A report in this morning’s Herald says a commercial developer has a plan to develop Queens Wharf and the ferry terminals that will cost ratepayers nothing. If it goes ahead it should be good news for international visitors and commuters alike. At last Auckland would get an international gateway to the city and to the Hauraki Gulf of which we could be proud instead of the visionless mess we have at present.
The Ferry Project Group is proposing two buildings, each with three storeys, stretching halfway up the 350m wharf. There would be public space at ground level and two storeys of commercial space and carparks above.
I couldn’t agree more with Sir Noel. Auckland Council has turned this important international visitor hub into a ‘pigsty’. Queens Wharf is the 'shop front' for international visitors arriving in Auckland by sea. Pier 2 is the gateway to Auckland’s top visitor attraction the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a mess. It’s also dangerous. For three years the former Waiheke Local Board made representation after representation to the Governing Body to improve access to Pier 2 which has been constrained into a narrow strip with chaotic traffic management. If you think it’s bad for able bodied commuters and visitors try navigating the area if you have a disability. It’s a nightmare.
The only ‘vision’ being promised by Auckland Council for this area is years and years of disruption to traffic as lame duck mayor Brown plunges the city into turmoil and bankruptcy through the misguided City Rail Loop project.
"All they are saying is, 'Here's an idea. We have got the cash to do it. It is not going to cost the ratepayers any money'," Sir Noel said.
What our economically illiterate Councillor really means is he spent $40 million of taxpayer dollars on a pup and then had no vision for ‘the people’. Proposals for Queens Wharf have included a ferris wheel, a taniwha, as well as the Cloud
Since then, the historic Shed 10 has opened as a cruise ship terminal after an $18.6 million refurbishment.
If Auckland Council is involved it will spend millions upon millions on even more plans and even more bureaucracy. That’s what Council does. When it comes to action they are as slow as a wet Whit week, that’s if they manage to get their gear into ‘drive’ at all. At least commercial developers have a concrete plan with a chance of being implemented that will cost ratepayers nothing.
From an Auckland and Waiheke point of view we can only be winners because we sure are losers right now.