Harbour) across the Viaduct Harbour
• Gateway Plaza – a 4855m2 public plaza incorporating an information kiosk made of shipping containers and tidal steps to the water’s edge
• Viaduct Events Centre – a new 3134m2 events facility on Halsey Street Extension Wharf
• Jellicoe Street – a 440m tree-lined, blue-stone paved public boulevard incorporating a tram-line, public seating, lighting, rain-gardens and sculpture
• North Wharf – nine new restaurants and bars at the water’s edge
• Silo Park – a grassed public space bordered by a 12 metre high 110 long steel gantry, celebrating the area’s industrial heritage and incorporating the Golden Bay Cement Silo 7 and six-pack with excellent view over the area
• Auckland Tramway – a new 1.5km tramway loop carrying two historic trams painted in the original carnation red livery.

“This giant jigsaw puzzle is complete and is an example of more to come,” says Mr Dalzell. “We look forward to celebrating with all of Auckland in two days’ time.”

Mr Dalzell laid tribute to the construction companies and workers involved with the redevelopment of Wynyard Quarter. “Their effort has been unprecedented,” he said. “One might say a World Cup winning performance!”

The Wynyard Quarter Opening begins at dawn with a powhiri from 7am. The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon John key is attending alongside the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown and the Chair of Waterfront Auckland, Bob Harvey.

The day of activities and festivities includes boat displays and racing in Viaduct Harbour, live music and outdoor cinema in Silo Park, art and heritage tours and much, much more. A full schedule is available at www.waterfrontauckland.co.nz and in the latest edition of Our Auckland, Auckland Council’s regional publication free to all homes.


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