Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland Plan: Harbour plan makes more room for boats and boaties

Auckland has made public a draft of its plan to create the world's most liveable city. Photo / Supplied
Auckland has made public a draft of its plan to create the world's most liveable city. Photo / Supplied

Building a third Viaduct Basin to accommodate a growing fleet of fishing boats and yachts is among 40 projects included in the draft waterfront plan.

Extending the Halsey St Wharf further past the end of Princes Wharf is one of the bolder ideas to emerge in the 30-year plan being developed alongside the Auckland Plan and the city centre masterplan.

Another uncosted "aspirational" project is to create an island off Westhaven Marina, built from dredgings, around which people could live on boats.

Waterfront Auckland planning and design manager Rod Marler says the plan also contains a lot of less expensive "quick hits", such as spending $700,000 to tear up the bland paving at Waitemata Plaza and create a green space in the Viaduct Harbour.

The council body is also keen to get on with a walking and cycling boulevard from the Auckland Harbour Bridge to Teal Park and to extend the heritage tram circuit around the Wynyard Quarter to Britomart following overwhelming support from interested groups.

In the longer-term trams could run up Queen St and 15km along the waterfront to St Heliers.

The tram extension is expected to cost $8.1 million plus the cost of a new crossing, which is expected to be a lot less than the $47.3 million cost of an earlier plan for a permanent bridge across the Viaduct Harbour.

Auckland Council transport chairman Mike Lee said work on laying tracks to Britomart could start at Christmas, and the project could be completed in about a year. Waterfront Auckland has a target of starting construction within three years.

Mr Marler said the draft waterfront masterplan was an "action plan" summarising work over the past 15 years. It focused on four goals - a public waterfront, a working waterfront, a growing waterfront and a connected waterfront.

The plan includes many projects already proposed, such as turning Quay St from lower Hobson St to Britomart Place into a boulevard. The plan is to limit this stretch of Quay St to local traffic and service vehicles and divert most traffic to Customs St.

This would assist another plan to remove the lower Hobson St flyover and create a plaza in front of the 100-year-old Tepid Baths.

Other ideas include a $4.4 million upgrade of St Marys Bay beach, a saltwater pool at the end of Queens Wharf similar to Sydney's Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool and a wharf extension at the end of Wynyard Quarter for historic ships and waka.

A "signature" public building at the end of the headland park on Wynyard Quarter is 10 to 20 years away.

The waterfront is expected to be a significant part of Auckland's economic future.

A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers last year said the redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter alone would be worth $4.29 billion for Auckland, create 20,000 jobs in the city and another 20,000 for the region.

- NZ Herald

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