John Markey spent Wednesday afternoon at Auckland's Wynyard Quarter with his two daughters and their two young sons.

"Dad-and-daughter" Wednesdays are a family tradition for Markey and his daughters, Angela Dickinson and Donna Gower. The family took the ferry from the North Shore with Leo Dickinson and his cousin Flynn Gower, both aged 3, to try out Wynyard's playground.

As they speak from the basketball court, their voices are at times drowned out by the shrieks and laughter of a group of primary-school children playing in the sand-and-shell themed park and zooming round on their scooters and trikes.

Markey, a 60-year-old Torbay resident, thinks the family-orientated outdoor space is great. "It's nice to come down here and see the boats. It would be a shame to think that after the World Cup it all dies off."


Markey knows there are plans to improve public waterfront spaces further and he intends to have his say on the plan.

"I get emails from the Auckland Council asking for my opinion." But the Draft Waterfront Plan was news to one of his daughters. "I didn't know," says Gower. "I saw on the news they were looking at pedestrianising downtown."

Dickinson, too, felt out of the loop regarding the waterfront development: "I didn't know about the Wynyard Quarter."

She read about the plans for the waterfront after the new area opened. "I don't really know much about what the plans are, all I knowis there's a plan to develop the whole area. It's a good way of getting people to the city."

She thinks getting public input for the plan is important. "The public have to have a say.We're the ones who have to live in it."

Gower is in favour of the idea of turning Quay St into a green boulevard. "What a fabulous idea - it makes sense. It makes it more useable and will attract more people to the city centre.

"We only come over when there's something new to see. It's easy to forget - there's never been a reason to come downtown."

The family have some ideas of their own. "Have a Saturday market just to pull people in," says Markey.

"We just need to get the public transport sorted to make it more userfriendly," says Gower.

And what was Flynn's favourite thing at Wynyard Quarter?

"The shells!"