Waterfront Proposals get the Nod from Committee

15 April 2010

Wellington City Council's Strategy and Policy Committee today voted to start public consultation on a range of initiatives for the future development of Wellington's waterfront.

The committee also voted to proceed with construction of the proposed 'artwork' public toilets at the Kumutoto end of the waterfront. Building work on the $375,000 project is expected to start in August.

The 2010/11 Waterfront Development Plan, due to go out for consultation next month, makes a variety of recommendations. It includes relocation costs for the Chaffers Marina administration buildings in anticipation of the Overseas Passenger Terminal redevelopment next year; continuing to project-manage the construction of the wharewaka; and redeveloping the public area surrounding the wharewaka on Taranaki Street Wharf.

The plan proposes to undertake business cases to support a temporary fabric shelter structure for the waterfront's 'transition' site beside Waitangi Park, where the Harbourside Market takes place on Sundays, and a temporary ice-skating rink. It also proposes a feasibility study into proposed buildings for the 'transition site'.

The 2010/11 Plan is part of a wider 10-year developmental framework for the waterfront. Other initiatives in the framework include redeveloping the Outer T (also part of the Queens Wharf masterplan) and a Chinese Garden at Frank Kitts Park.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says she's looking forward to seeing what the public have to say on these proposals.

"This is an exciting time," says Mayor Prendergast. "The developmental framework is all going according to plan for our waterfront.

"I'm delighted with how Wellington Waterfront Ltd has managed the space so far. Now we're ready to move on with plans that have been in place for some time.

"There's been increased interest of late in the redevelopment of the Overseas Passenger Terminal into an apartment complex, and this indicates to us a change on the horizon for our economic situation.

"The same could be said for the proposed Chinese Garden. I have been in contact with leaders of Wellington's Chinese community this week, and we're keen to work together on the early stages of this project. It's a shame that this process has been going on so long, and I detected that most other Councillors at today's meeting just want to get on with this project."

The Queens Wharf masterplan, which Councillors also discussed at today's meeting, aims to improve Shed 6 and the TSB Bank Arena facilities, Queens Wharf Plaza and the pedestrian and cyclist interface along the promenade.

Waterfront company Chief Executive Ian Pike says an ideas competition was held last year for what to do with the Outer T. More than 170 members of the public entered the competition, and six ideas were selected for further consideration by a steering group. All entries can be viewed on the Wellington Waterfront Ltd website - wellingtonwaterfront.co.nz - or at Shed 6 on Queens Wharf.

The 2010/11 Development Plan will go out for public consultation on Tuesday 4 May and feedback will be required by Wednesday 2 June. Oral submissions on the plan will be heard by Councillors on Thursday 10 June. Any changes arising from the consultation will be incorporated into the final plan and presented to Councillors on 23 June for consideration.