Auckland Transport have confirmed they’ll move into the current Vodafone building on Fanshawe St at a saving of $1 million per year

Auckland Transport to save money by being under one roof

Auckland Transport has signed a Heads of Agreement with the landlord for 20 Viaduct Harbour (Vodafone Building on Fanshawe Street).

This agreement, which is subject to further detail being agreed and documented in a lease, is expected to be completed by 31 May.

Auckland Transport’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Morris says this location will give AT a cost effective solution for its accommodation requirements with expected savings of close to a million dollars in the first year alone.

Auckland Transport’s staff are currently spread across 19 buildings with multiple leases, some of which are about to expire.

Mr Morris says the Fanshawe St building has 14,000 square metre open plan floor space spread over six levels and that offers flexible and efficient work spaces. “It is not expensive compared to a new building or other existing offices in or around the CBD. The building is 12 years old.

“We will be reducing our overall space requirements by around 2500 square metres as well as making savings in areas such as cleaning, electricity, IT and maintenance.”

Mr Morris adds that leasing rather than purchasing space reduces the organisation’s financial risk.

In addition to the CBD location AT will have a presence in three smaller regional offices in the north, Manukau and Henderson. This will enable teams with operational requirements to work in their local area such as parking officers.

The move to Fanshawe St will be completed by November 2017.

I know a lot of their city based staff catch PT in to the city and due to the distance most would probably want to transfer to a bus to get to the office. As such I wonder if this will move will expedite improvements in transfers in and around Britomart as well as pedestrian facilities on Fanshawe St. And with their buddies at the NZTA in the HSBC building the move will make perhaps they could even have a fleet of bikes for staff moving between the two locations making use of their new Quay St cycleway.

It will also likely be a good llocation for them if they build light rail as planned

LRT - Fanshawe St

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          1. Good point. Theres currently 4 lanes, one of which is a bus lane. In the future it shows 2 lanes plus the LRT lane.

            Will one of the two lanes be a bus lane. I.e down to one lane of general traffic.
            Or will north shore buses get stuck in general taffic congestion.
            Or will busses use the LRT lane?

  1. As I understand, NZTA Auckland already has a fleet of e-bikes for staff use, which will be handy for meetings at AT’s future location.

  2. I don’t know why AT is vacating Henderson and would question the “savings” given that is currently using a Council owned building. And besides being situated on top of a rail station should be the sort of pro PT stance the city’s transport entity should be engaged in. Not to mention the loss to Henderson of a number of workers and the increased congestion that more people heading downtwon will cause.

    1. Less than half of ATs staff are at Henderson, it’s just not big enough. Further as staff live all over the region, it’s not exactly easy to get to and most drive despite the PT being there. Staff call out Horrenderson

      1. Instead of badmouthing the area how about they find ways to help improve it. How long did it take them to improve the crossing right outside their front door.

          1. one staff member living in Birkenhead told me it took him 90 minutes each way to Henderson by PT bus/train, dead time particularly with a young family

        1. Agreed RHarris. I also think we should get away from having everyone located in one building. Telecommuting and video conferencing should be used more often.

          1. Large organisations like AT get agglomeration benefits just cities do. Why would you not want AT to benefit from that.

          2. Greg P That suggests a misunderstanding of how cities work; of course its hugely advantageous to have people in one building. And to have that building centrally located to be able to attract staff from all over the wider city equally, and to have that building close to AT partners: AKL Council, NZTA, and MoT:

            ‘Other savings would be made from a productivity gain of more than 50,000 hours through staff not travelling between buildings.’

            Bernard tries very hard to dump on the Council and CCO here, as ever, but is still informative:

      2. Horrenderson….that is pretty sanctimonious, even for this blog. Here’s an idea for those people that live in Howick etc…why don’t they move closer to work…? Seems ironic that transport people would choose to live 1.5 hrs drive away from where they work. I guess that this may mean living in Horrenderson though and possibly interacting with (shock horror) non white/poor people….

        1. Simon it’s not us that calls it Horrenderson, and I’m the last person who would call it that given I live in Henderson myself. As for moving house, these are people who may have worked in Manukau or North Shore before but their role changed. People move jobs more than they move houses. There may be other reasons they live where they do e.g. a partners job, wanting to raise a family near where they have support networks etc.

          1. All good. I live in Glen Eden and find the idea that people who ought to be working for the good of a community would refer to that community in such negative terms…

          2. Simon – people who work for public entities are people just like anyone else, they are entitled to not like the location where they work just like anyone else. I suspect quite a few have already done something about it and found another job, which won’t help AT’s retention of staff.

        2. Agree Simon. ” I live in Glen Eden and find the idea that people who ought to be working for the good of a community would refer to that community in such negative terms” – . Imagine being in any another service industry and your organisation called the customers and the project they were supposed to be working on (eg delivering transport services and building a great and liveable community for all of auckland not just the inner city) derrogatory names. That organisation would be dumped immediately and they would have a reputation as unprofessional w^&*^%rs and they would lose business. Disgusting behaviour from AT who reward themselves with premium office space. And as for Henderson as a town they lose major council business and expenditure that would be supporting small local businesses, cafes, shops stationery. What council procurement is being done out west? Sad.

          1. Ever met a retail/hospo worker who didn’t harp on about customers from time to time? Doing so doesn’t make them bad people, or unprofessional. Likewise, it doesn’t mean that the people at AT hate Henderson or don’t want to improve it – I’d wager that a fair few of AT/AC’s employees live there!

          2. Actually I have worked in client services, and nick naming your customer horrendous, would result in the begining of the official dismissal process, and if the situation continued you would lose your job. It’s definitely a sackable offense. But the community didn’t even get an apology from the disgraceful behaviour from AT. And the staff should have been given warnings. AT is supposed to be providing a vision and solution for more liveable community across Auckland. By calling it Horrendorson it seems they’ve lost sight of the vision and marginalised and demeaned one of Auckland’s working class suburbs. As they hop in their ferraris on the motorway and make haste to their new inner city digs, bars and awesome cafes. I wonder how many carparks theyve bought with the building. Not happy. Disgusting behaviour from AT and it’s staff .

          3. I’m pretty sure the majority of ATs employees don’t own Ferraris, in fact I imagine a large number of them will be jumping on trains or buses to get to work once they are in the CBD.

            There is no more logic for them to be in Henderson, than there is for them to be in Papakura, Manukau, Pakuranga, Penrose, Takapuna or Albany.

          4. Jezza. You miss the point. AT employees behaviour was insulting and unprofessional. Henderson deserve a public apology. The debate for how Auckland grows is far from over. The UK released papers last year cutting government property with principles of localism, hot desking, outer commuter hubs, and mobile technology in a bid to reduce transport problems and reduce costs. Well the AT staff are clearly happy with their new digs and location – the questions for most organisations is will this make the clients happy – that’s us. The ratepayers and voters. And for me I think AT has showed extreme arrogance in the way they’ve treated our community. And I think we’ll see a huge loss to the economy of the West. And your discussion is all about what’s best for AT. But what is the vision for making “: Horrenderson”. the most vibrant and liveable community. Move more people here with the least recreation facilities, no jobs or business hub and poor transport. (Well actually pretty good but not good enough for AT staff.) That’s the conversation Auckland Council is supposed to be having.

          5. Penny, that’s a pretty dramatic reaction to have AT apologise to a community based on nothing more than something someone had heard in a comment in a blog. Most of Henderson residents would probably be completely baffled as to what the apology was about.

            You appear to want AT to stay and prop up Henderson, even if it is not in the best interests of either AT or ratepayers from the wider Auckland area. I have a feeling hot desking is not going to become widespread as is it is resulting in widespread employee dissatisfaction is a number if workplaces I know people in.

      3. 15km from the CBD isn’t that far and against most traffic flows if driving.

        I just wished they had taken more time to improve the transport systems while they were in the area to create a more vibrant place. A transport hub in Henderson was never developed, the roads not improved, pedestrian and cycling facilities not improved. It’s quite a sad list.

        1. Against the traffic flow? Only if you live in the inner west. The magority of the population live east/north/west and first have to fight through peak congestion before they finally hit SH16.

          1. East is the only issue I see at lets face its that’s terrible even to the CBD.

            North go over the Greenhithe bridge. South state highway 20 through New Lynn . Central and West fairly easy.

          2. RHarris – given how easy it sounds like it is for people to get to the building I would assume another business will soon move in there to take up these benefits and thus give Henderson the boost it sounds like it needs.

    2. It’s not about badmouthing; its about agglomeration economies, these are as real to a City Agency like AT as they are for any large operation. You know the opportunities of proximity; the entire reason cities exist at all [and have done throughout time and in nearly every culture].

      1. Except youre totally wrong. Public services are moving towards decentralization because it allows for a better service delivery to the diversity of populations that exist within a populace. If at least this is the case in my field (s).

          1. Actuallt yeah. Centralisation of services that need to serve diverse communities are moving away from centralisation because its been a failure. (E.g. health,justice,welfare services etc). Admittedly NZ is behind tge ball in this regard,but this is certainly the overseas trend.

          2. Simon – all the ones you have mentioned have a significant public facing component. What organisation that is primarily made up of engineers, planners, designers that need to collaborate have been decentralising?

          3. Fair point. I would say that the engineers etc do need face time with the communites they are working for though. Do planners really plan areas without developing an understanding of what those communities need/want/are…? I guess that this could be the case,but then this may partly explain why Auckland is so poorly planned.

          4. Simon, I think you are right about the face time, but I suspect it is probably better to have this through public meetings etc as this means wider Auckland can be covered, not just Henderson. Also based on what I can gather they are not particularly public facing in Henderson at the moment anyway.

        1. How does a group of traffic engineers and planners working in their own bubble in some remote location really improve how they deliver roads or PT etc.

          1. Yes they seemed to be in a bubble in Henderson how will this change in the CBD. Did they step outside the office there? Catch a bus/ train there, walk around, cycle? Where’s the shared spaces, the transport hub, cycle lanes, the secure bike racks, ring roads? It’s been a sad legacy for Henderson.

  3. This has got to mean a much better Fanshawe St, at last! Especially for pedestrians, crossing that corner, from the Voda building to the park currently involves three separate beg-button controlled legs, even worse for the poor dairy workers at Fonterra where it’s four, and all in a bizarre counter intuitive circle away from the desire line.

    One thing I’ve always thought would be good here, but in no way at the expense of vastly improved pedestrian priority at street level, is a footbridge from Graham St across to the gap at the east of the Voda building, right through to the sea, but also will steps down to the Light Rail Station pictured above. This would bring all the people in the buildings up on Victoria St into direct access with both the stop and the harbour… But sort the street first AT.

      1. Well doesn’t that intersection work so much better with Halsey closed? If only non driving Transit was actually in place now on Wynyard, and cars could be more restricted onto that peninsular than they will be….

    1. That double lights ped crossing outside Vodafone is a nightmare. At least the one outside Air NZ is phased so you can cross to the park without waiting in the middle of the road (still have to wait if you walk from the park).

      1. There is a signalised crossing across the slip lane from Beaumont street onto SH1, but it doesn’t actually give green light when the cars have red. I remember seeing a pedestrian waiting for a green man for over a minute, before I got green light. I guess he pushed the beg button a few seconds too late I guess.

        Why does that one even need a beg button?

        Sometimes the disdain for pedestrians in this city is unbelievable.

        1. “Why does that one even need a beg button?”
          It’s not a beg button, it’s a button that tells the Traffic Lights “I’m a pedestrian and I’m ready to cross”. The alternative is to have a rotational clockwork system that alternates between the various vehicle lanes and pedestrian crossings, regardless of whether any cars or pedestrians are actually there.

          1. Terminology aside, the specific crossing I’m talking about is just a crossing on a slip lane. That one can either give green for cars, or green for pedestrians. It has to cycle anyway to let cars from Fanshawe Street enter the motorway.

          2. … and failing that, if someone presses the button when those cars will still have red light for over a minute, it might as well immediately give green light, instead of letting people wait for an entire cycle.

          3. It’s a beg button. You don’t see drivers having to push a button to tell the lights they’re there. In more civilised cities lights have pedestrian phases built in and happen automatically. One example of why it’s bad is you could walk up to the lights and push the button but have just missed the window for a cycle by seconds leaving you standing around for minutes (especially at large intersections). If there was an auto ped phase it would have gone and you could have crossed straight away.

          4. On the corner of Esmonde & Burns there is a beg button _and_ a pressure plate next to it on which you have to stand for the lights to activate.

            People were probably reporting that the buttons are broken because a few weeks ago they installed signs showing where you need to stand.

          5. Yes I find those beg/stand ones to be particularly annoying. I assume the reason is that at many of these intersections, the wait time is so long for peds that they end up just risking it and crossing and – hey presto – the lights dont have to have a ped crossing phase at all.

          6. Whether it’s a pressure plate or a button, that’s still a beg button or beg plate. It still means that pedestrian has to wait until the next set.

          7. It would be easy to run the peds across that slip lane every time the turn is red for traffic. There is no need for a button there at all and no need to run every phase in rotation as you suggest. The intergreen is always long enough for a ped phase.

          8. On crossings with a slip lane, you can also just run green pedestrian phases parallel to the car phases.

            Imagine you’re waiting to cross on the island behind a slip lane. Traffic going straight doesn’t cross the pedestrian crossing. Traffic turning left goes behind you. Traffic turning right from the other direction is blocked by traffic going straight (and has usually red light).

    2. Patrick are you mad .Mover more people into the city is only going to make nore issues .what the hell are you thinking .by making this statment .Thata right the council will make more money from parking .and yet another excuss to push the dam rail tunnel .We all know the cost of rhat is going ro blow out of control as it did on the north western motorway .I wonder id you will pay all the eztra costs .

      1. The people in the building are moving out Mike, so there’s probably no net gain or loss in workers as a result of this. Also CRL is approved and under construction, won’t make one bit of difference towards it.

      2. You mean the city where they will drive by far the least of any location and cause the least additional congestion?

  4. Sorry to see them leave Henderson. It will not be good for the area.

    Hopefully while the majority of them are still based in Henderson they can figure out a better road solutions for Henderson if there building is going to be turned in to apartments. The streets through the town centre need to be freed up for business activities and people. There should be a better ring road than people continuing to drive through the town centre on Great North Road.

    1. Yes while they’re still in Henderson they can also sort out the transport hub that was supposed to operate from there.

  5. Henderson is only 1 of 19 buildings. It makes sense to be in one location, preferably it should have been in or adjacent to the rest of council.
    Reducing financial risk by not owning the building is at odds with the councils decision to buy the former ASB tower in order to save money. While a business would typically not own a building, I think the council should. If buying an existing building, clearly proper due diligence needs to be done

    1. After the clusterf**k that went into buying the ASB building I can think of a very good reason why the council is hesitant to purchase rather than lease. Yes the ASB building will save money and already they have got a capital gain out of it (just not as much as they would have had they done a proper inspection before blowing millions on repairs!).

  6. So how much of this so called savings will be wasted on pathetic projects like your personal transport setup that failed costing us 100s of 1000s of dollars

  7. Swanky looking building. But I agree if they’re based at Fanshawe St they may do something about making it more liveable for all as well as cars.

  8. Is Fanshawe Street that bad ?

    I take the train or ferry into town and I walk to the far end of Fanshawe street, the walk round to the vodafone building along the waterfront takes 10 minutes and is by international standard very pleasant.

  9. Why do public servants need to be in the city? They should be located under one roof in the cheapest building within the greater Auckland boundry

    1. If you operate a highly-specialized organisation that relies on highly-skilled employees, then you need to locate in places which are 1) easy to get to and 2) attractive / amenable.

      Public organisations of AT’s size are by necessity highly-specialized. And highly-specialized organisations benefit from agglomeration economies. Indeed empirical evidence suggests government organisations benefit more from agglomeration than other industries, possibly because of the need for people to work across a diverse range of functional areas, e.g. integrate the delivery of public transport and cycling infrastructure.

      Shift them out of the city, and watch the quality of public services go down the tubes.

    2. For the same reason as private sector organisations. To provide an attractive place to work that’s convenient for people to commute to, in order to help attract and retain good quality staff.

      In fact, you could argue that it’s better for public servants to have better offices than private sector staff, as pay rates are usually lower and it’s of more benefit to society to have good quality people responsible for public money than having them working for a bank. That would more than offset the small difference in accommodation costs.

  10. There are dozens of empty buses traveling from the adjacent bus depot to and from Britomart every day. There would be no extra cost to timetable those buses. All senior AT executive staff and Board members should be made to use public transport as part of their conditions of employment. Within a few months I bet we would have the best transport system in the world. These guys want to sell everyone else a product they dont want to use themselves.

    1. Between the red Link bus and the Northern Busway there is already a bus every three minutes all day long between Britomart and the building. They’ll be fine. By the way, almost all the AT staff based in the city buildings take public transport already.

    2. Why would you restrict the way people travel to and from work and how on earth would you enforce it!? I almost always catch the train to my CBD office, but occasionally bring the car in and pay for parking if I’m heading away for the weekend or visiting friends on the North Shore in the evening for example, would I no longer be allowed to do that? If so I’d probably start looking for another job.

      1. Exactly! Let AT manage their staff like any proper organisation does.

        Everyone seems to think that if AT moved to their neighbourhood they would get better pubic transport, and I guess that reflects the widely held belief that AT is under-investing in public transport outside of central Auckland.

        I would sooner see them working in one building to break down the silos that seem to exist within AT, and allow them the benefit of readier access to NZTA, the Council, Fullers and other transport partners. If they can do this and save money at the same time it’s a brilliant move.

  11. Would PWC’s current building not be closer to the HSBC building public transport, CRL and the cycle lanes
    It will also with in the next few years have six floors available and a ferry link

    1. I think the floors on PWC tower are much smaller. 31325m2 over 34 floors gives 921m2 per floor, or 5527m2 for 6 floors. vs 14000m2 at the vodafone building. And i doubt PWC would be any cheaper.

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