Auck­land wa­ter­front plans slammed

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

A $55 mil­lion re­vamp of Auck­land’s down­town ferry basin is planned within the next four to six years.

The plans in­cluded re­mov­ing piers one and two, where fer­ries de­part for Wai­heke and Devon­port, and re­plac­ing them with a new pier and ter­mi­nal build­ings on Queens Wharf.

Coun­cil plan­ning com­mit­tee chair­per­son Chris Darby said the new pier off Queens Wharf would have 12 ferry berths and could in­clude trav­e­la­tors to trans­port peo­ple to Queen Street more quickly and eas­ily.

‘‘The new ferry ter­mi­nal will be very con­tem­po­rary in its de­sign. The qual­i­ties it de­liv­ers will be some­thing you would ex­pect from a fa­cil­ity like Brit­o­mart train sta­tion or an air­port,’’ Darby said.

It will be con­sid­ered as part of its 10 year bud­get, which will be fi­nalised in 2018.

Darby said six mil­lion pas­sen­gers caught fer­ries across all the Auck­land ser­vices in the past year and more down­town ferry berths are needed to make room for growth.

‘‘There’s go­ing to be se­vere con­ges­tion in the ferry basin in five years - there’s con­ges­tion now,’’ he said.

The cloud would be re­moved from Queens Wharf as part of the changes.

Piers three and four would be pulled out first to de­velop a ‘‘Quay Street pub­lic realm’’ at the western end of the his­toric ferry build­ing.

Waitem­ata and Gulf coun­cil­lor Mike Lee has slammed the ‘‘crazy’’ plans to re­move the down­town ferry ter­mi­nal and piers and build new ones.

‘‘There’s been a cas­cade of bad de­ci­sions and I don’t believe the cost can be jus­ti­fied,’’ Lee said.

The coun­cil is also plan­ning to im­prove pub­lic space on the wa­ter­front with $27.2 mil­lion raised by sell­ing Queen El­iz­a­beth Square to Precinct Prop­er­ties.

Lee said land recla­ma­tion is planned in the ferry basin to cre­ate the new recre­ation space, which is in­tended to re­place Queen El­iz­a­beth Square.

‘‘We need to stop re­claim­ing the har­bour for what­ever rea­sons and by whomever. The con­cerns are aes­thetic as much as en­vi­ron­men­tal, but you are chang­ing the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment into a re­claimed en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘En­croach­ing on the ferry basin will make it more dif­fi­cult for fer­ries to ma­noeu­vre and for cruise ships to berth at Princes Wharf,’’ he said.

Pro­posed changes to the ferry basin at down­town Auck­land are ex­pen­sive and il­log­i­cal, says Mike Lee. PETER REES

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