$23m plan to open up Westhaven

By Bernard Orsman

Boardwalks and a fishing platform over the water, wider footpaths, a cycleway and a marina village are among ideas for a $23 million upgrade of Westhaven Marina in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

An opening bridge linking the central city to Westhaven has also been proposed but would not be built for at least another 10 years.

The plans were outlined in a waterfront masterplan launched by Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard yesterday amid the concerns of Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee.

He was disappointed at Auckland City's "unilateral" approach after the regional and city councils had agreed to work together to implement the Auckland Waterfront Vision 2040. The masterplan builds on this document.

The regional council was surprised at suggestions in the masterplan for light rail up Queen St when it favoured a heavy rail city loop and work on the future of the finger wharves - Queens, Captain Cook and Marsden - which it owns through its property arm, Auckland Regional Holdings.

Council planning general manager John Duthie said consultation would begin this year on making Westhaven, which the council bought in 2004 for $54 million, more accessible.

Westhaven Drive would be re-aligned for wider footpaths, boardwalks and a two-way cycleway on the seaward side.

A marina village with cafes and marine-type businesses would be built at the northwest end and the boat clubs would stay.

The council is also planning a harbour park on wasteland west of the harbour bridge with a viewing and fishing platform over the water. It wants to enhance the Pt Erin headland, a former coastal pa, with native plants and a harbour lookout.

Mr Duthie said early estimates for the work on Westhaven were $20 million, plus $3 million for the harbour park. That is on top of $7 million to $8 million set aside to buy 1.1ha for the harbour park and the 0.5ha Teal Park at the Tamaki Drive end of the waterfront from Ports of Auckland.

Mr Duthie said Teal Park would also be upgraded by 2011 at an estimated cost of $3 million. The ports company had done work on a beach at Teal Park and that would be looked at. The intention was to open Teal Park up as a gateway to the waterfront at Tamaki Drive.

Ideas for Westhaven by 2011

* Boardwalks and wider footpaths.

* Two-way cycle lane on seaward side of Westhaven Drive.

* Marina village.

* New park by Harbour Bridge.

* Pt Erin headland planted with native plants.

* Upgrading Teal Park.

Post 2011

* Bridge connecting Westhaven to CBD.

* Reclamation between bridge and Westhaven Drive.

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