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Ports of Auckland’s Western Reclamation concepts

Wednesday 9 November 2005

Positive response to Ports of Auckland’s Western Reclamation concepts

Aucklanders have responded positively to Ports of Auckland concepts for the redevelopment of the northern end of the Western Reclamation on Auckland’s waterfront, released in September.

Some 700 people visited a Ports of Auckland public display of the concepts. 88% of the 420 people who completed feedback forms rated the overall concept as good or excellent, compared to just 3% who gave them a negative rating.

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Geoff Vazey says: “This is a great outcome – it is encouraging to have such strong interest and public endorsement of the design work that has been undertaken by the team over the last 12 months.”

The concepts involve the redevelopment of about 26 hectares of land between Westhaven and Viaduct Harbour, and north of Pakenham Street to the harbour, for a mixture of uses, including residential, public spaces and parks, enhanced water access, offices, shops and restaurants and marine industry and fishing precincts.

The most popular concepts were associated with improved access and ways of getting around the area. These included the opening up of 2.5 kilometres of the waterfront to the public, the use of public transport including ferries, and pedestrian-friendly initiatives to link the area with the CBD and the proposal for a rotating bridge linking the area with Te Wero Island in Viaduct Harbour.

Even the least popular concept, the suggested re-naming the area to Kahurangi, which translates as "blue or precious jewel", was considered good or excellent by about half of the respondents, while 30% were neutral and approximately 20% did not like it.

Ports of Auckland will now consider the public’s feedback, as well as the conclusions of the joint Auckland City Council (ACC) – Auckland Regional Council visioning exercise for the entire waterfront, and ongoing consultation with stakeholders, before refining the concept plans. These modified concepts will be released early next year.

It is anticipated that ACC will initiate a plan change for the whole of the Western Reclamation, including the areas owned by Ports of Auckland, by May next year. Ports of Auckland is discussing its concepts and the plan change with ACC in the lead up to its notification.
The concept design is a collaboration between Patrick Clifford of Auckland firm Architectus and San Francisco based Peter Walker and Partners.

Mr Vazey says that, unlike many other schemes put forward for the area in the past, this plan has been designed to be achievable within the site’s many constraints.

“It is one thing to sketch some inspiring images, but it is another thing to develop a scheme that responds to the many complex issues which need to be addressed in any redevelopment of the area, and that still generates positive community endorsement,” says Mr Vazey.

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

Mr Vazey said: “If all goes to plan, the staged evolution of the area could commence in 2009.”

A summary of the consultation analysis and details of the concepts are available on www.tankfarm.co.nz

ENDS


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