Better connectivity between Parnell and the city centre is critical and a much-welcomed addition to the Auckland Council’s City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) refresh, Parnell Business Association general manager Cheryl Adamson says.
A new east-west connectivity component has been proposed in the plan which investigates designs to complete State Highway 16 to Tamaki Drive as a multi-way surface-level boulevard.
“When we did focus groups in 2016, one of things that people said to us is they feel cut off from the central city,” Cheryl says.
“They also communicated that The Strand alienates them from the city, so when I saw those plans and the high-level visualisation I went ‘wow’, if this works, it has the potential to stitch us to the fabric of the city. However we need to see the detailed modelling to understand if this concept has the ability to translate into actuality.”
The proposed boulevard is intended to act as a large vehicle corridor with improved traffic flow while delivering improved amenities, connections and development opportunities.
The Property Council of New Zealand is supportive of the CCMP refresh and future development opportunities.
“Our goals for Auckland align with council’s in unlocking Auckland’s potential and assisting with creation a quality compact city,” Property Council Chief Executive Leonie Freeman says.
“Our members remain positive about the potential changes proposed for the Grafton Gully Boulevard – Parnell, and the pedestrianisation of areas like High Street.”
Cheryl says the refresh should align with the Parnell Plan, a 30-year-plan for the city’s first suburb published four months ago.
One of the objectives in the Parnell Plan is to enhance connectivity and accessibility within the suburb and neighbouring attractions.
“One of our biggest issues, and the reason we pushed for a local area plan, was lack of east and west connectivity in Parnell. You literally have Parnell Road going down the middle, and as for the rest, it’s terrible.
“We battle with the fact that we are surrounded by some of the best attractions in Auckland, like the Auckland Museum and Vector Arena, but we can’t access or leverage off that – and that’s a problem for us.
“You have all of these big concerts at Vector Arena and when people stay here in Parnell they have no idea how to get there. It’s so close but tourists often get lost.”
“We are grateful to see opportunities for urban renewal being considered on our side of the city. We often feel like we have been forgotten about. The Strand is an ill-conceived corridor, handling far too much traffic and for many years, any remedial action feels like ongoing band aids.”
Cheryl says other “exciting” ideas that could develop near Parnell, would be the public/private sector proposal to open the protected historic Albert Park tunnels.
“From a tourist perspective, opening up the Albert Park tunnels will be great for Parnell.”
Originally adopted in 2012, the CCMP sets out a 20-year vision for the heart of the city and provides a blueprint for future development. The refresh also incorporates the Waterfront Plan.
Projects within the Waterfront plan are:
- a new city waterfront neighbourhood at Wynyard Quarter, alive with residents, workers, businesses, visitors and activities
- a 10km promenade and cycleway along the edge of the waterfront, from the Harbour Bridge to TEAL Park
- an innovation precinct, Grid AKL, to attract global ITC (Information Technology and Communication), marine and other technology-focused organisations to do business here
- new apartments, offices and hotel buildings transforming Wynyard Central
- a linear park with play spaces along Daldy Street linking Victoria Park to a future park on Wynyard Point
- maintaining a working waterfront with marine, fishing and other activities on the water and protecting our maritime history
- a 4.5ha waterfront park on Wynyard Point
- enhanced walking, cycling and public transport access between Wynyard Quarter and the city.
Panuku Development Auckland is the council organisation charged with developing the waterfront and other parts of Auckland.
The plan refresh, which is open for public consultation until Friday 18 October, has so far seen hundreds of Aucklanders placing feedback.
Have Your Say
Aucklanders can have their say on the refresh of the City Centre Masterplan from today until 18 October 2019.
Your feedback will help shape the vision for Auckland’s city centre and waterfront. We’d particularly like to hear your thoughts on:
- The ten strategic outcomes - shaping the vision of the city centre and waterfront
- The eight transformational moves - ideas, programmes and proposals to deliver this vision
- Access for Everyone (A4E) - a new idea for city centre access
To read the draft City Centre Masterplan and to have your say, visit akhaveyoursay.nz
Following the public consultation period, there will be further opportunities to refine and shape the draft plan, with a view to seeking committee approval in early 2020.