Tuesday, April 23, 2024

“World-class” Auckland waterfront projects unveiled

Auckland’s $350 million Downtown Programme of six projects has been completed, completing a revitalised water’s edge destination for the city.

Mayor Phil Goff said the programme had been designed to strengthen people’s connection with the Waitematā Harbour.

“It’s a meeting place where the land connects to the sea, and where people can gather and look out over our beautiful Waitematā Harbour in the heart of the city,” said Mayor Goff.

He said the creation of the new waterfront Te Wānanga space and Te Komititanga square, the restored Chief Post Office, Amey Daldy Park, and Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Basin, together with the Britomart area, made the waterfront and downtown area “absolutely world-class”.

“Our new ferry piers that form Te Ngau o Horotiu will have improved accessibility and greater operational flexibility, providing a better customer experience for the 4 million people who use it each year. Bus and rail connections also make it the most accessible area in the city by public transport,” said Mayor Goff.

“This new downtown space will be enjoyed by for generations to come.”

Auckland Transport Board Chair, Adrienne Young-Cooper, said the area was now a world class meeting places for Aucklanders and visitors and a central hub for connections to other parts of the region.

“With new infrastructure for ferries, buses and trains all within a short distance, public transport connections are easier than ever. Currently, there are close to 9,000 people a day using our ferries services. This is the fastest recovering mode of public transport since the lockdown, with close patronage being close to 90% of pre-COVID levels,” she said.

“This ‘beating heart’ of our public transport system sees 20,000 people a day use bus services in the Lower Albert Street bus interchange, and 30,000 people travelling into the recently redeveloped Britomart Station. It would not be uncommon for many travelling on our services to be transferring between these modes.

“When you combine this with the Quay Street cycleway and widened footpaths now positioned together, this area of the city is well prepared for growth and an asset for the thousands of people who live, work and travel to and from the city every day.”

Programme Director for the Downtown Programme, Eric Van Essen says the transformation of Auckland’s waterfront involved a design partnership with Mana Whenua that interprets local identity, culture and history.

“This is what downtown now represents, a place with stories, a sense of history, and a unique identity. A place that showcases Auckland that we can all be proud of.”

The programme began by strengthening the sea wall that Quay Street sits on, protecting the city for the next 100 years from rising sea levels and seismic events. At the same time, it has revitalised Quay Street and Galway Street to be more people-orientated. There are now wider footpaths and a protected cycleway on Quay Street, along with a growing urban forest (ngahere) and native planting offering shade, shelter and carbon absorption.

The ngahere of Quay Street connects with Te Wānanga, the new downtown public space. Seeming to float above the harbour, this new public space has been designed to resemble a tidal shelf, forming a living hinge between the land and sea and shaped to emulate the rocky edges and sandstone headlands of the Waitematā.

Aerial image of Te Ngau o Horotiu; credit Auckland Transport
Aerial image of Te Ngau o Horotiu (Photo: Auckland Transport)

A new bus interchange now operates in Lower Albert Street serving some of Auckland’s busiest bus routes and providing easy connections to the recently reopened Chief Post Office building at Britomart Station. Six new ferry piers form Te Ngau o Horotiu, built on the east side of Queens Wharf. These new piers are designed for patronage growth and the future introduction of electric ferries.

Te Ngau o Horotiu; Credit Auckland Council
Te Ngau o Horotiu.

Ferry Service Changes

With the six new piers now completed as part of the Downtown Programme, Auckland Transport is making changes to some ferry services.

From today (5 July) a new numbering system will be introduced at the Downtown Ferry Terminal. Ferry services will operate from the new piers, along with some timetable changes.

Visit the Auckland Transport website for more on the Downtown Programme, on fare-free Saturday, and for more information on upcoming Ferry Service changes

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