This is a guest post from reader Jeff
What do you think of when you think of the Mangere inlet?
For most of us, it’s probably the journey across the Manukau Harbour Bridge to the Airport, and those little darting concrete catwalks linking suburbs we only know by name.
AT and the NZTA revealed plans to build a nearly motorway grade link between the bridge, and the Southern motorway, right along the Manukau Inlet foreshore.
This is our last chance to see this piece of waterfront land properly activated. What if we could rehabilitate it? What if it could host apartments, sail-boats, restaurants and a promenade? With the old Mangere bridge soon to be removed, there’s room to do something truly special with this area.
“Oh better freight movement!” We reassure ourselves. After all, trucks are the lifeblood of the economy, they keep telling us the economy will grind to a halt without them.
Yes, trucks do link nearly everything, does that warrant such a huge investment of public money to make private KPI’s more efficient, in what is, admittedly, an industrial area that arguably won’t be industrial in only a generation’s time?
But what about Church Street? doesn’t that connect the North Western motorway with the Southern motorway, and eastern suburbs?
What is unworkable about NZTA’s proposed option B?
Currently Church Street functions, albeit poorly, it’s cluttered, congested, and very, very stop starty. A bit of a nightmare Monday to Friday for anyone trying to deliver a consignment, B2B.
With Intersection improvements to Nelson and Church Streets including, removal of on-street parking and traffic Light sequencing, we can mitigate this need without the destruction of a previously destroyed coastline .
If you’ve been to Brisbane, you’ll no doubt have marvelled at their motorway, slinking around the river to inject people & cars into their CBD. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see prime, beautiful, expensive river-front land, crushed and bound by nice, white motorway onramps. Imagine what you could do with those riverbanks… An absolute waste of prime waterfront property.
Let’s take a trip, from end to end of this proposed new link. Will we lose anything?
Starting in Onehunga Bay, we have the Aotea Sea Scouts Hall, New Zealand’s oldest yacht club building. Famously nearly relocated during the Manukau harbour Crossing Duplication
Looking out onto the new foreshore reclamations funded by NZTA as reparations for foreshore destructions five decades earlier. (Note the Sewerage Surge outfall bottom right)
Heading under the bridges. Complete with a 1970’s style skypath. Imagine if this was planted with huge flax bushes, and the bridge properly lit up at night!
Lots of unactivated land under here. Reminds me heavily of Silo Park just a few years ago.
And onto the Path
Under this route runs a huge gas line. The Auckland Council GIS viewer doesn’t show gas lines but if memory serves this gasline powers the soon to be dismantled Southdown Powerplant. There’s a steam output line off that which heads back up a portion of the path providing steam to neighbours.
Now up to Waikaraka Park, war memorial cemetery. A very peaceful spot.
Looking back on Waikaraka Park
There’s a Heliport down here!
Recreational cyclists were abound, I counted just over 50. Including four families, and zero MAMILs. Despite what ones passing impressions may be of this area, it is heavily activated, and quietly beautiful.
Passing through I saw a few happy seals in amongst the mangroves, but with only my wide angle lens on, sorry no usable shots
I love this scene. A peoples space conjoined with heavy industrial, what would surprise you is just how amazingly peaceful it is, industry everywhere, and nothing but the gentle lapping of waves and birds to be heard
We’re now behind the Port of Tauranga Inland Port
Wow, this area had clearly had some special attention some time ago. Gently planted, with man made rock walls and Macrocapra fences run for perhaps a hundred metres.
Westfield junction. Port of Tauranga Inland port behind me. Note the passenger EMU crossing in the background
Heading towards the Soon to be retired Southdown Powerstation
Stage one? Imagine if the whole harbour was linked? Imagine being able to cycle from Mangere Bridge, to Otahuhu, train station, or Otahuhu behind Favona Rd back to Mangere Bridge or
Onehunga? This is one of Auckland’s last hidden Urban oasis.
The point of this photo essay was to give people a little look into a place they might never think about. Would a pseudo motorway on reclaimed land beside it be of any use, when church street simply needs minor intersection, and on street parking removal? What about AT’s Option B? I simply can’t fathom reclaiming more of the already destroyed Mangere inlet to build a road that is only supporting an industrial hub that won’t be there in a generation. Simply put, Penrose-Onehunga, will be gentrified within Gen X’s lifetime.
Coming back home. This is a disused front gate to a home on the Royal Oak hill. This would have once opened onto a foreshore, before the Onehunga Motorway came though in the 60’s