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New Public Piano as Wynyard Quarter kicks up its heels

New Public Piano as Wynyard Quarter kicks up its heels for 2nd birthday

Thursday 1 August 2013

The much loved public piano on Auckland’s waterfront will be making a long awaited comeback this weekend as part of Wynyard Quarter 2nd birthday celebrations.

Since the opening of the revitalised Wynyard Quarter, on 6 August 2011, the roving piano has quickly become a common sight in the area as part of a new approach to engaging locals with public spaces.

The project is based on British artist Luke Jerram's work, ‘Play Me I'm yours’ and proved a hit with Aucklanders, being played daily by different groups of people from construction workers to toddlers.

After considerable use the piano was put into retirement in February by the public landlord and development agency, Waterfront Auckland.

Waterfront Auckland Place Manager, Frith Walker said it was a tough call but the piano had performed well and exceeded expectations, surviving 18 months outside on the waterfront. She says they were blown away with the public support and enthusiasm that ensued and is now pleased to report that the waterfront will be getting a new piano.

“On Saturday 3 August, a new piano kindly contributed by Tobias Kake will return to Wynyard Quarter. To mark this momentous occasion the new girl will arrive on the back of a flat deck truck with some new friends playing her, before being dropped off at its home beneath the concrete silos.”

“We look forward to welcoming back maestros young and old to enjoy the piano and the raft of other activities on offer on Saturday from life buoy throwing to kid’s workshops, as we celebrate two years of this new part of the city.”

For a full list of activities to be held as part of the birthday celebrations go to:

On Saturday 6 August 2011, the area previously known more for its tank farm and fish market became a vibrant mix of public spaces and restaurants overnight.

Since then millions of people have visited with 40% of visitors in a recent UMR survey coming down to Wynyard Quarter at least once a fortnight and 75% of visitors confirming they were more than satisfied with the experience.

The area has also won critical acclaim winning awards from the New Zealand Property Council and NZ Institute of Architects Awards as well as taking out top honours at a prestigious international competition in Washington up against a number of global waterfront cities.
Council organisation Waterfront Auckland is responsible for the development of the area including what was opened in 2011: Silo Park, the North Wharf bars and eateries, Karanga Plaza, the heritage trams, the Wynyard Crossing Bridge and the new Viaduct Events Centre.

Over the next 20 years a further 15 hectares of Wynyard Quarter will be transformed into a harbour-side community with parks, apartments, shops and offices alongside the traditional marine and fishing industries.

Works are already underway to transform to gateway roads into the area Daldy and Halsey Streets and development partners are soon to be appointed for the Wynyard Central precinct that consists of office space focused around innovation, residential living earmarked for mixed-use apartments and townhouse developments and a site for an international hotel.


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