The latest development in the story of Auckland's CBD waterfront is the launch of Auckland City Council's masterplan for the area.
It follows the recent announcement that the council had purchased a further 13 hectares of land along the waterfront that it will use for public open space.
It is another step towards realising the long-term vision for this area, following on the heels of June's joint announcement by Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and Auckland Regional Holdings of their plans to revitalise Wynyard Quarter.
The masterplan is an urban design framework made up of images and plans that will guide the location of new buildings, public open spaces, transport connections and different activities that will transform this part of the city.
The masterplan is designed to be flexible and to guide planning over the next 30 years. It recognises both present and future opportunities to ensure the waterfront development is coordinated and successful. It will also give the guide the council on the development of its land along the waterfront.
The masterplan incorporates a number of elements that are all at different stages of development including:
areas that are completed, such as Britomart
plans that we are committed to undertaking, such as Wynyard Quarter
ideas that are up for public consultation, such as Westhaven
long-term ideas for discussion
The principles of the Auckland Waterfront Vision 2040, which was published at the end of 2005 after extensive public consultation, form the basis of the masterplan.
These principles encapsulate the things people said they wanted to see improved on the waterfront including:
better access to a variety of public open spaces
protected views to and from the waterfront
good transport links.
The masterplan interprets these principles into tangible benefits that can be built and created over the next 30 years including:
more than 10km of continuous waterfront promenades, boardwalks and wharves
five new green parks and a premier waterside park at Westhaven
sites for iconic public buildings
10 lookouts, including some with direct access to the water's edge
suggested opening bridges to connect key elements along the waterfront
7ha of marine industry on the western side of Wynyard Quarter, with more potential space in the proposed Westhaven Marina village
native coastal plants and trees, and artworks along the entire waterfront.
"It is a creative plan that maximises the amazing location of our city," says Dick Hubbard, Mayor of Auckland city.
"The revitalisation of our waterfront is a key part of the vision to make Auckland a truly world-class city."
The council is going to consultation on the future of Westhaven. This includes proposals to develop a walkway around Westhaven by 2011 and long-term options to connect Westhaven to the CBD.
The future of the finger wharves (Captain Cook and Queens wharves) is something that is being debated and depends on the ability to replace berthage and an equivalent area of land between Bledisloe and Fergusson wharves. This could take 10 years. Once done it will be a wonderful opportunity to open up the waterfront.
"The finger wharves are a fantastic asset that are an integral part of Auckland's waterfront," says Mr Hubbard.
"We would love to open up the whole waterfront and give Aucklanders access to the water's edge as soon as possible."
Work on the areas of the masterplan that are timed for completion by 2011 is already underway.
The council and ARC are seeking public feedback on what is proposed at Wynyard Quarter including:
the Wynyard Quarter district plan change - open until 20 August
the Auckland Regional Council's coastal plan - open until 20 August.
The council is also going to general consultation on Westhaven. We have commenced the design competition for Te Wero Bridge and are out for Expressions of Interest from design teams to develop the marine events centre.
We want to know whether we have interpreted the principles of the waterfront vision via this masterplan.
Opening up our whole waterfront will be a long time in the making and it will be one of the most significant planning and consultation processes the council will undertake this year.
The masterplan will be open for public consultation until 12 October 2007.
For more information or to get a feedback form:
visit the website
phone (09) 379 2020
visit the waterfront display at the Maritime Museum, Viaduct Harbour
visit Auckland City Council libraries and service centres.