Transforming downtown Auckland

Last Updated : 12 Dec 2018
Transforming Downtown Auckland 1
Rendering of Downtown Public Space (interim name).
Transforming Downtown Auckland 2
Rendering of Downtown Ferry Basin Redevelopment.
Transforming Downtown Auckland 3
Rendering of Quay St in downtown Auckland.
Transforming Downtown Auckland 4
Rendering of Quay St in downtown Auckland.

In just three years Auckland’s waterfront will look dramatically different. The Downtown Programme will be creating a generous and welcoming destination along the water’s edge that better connects people to the Waitematā Harbour and turns the Quay Street area into a more vibrant destination for all to enjoy.

Councillor Chris Darby, who chairs the Planning Committee, notes the effects the change will have on the character of our city centre.

“We’re creating a variety of distinctive, engaging public spaces that celebrate the confluence of people, land and sea. Our new downtown will be a series of destinations, thriving with life and enticing people to the water’s edge.

“The design of the dramatic changes afoot will reflect our unique Auckland identity and celebrate our place in the world,” says Mr Darby.

Key projects within the programme, which are currently going through resource consents, will be delivered by 2021. 

  • Quay Street Strengthening works will begin in early 2019. Seismic strengthening is needed to protect Quay Street and the utility services within it. This is the first step in the revitalisation of Quay Street and the works will be undertaken in stages, running from Princes Wharf to Marsden Wharf.

  • Investigation and relocation of utility services along Quay Street will take place from late 2018. This will identify underground services, such as power and gas, and provide essential information for construction planning.

  • Quay Street will then be transformed into a revitalised waterfront place, with wider footpaths, easier navigation, new street furniture, trees, and greater opportunity for business and events.

  • Two Downtown Bus Interchanges are also being developed. A traffic-calmed Quay Street will integrate different modes of transport and improve connections between trains, buses and ferries.

  • Downtown Public Space (interim name) will be under construction from late 2019. Aucklanders tell us they want to feel better connected to the harbour, and this exciting new waterfront destination will accommodate growing numbers of people in the city centre who need more space to move, rest and play.

  • The construction of the mooring dolphin at the end of Queens Wharf will be underway from early 2019. This new cruise ship mooring structure means newer and larger ships will be able to dock in central Auckland.

  • The redevelopment of the ferry basin will begin from mid-2019, creating six new berths on the west side of Queen’s Wharf. This is the first step towards a modern ferry terminal that is suitable for the city’s growing transport needs, and further development will occur post-2021.

Tell us your thoughts

A vision of an accessible waterfront neighbourhood that prioritises people is driving our efforts to transform downtown Auckland. The programme timeline is ambitious, and your input will help us get things right.

Through November and December, we will be popping up at different locations and events downtown where you can talk to us and see where we are up to with the Downtown Programme.

From 12 November, event schedules and an online feedback form will be available. Visit for more information.

Transforming downtown Auckland
Map showing planned developments in downtown Auckland
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