Auckland waterfront plans slammed
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.