Reconnecting public to Ports of Auckland land
23 February 2023
Mayor Wayne Brown has given Eke Panuku a 'letter of expectation' to undertake master planning for a regenerated publicly-owned waterfront vacated by Ports of Auckland.
This is Ports-focused opinion article from the chair of Eke Panuku, Paul Majurey.
Illustration / Rod Emmerson
A rejuvenated waterfront can also incorporate the best of international models.
This was successfully undertaken for the award-winning Te Ara Tukutuku project – a partnership of Eke Panuku and Mana Whenua to re-imagine Wynyard Point. We envisage a pursuit of quality that is broad in its remit, and flexible and co-operative in its operation.
Thinking of the great urban waterfront examples in Vancouver, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Singapore, they all have vibrant harbours which connect to their city centres and sustain a range of activities that place access for people at the heart of it.
Closer to home, Sydney is an example of what can be achieved as a port transitions away from the central city, freeing up the waterfront to be repurposed for the city.
We need to create destinations that are interconnected, from the waterfront back to the city centre, the vibrancy of the downtown area and Britomart, across to the Viaduct / Wynyard Quarter and beyond.
The fewer impediments to people walking and cycling, the better.
Harbour swimming around the port area may have seemed a distant prospect, but anyone who has visited Copenhagen’s People’s Park - where crowds sit in the sun on the pontoons in between swims – will know what replicating that sort of experience could do for helping to transform our waterfront.
Over the coming year, Eke Panuku will support the mayor and council group to bring together the thinking for how Auckland can proceed to transform its port lands into great public spaces.
For years, people have talked about this Waitematā connection being Auckland’s jewel. This is the opportunity for Tāmaki Makaurau to finally begin the realisation of that aspiration.
Paul Majurey is the chair of Eke Panuku Development Auckland.