Wharf plans unin­spir­ing, says Lee

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

A PRO­POSAL to con­vert two tin sheds on Queens Wharf into a venue for the Rugby World Cup has been called unin­spir­ing by one of the ma­jor play­ers.

Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil chair­man Mike Lee says the idea of up­grad­ing the 97-yearold sheds is an “un­der­whelm­ing con­cept”.

“It would not serve our ob­jec­tives in buy­ing the wharf, which is to cre­ate a fit-for-pur­pose cruise ship ter­mi­nal.”

He says cur­rent fa­cil­i­ties for the city’s in­creas­ing num­ber of cruise ship pas­sen­gers are ap­palling and vis­i­tors de­serve bet­ter.

Mr Lee wants to see the sheds gone and re­placed with an el­e­gant struc­ture in­volv­ing glass to make it light and airy.

The re­gional coun­cil and the gov­ern­ment each put in $20 mil­lion to buy the wharf and the Auck­land City Coun­cil has ap­proved $84m to re­de­velop it.

Auck­land City Coun­cil’s city de­vel­op­ment gen­eral man­ager John Duthie says the build­ings have great tim­ber, lat­tice work and trusses, even though the out­sides have de­te­ri­o­rated.

“You’ve got to en­vi­sion what you can do with the build­ings rather than what they are now.

“It’s a real op­por­tu­nity to make a sig­nif­i­cant trans­for­ma­tion,” he says.

Mr Duthie says the de­vel­op­ment will be “uniquely Auck­land”.

It will bring down the red fence sur­round­ing the port and let peo­ple down to the water­front, he says.

Mr Lee says the first ob­jec­tive is to get the cars, ba­nanas and trop­i­cal fruit off the wharf where they are stored and open it up to the pub­lic by next April.

The first stage of the city coun­cil’s project is tar­geted at pro­vid­ing what Prime Min­is­ter John Key de­scribed as “party cen­tral” for peo­ple to watch the world cup games in an at­mos­phere sim­i­lar to what they would ex­pe­ri­ence at Eden Park.

There are a num­ber of things that will have to be done be­fore the wharf can host par­ty­go­ers, in­clud­ing up­grad­ing the struc­ture at an es­ti­mated cost of be­tween $4m and $7m.

Earth­quake strength­en­ing could cost $11m and up­grad­ing the sheds may cost up to $14m, de­pend­ing on what is done to them.

An­other $2.5m will be needed for the sur­round­ing in­fra­struc­ture, de­pend­ing on what is done to the wharf sur­face.

It has a split level deck which Mr Duthie says may need to be lev­elled and the sur­face re­do­ing.

A safety rail will be put up to pre­vent peo­ple fall­ing.

He says the $84m ap­proved by the city coun­cil is the top end of the price.

“Hope­fully we won’t have to do a seis­mic up­grade of the wharf. It de­pends on the level of amenity and the qual­ity pro­vided.”

There is also the po­ten­tial to use part of one of the sheds as a cruise ship ter­mi­nal.

He says re­source con­sent would need to be ob­tained but the coun­cil would be largely work­ing with the ex­ist­ing wharf and sheds.

“I don’t be­lieve there would be in­sur­mount­able re­source con­sent is­sues.”

Af­ter the world cup, Mr Duthie says the vi­sion is to build a legacy for the city and a sig­nif­i­cant as­set.

New Zealand de­sign­ers will be asked for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est into the fu­ture of the de­vel­op­ment.

Ports of Auck­land manag­ing di­rec­tor Jens Mad­sen says the short-term de­vel­op­ment of the wharf is not for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to de­cide.

“Ports of Auck­land will con­tinue to work closely with the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers to sup­port their plan­ning un­til we va­cate the wharf in April 2010.”

Mr Mad­sen says de­vel­op­ing a new pri­mary cruise ship ter­mi­nal on the wharf is very im­por­tant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.