Project moved to keep events in city
Construction of a new events centre in the city’s revamped Wynyard Quarter has been brought forward to keep several major events in the city.
The Auckland City Council city development committee voted last month to bring funding for the Marine Events Centre in Halsey St forward six years to be included in the 2010/11 budget.
But construction of the Te Wero bridge, which will connect the viaduct with Wynyard Quarter, has been delayed until 2016.
A report to the committee said deferring the centre would mean Auckland could no longer host events like Air NZ Fashion Week, the Auckland Marathon, the Boat Show and Auckland Art Fair.
Those events bring about $86 million a year to the city’s economy, it said.
Sea+City, the organisation in charge of implementing the Auckland city and regional councils’ vision for Wynyard Quarter, says bringing the centre forward is “good news”.
“The Marine Events Centre will be an integral part and one of the key attractors for the whole quarter,” says chief executive and project director John Dalzell.
The council will spend $1m on an interim bridge before Te Wero is built.
Mr Dalzell says the temporary bridge will provide pedestrian access and cyclists will be able to walk their bikes across it.
At the meeting, councillor Leila Boyle moved that the council could cut the centre’s budget by $1.5m with a simpler roof design, but the amendment was lost.
“I believe if we are serious about keeping rates increases as low as possible, we should look at ways of saving money,” she said.
Chairman Aaron Bhatnagar said he didn’t want to put a “samurai sword through the budget” because the centre and the development needed to be something the city was proud of.
“The buildings look fantastic, they look interesting, they have architectural integrity,” he said.
The centre’s design was endorsed by the council urban design panel.
A $29.3m budget was approved by the council last August for the centre’s development, with an extra $2.6m previously approved for developing the surrounding streetscapes.