You’re a council that wants to create a better city, one that has quality urban environments, enough housing and that is easy to get around by public transport or by walking and cycling. But, you currently have a housing crisis, a congestion crisis and it’s hard to solve any of it because you have a funding crisis. What do you do?

If you’re Auckland Council you focus on making all of that worse.

Last week the Council’s Planning Committee confirmed a “change of use” for 40 Anzac Street, Takapuna, meaning it can be used for purposes other than car parking. That’s good news and is part of Panuku’s plan to redevelop Takapuna.

Well-designed public spaces, new homes and employment opportunities can now be realised in central Takapuna following a decision to develop the Anzac Street carpark.

A “change of use” for 40 Anzac Street, Takapuna, was granted today by Auckland Council’s Planning Committee, meaning the site can be used for purposes other than car parking.

“The Anzac Street carpark has been a soulless carpark for too long. Takapuna deserves better,” says North Shore Ward Councillor and Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby.

“This location has the potential to provide new public spaces to cater for markets and events such as the annual ANZAC memorial service. It will also provide better and safer pedestrian connections and convenient local car parking will be provided just down the road. We want to hear from locals throughout the design process to ensure that the changes help to unlock the potential of this much-loved beachside centre and make the best use of Takapuna’s stunning natural environment.”

Panuku Development Auckland, the council organisation overseeing the revitalisation of Takapuna, will now work alongside the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board to continue discussions with the community. The details of how to get involved in upcoming feedback sessions will be announced shortly.

Panuku Development Director Allan Young says the decision is a positive step in furthering the vision for Takapuna as a key metropolitan centre in Auckland.

“We’ve listened to feedback from the community which identified the desire for new public space, improved connections and plenty of short-stay parking in the surrounding area,” he says.

The plan for the 40 Anzac Street site will address this feedback, and will include:

  • People-friendly public spaces including a new town square that will allow for activities like a market
  • Well-designed laneways creating connections with Anzac Street, Lake Road and Hurstmere Road
  • Creating safer access to Potter’s Park
  • Suitable alternative short-stay parking

The problem comes from a requirement that the car park must first be replaced by a new, larger, multi-storey carpark just down the road on the old gasometer site. The requirement was part of a decision from a hearing panel following the recent consultation and the Councillors only had the option of accepting it or starting the whole process again. However, given some of the details we can now see about it, perhaps that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.

Looking through Auckland Transport’s site recently I came across a few papers on the proposed carpark from one of the AT Board’s closed meetings last year, that have since been made public. The requirement for more car parking in Takapuna originally came from Auckland Transport who have demanded that the 250 spaces at Anzac St be replaced with a minimum of 400 spaces before the Anzac St carpark can be closed. They also have required that Panukau future proof the area for up to an additional 500 car parks. It’s also a pretty sweet deal for AT. The capital cost of the immediate replacement has to be paid for by Panuku but upon completion is to be handed over to AT to collect the revenue on.

The Gasometer site in its current state

The carpark itself is to be a 10-level (but about 5 storey) carpark with about 440 parking spaces. The size of which is shown below and comes from this document. I guess one little positive is that at least the end of the site, the bit that also borders Auburn St, will still be available for development.

The real kicker in this though is the cost. All up it’s expected to cost about $26 million to build, that’s about $60,000 per space. There are a lot of other projects the council could deliver for 26 million. Some of that cost will be offset by selling off the Anzac St land but if weren’t replacing the carpark that would be even more money that could go into improving other things.

That cost of $60k per carpark is also worth noting for when people say we need to provide multi-storey carparks for Park & Ride at train/bus stations.

The other thing that gets me in this process is why the parking needs to be provided by the council/AT at all. I struggle to see a private operator willing to spend that much on a parking building in large part because it’s simply not viable.

Despite all of this, things could have been worse had the council listened to the Local Board who want Takapuna soaked in carparking. They wanted not only the new Gasometer site park but also an additional 400 space, $40 million underground carpark on the Anzac St site, which they later changed to a 9-level above-ground $30 million carpark.

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  1. Hopefully they design the new carpark with LR/HR in mind since isn’t the plan to have the Gasometer site be the semi underground location for a future Takapuna station? Reasonably central, large site, easy-ish access to any line.

    1. I’ve never heard of that, got any links or citations for that plan?

      If it’s LR, it would probably just be in one of the central streets. If its HR it will undoubtedly be deep underground under one of the streets too. That site is less than half as long as it would need to be for an HR station.

  2. Taking the car park away is one thing and done properly, the right thing. But squandering 10’s of millions to replicate this, but elsewhere well away from the shops, is insane.

    But give locals a viable alternative to cars? Nope, wrong…again.

    Discourage car use but if AC/AT are going to do that then provide a damned good alternative because there is an awful amount of resentment building via the councils constant ham fisted bungling.

    Yes I know the solution will be a couple of extra bus services to Takapuna, maybe, if the operator has enough drivers at some point, and a spare bus, but when taking the bus is 4 times longer than the car, not the including the waiting for such a bus and the general inconvenience, the allure of PT kind of, well, crumbles.

    Case in point and a major source of growing friction is Lake Rd, just down the road. Hopelessly gridlocked carmagedon for hours a day, 7 days. Here, with that sort of money is the perfect opportunity to link the busway with Takapuna, Devonport and Bayswater with a modern light rail system, linking all modes of PT and suburbs. Will they do it. No way.

    They’ll build another car park!

    1. Is it the right thing to build? Leaning towards no, but it definitely is NOT “well away from the shops”.

      The increase in parking spaces is concerning, as is the high cost (no doubt not helped by the large earthworks required to level the land), however the location is just as good/bad as any other. It’s literally _one block_ from the main shopping district.

      Done well, it could be really well situated for a park and ride. It’s close to the motorway and Takapuna CBD. Done poorly it will be an expensive inducement to drive.

      I love the idea of LR from Devonport to Taka, then Taka to the City or Albany. The issue is how do we service people living in all those tiny bays along the coast. The obvious answer is buses (at least initially), however there will always be those who chose to drive and for them it would be preferable to encourage them to mode switch @ Takapuna than stay in their car for the entire trip.

    2. Spot on Waspman! The trouble with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport is they only understand cash flows into themselves as organisations, not the true costs of their inaction and the lost economic value that should be created by public transport investment.

      Takapuna is a great case study. By refusing to build light rail to Takapuna and Belmont we are foolishly committing to deeper auto-dependency. We have sensibly intensified zoning in large parts of Takapuna and the Devonport peninsula, but AC/AT only see money-making opportunities from privatising the public land at Anzac St, building car-parking at other sites and collecting revenues from road taxes. But that money comes at great cost – wasted land, lost opportunities for proper public spaces, higher fuel consumption, extra vehicle-related costs borne by residents, and ever-rising congestion and CO2 emissions.

      Not sure when the next council elections are, but to me they can’t come soon enough!

      1. Are you going to un-elect Rodney Hide ca 2009 (in Parliament, too, not Council)? Because that’s what you’d need to undo AT becoming a separate entity.

        Also, remember that we still do have elected Councillors and LBs. However, the Councillors need to give a stronger direction to AT – and the Local Board in this case is much worse than AT regarding parking.

  3. I am guessing the $60k per carpark also reflects the cost of decontaminating the gasometer site. The big problem Takapuna faces is it is supposed to be a Metropolitan Centre but it is simply in the wrong place. No where near the motorway and no where near the busway. The Council and retailers should be congratulated for the work they have done keeping the corpse on life support since Albany opened for business.

    1. Yeah, cos Takapuna will never succeed like the other Metropolitan centres on the motorway, like Albany and Westgate!

      Agree it needs to be on the rapid transit system, but the plans are to delivery busway or light rail to Takapuna. But motorway, well it’s only 1.5km away. Actually that’s about the same as most of Albany.

      Takapuna is our most promising metro centre because of its amenity, its beach and lake.

      1. Unless the Numpties here prevail and remove all its parking. If that happened then Takapuna would be not only the worst located metro centre but the only major centre without parking. Go the Numpties!

        1. Who are these mythical numpties proposing to not connect Takapuna to rapid transit and proposing to remove all car parking? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in real life or on the internet who has proposed that.

        2. You could replace the Gasometer parking with apartments – actual human beings who live there. Takapuna is one of the best located metro centres as it is such an attractive place to live.

        3. there is very limited parking in Takapuna already, even this car park is chocka most every night of the week and weekends. sometimes you cant even get a park if you head out to dinner. Creating more demand and removing existing parking will be a disaster. Its already bad.

          1. I’ll bet you however much you want that I can find 200 unoccupied carparks within 500m of this site any time of the week. You just don’t want to pay a fair price for the storage of your vehicle.

          2. Privately owned car parks are irrelevant for casual visitors. Wilson only opens its car parks to commuters and prices everyone else out.

            For example:

            Commuters can park all day for $12. Casual visitors pay $12 for 90 minutes. You can stay all day for $18 but casual visitors don’t usually stay that long. So during weekend those private car parks are empty, while the ones like 40 Anzac Street are full of cars circling around in a full car park.

          3. parking in private car parks is an absolute rip-off but council don’t care. If they had a consistent and homogenous public transport network then people would use it. They think that the more they make it difficult for car users that they will magically just jump onto public transport. This wont work as the PT doesn’t work. They need to front load the public transport network, throw out the bullsh!t contracts they have with suppliers and provide a proper network. Yes it might cost more, but this will actually make more people use it if it works.

          4. That would be assuming people actually use those car parks for casual parking. I’m not so sure about that. My impression in both Takapuna and the CBD has always been that outside office hours those buildings and parking lots are almost completely empty. And the cars you see may be from people with a monthly lease. I would be surprised if the market price would be that much lower during office hours compared to the weekend.

            Of course things would get a lot less muddy if the council wouldn’t undercut the market as it does now.

          5. I disagree, Matthew. I think Amanda is right and they need to pump money into PT now, including – over time as possible – returning the services into the public realm. Problems that users experience could be more quickly dealt with if AT was able to adapt to changing circumstances that they hadn’t foreseen when writing the contracts. In a changing world, we need that. And the last thing this city needs is more independent operators making a network harder to decipher.

        4. Except the three major car parking buildings of course (two existing, one future). And all the parking in side streets. And along the Strand. But those car parks don’t seem to count. Only whatever gets changed or removed seems to be real. A very one-sided straw-man.

          1. you list a lot of car parks and street parking but they are all full. head down there tomorrow eveing at 630 and see if you can find a park.

        5. “Unless the Numpties here prevail and remove all its parking. If that happened then Takapuna would be not only the worst located metro centre but the only major centre without parking. Go the Numpties!”

          Sadly mfwic you are completely wrong. A flow (Consultant) Report of 2016 predicted that Takapuna would need a further 1000 spaces by 2046, not by the end of this year, as AT seem to think. flow said that this demand could be completely achieved by price increases and decreasing the amount of long term spaces. In fact they said if AT were to completely eliminate long term spaces this would fix the problem. flow went on to make a number of other recommendations. One of those recommendations was that the worst approach was to adopt a predict and provide model as AT have adopted.

          What did AT do? They ignored every single recommendation that flow made. But they went further. They then went on to ignore their own Parking Strategy.

          This project is a complete disgrace and a sad indictment on Auckland Council, AT and Panuku.

          It seems that they have developed a plan and then bulldozed it through regardless of concerns about congestion, carbon emissions, cost and a host of other matters.

          Too strong – absolutely not!

          1. “you list a lot of car parks and street parking but they are all full. head down there tomorrow eveing at 630 and see if you can find a park.”
            We live two minutes walk from the town centre and I poked my head out the front window and saw two free parks without moving. It’s not as you say.
            But if it is then let AT charge for evening parking as their Parking Strategy requires them to do. It is not a novel concept, it happens in the city. And if it is not deemed not fair for the bar owners / restaurants of Takapuna let’s have a universal parking charge all around Auckland. PT doesn’t become free at 6pm so why should parking?

          2. Do you really think pricing the long term spaces is any solution to the parking shortage at retail times? The long term spaces they are talking about are located on roads outside of the Takapuna Centre. They are used by office workers each weekday who park and walk to their job. If you price those spaces then the office workers park further away and walk further. But do you really think shoppers will want to park in places like Tennyson Ave or south of Burns Ave and walk all the way to the Takapuna shops? Hardly. They will drive further to places like Milford, Glenfield or maybe even Albany to shop. How on earth is that an efficient transport outcome?
            It is already hard enough to attract shoppers to traditional retail areas. Requiring people to drive around back streets hoping for a carpark isn’t the way for any centre to succeed. Shoppers have choices and the harder you make it for them, the more likely they are to simply go elsewhere.

          3. “But do you really think shoppers will want to park in places like Tennyson Ave or south of Burns Ave”

            Yes, that’s how you do it when it’s busy. A 5minute walk often takes less time than circling around for parking.

            And to Albany: if you expect convenient parking there you’re in for some disappointment.

            If you want convenient parking, claim your subsidized parking spot in the council-owned car park on Fanshawe Street and go shopping in the CBD.

    2. Why should metropolitan centres be near the motorway, mfwic? The motorways are what have killed metropolitan centres the world over.

  4. Noboby will park in the proposed gasometet carpark.It is to far from main shopping centre to carry ones shopping to.It will end up being an expensive white elephant with minimal patronage.

    1. It is about as far away from the shops (200m) as most of the Westfield Albany car parks are from the shops. If people can’t walk 200m, they need mobility spaces, and those will still be in the middle of the town centre!

    2. It’s hardly far at all – just off lake road! I’ve parked on that road to go shopping hundreds of times. The main shopping area and mall aren’t exactly faring well, heaps of rubbishy shops and empty stores at the moment – almost like it used to be before the Mackenzies and other developments opened in the last 5-6 years which is a real shame. Lots of good restaurants and cafes etc, and not too far from them too.

    3. Walked past there this afternoon. That is a great location. Make it 50% higher and put a garden on the top – great views. The main issue is to prevent the local shops and offices reserving the lower level car parks.
      Great to see the local council having a decent idea. There is plenty of building activity in Takapuna now; compare to Albany and it has the IRD and WINZ and plenty of fancy shops, bars and restaurants plus a decent beach, some very good schools with playing fields; near to the hospital and the motorway via two access points and posh housing to the north and south.

    1. A 2012 article is a bit out of date don’t you think?
      To be fair the Ronwood Ave carpark is close to full many days of the week now. Not that I support public funds being spent on providing expensive parking that takes in excess of 50 years to pay for itself!

      If this is go ahead, then surely all the surrounding streets need to remove on street parking, widen the footpaths, cycling areas and add trees.

      Then the local board will just complain that parking isn’t free or convenient.

        1. Total annual income is ~$1.25m if it is full weekdays and half full weekends at $6 a day. It would have to cost ~$0.5m to operate. That’s a 5% rate of return, not worth building.

    2. Dan C, an excellent point. I asked AT in an OIA what return this car park produces. 0.4% on an investment of about $20m dollars. It’s a disgraceful use of rate payers money.

  5. That’s a pretty skillful bureaucratic and commercial game fought and won by Auckland Transport. Shows how the elected strata of Auckland are gnats flying around CCO Rhinos when it comes to getting shit done.

    I would prefer that the Gasometer developer make the car park spaces of a height that it can be retrofitted for apartments at a later date.

    Gasometer is an awesome name for a carpark.

    Good post Matt.

    1. Truly amazing politicing.

      Agree on the height comment, with an amendment – Design the thing in such a way that retrofitting apartments and retail is practical _and_ design it so that apartments could be built on top later.

      1. or just design it as an apartment building of say 20 levels from the get go and have the parking as planned underneath (and able to be converted later if needed – along with provision for an underground station for LR/HR).

          1. That sounds like a perfect development for the site Damian!
            Just need to add in the LR/HR future proofing in the basement.

          1. Still waiting for that at the Chancery… I assume that’s why it was built like a brick s**thouse.

    2. I think this is as much the Local Board’s politicking as AT. They are strongly in favour of parking, parking, parking – and Council was probably afraid to go totally against their wishes. So they split the difference and we end up with the tab. On one hand I wish it (the new car park) was paid for by a local targeted rate (hah!) – but the reason the Local Board was able to fight the removal of the Anzac Ave car parking with a veneer of “law on our side” in the first place is that THAT car park was paid for by a targeted rate, leading to all sorts of legal shenanigans being needed before it can be removed…

      1. Pretty bad negotiating by Panuku though. If the local board would prefer a carpark to a nice town centre, so be it, spend the money elsewhere.

        1. Perhaps the local board preferred keeping their carpark, the one that serves their centre, rather than having Panuku just turn up and try to take it. Maybe that is what local boards are supposed to do. Maybe they should stand up for their local area and try to keep retail viable.

          1. Retail viability = lots of car parking. That’s about your argument?

            And the alternative of moving inefficient at-grade car parking into a much more expensive, but at least more space-effective multi-storey building barely 200m away, while adding lots of new residents to support the local shops, that’s unviable? That’s about your argument?

            Preserve us from your arguments, because they have been choking our cities and suburbs in traffic fumes and road deaths for the last 50 years, and support the malls much more than the local shops the LB claims to champion.

          2. Good point. Examples of successful retail centres in Auckland that don’t have lots of parking include, um, well there’s um, or maybe ah. Nup sorry can’t think of any. So yes a successful retail area in Auckland needs lots of parking. If you want Takapuna to fail sooner rather than later then just remove their parking without putting any back. FFS why do you think that parking area is there?


            Newmarket has no off-street parking provided by AT:

            It’s pretty dishonest to argue that no shopping centres in Auckland have succeeded without parking. None have failed without parking either. We’ve built parking everywhere.

            Let’s try slightly reducing the amount of parking in some centres, maybe by removing 10% of publically owned and heavily subsidised off street parking. Then if the sky doesn’t fall in, we can try removing more parking in that centre and removing it from other centres.

          4. Can you give a good example, mfwic, of an Auckland centre that is wonderfully walkable, where people can live, work and play, and where the cars don’t ruin it?

          5. But as your link shows Newmarket has an incredible amount of parking. Why? Because they wanted the place to succeed.
            Maybe there is a reason you don’t see the owners of St Lukes ripping out parking and building flats there instead. Or moving the parking up the road. Similarly they don’t build bus lanes right through the main retail area.

          6. Takapuna has two incredible amounts of parking so let’s reduce that to one incredible amount; the incredible amount not owned by AT.

            If car parks are critical to the success of retailers, then let them provide car parks or pay the full cost of them. Other retailers will be happy to move into areas where lot’s of people live and work.

            The sweeping statements that you have made about retailers in New Zealand aren’t even true:
            The owners of Sylvia Park are building a bus access road through their retail development and building an office building on their car park.
            The owners of commercial bay are tripling their retail footprint with no additional carparks.

            Beyond New Zealand, Oxford Street is the busiest commercial street in the world, what percentage of their customers drive and park? 1%? 0.1%?

            Providing car parking is not a prerequisite for successful retail. Do you lack the imagination to see that another world is possible or the honesty to admit it?

          7. You are not even close to be right or relevant Sailorboy. Takapuna has always had too few carparks for the level of retail there. That is why Takapuna City held the central carpark and intended a parking building there. It is why NSCC bought the gasometer site. Second, the retailers there did pay for the full cost of parking. They paid through cash contributions each time they opened a shop or expanded a shop under the old provisions of the Local Govt Act. Sylvia Park is building an office building on an office building platform that was used for parking for a while. They have four more of those. But their overall parking level is impressive despite also having a bus station and a rail station. They are now building two multi-storey carparks. Third Commercial Bay is located in an area that has the largest number of carparks in NZ as well as three rail lines and most of Auckland’s buses. Fourth WTF does Oxford St have to do with Takapuna? Do you not understand the differences of the areas those two places serve? Why not compare Takapuna with Manhattan or Shanghai if you want to be that ridiculous?
            Show me any Metropolitan or Town Centre in Auckland that doesn’t give primacy to parking? You can’t because nobody who owns shops is that dumb.

          8. Oh, I imagine we can pull apart whatever they paid for the carpark and show that it in no way pays for the cost of the carparking. Not once you look at all the costs resulting from the traffic induced by the carparking.

          9. Please refer me to a single study that finds any sort of direct correlation between the amount of parking a town centre provides and economic vitality.

          10. “Fourth WTF does Oxford St have to do with Takapuna? Do you not understand the differences of the areas those two places serve? ”

            Yes, I do understand the differences. You don’t. The difference is that London provided decent Public transport and allowed dense residential development. That is a choice that Auckland could make.

        1. The shopkeepers argue that because they (or their ancestors…) paid a targeted rate for the original car park, it needs to stay in perpetuity (or at least be replaced for free).

        2. “Examples of successful retail centres in Auckland that don’t have lots of parking include, um, well there’s um, or maybe ah”

          mfwic, you are better than this rubbish. Takapuna has heaps of car parks- about 2200 controlled by AT. So the question is whether more are required.
          Here’s a comparison that might be helpful. Since the 80’s Auckland City has added negligible parking spaces and yet there has been phenomenal retail growth. And most of this growth has occurred with the hugely increased PT numbers and surging apartment numbers. This same model should be the one applied to Takapuna because the main bus stop presents an access point from every direction apart from the sea. On the reverse side Takapuna can’t cope with growth on the road corridors and pollution and carbon emissions are unhelpful.

          1. …because the main bus stop presents an access point from every direction apart from the sea…

            If only. There’s not much access from anywhere to the west. The bus from Birkenhead is on a 40 minute frequency. It will improve to a 30 minute frequency in the new network. That’s not what I would call a convenient connection. You’d often drive to Takapuna and park before your bus even shows up.

            Improving that definitely sounds like a smart investment. How much improvement to access by PT would that 26 million buy us?

          2. Sorry dude but Takapuna isn’t the Auckland CBD. It doesn’t have good public transport access and it doesn’t have three motorways and over 10,000 parking spaces. Hell it doesn’t even have a single good arterial road. It is poorly located for a Town Centre and an appalling location for a Metropolitan Centre. Most of the AT spaces you mention are on-street spaces that are unsuitable for shoppers. People don’t love shopping at Takapuna so very much that they will park outside the retail area and walk in. Sorry to tell you this but Takapuna is the Panmure of the north. A place that used to matter. If you want to speed up the decline then by all means get rid of off street shoppers parking. The mall owners will love you for it.

          3. If there is such a shortage of parking, why is the council subsidizing it?

            Surely they should charge at market rates and get a decent return on investment, or get out and let someone else do it?

          4. “and over 10,000 parking spaces. ”

            Let’s make Takapuna like the CBD, let’s remove parking until the number of carparks is just over 10% of employment numbers and 20% of residential population.

      2. Does the local board really have any pull?

        The Super City was set up to sideline any local representation in reality apart from a sop to democracy and leave it to the big business boys. Hence the seemingly directionless almost anti community way AT goes at times.

        1. Council is quite afraid of projects that the Local Board (a Local Board, not just this specific one) opposes. Its reputational poison for people looking from the outside when one part of Council actively campaigns against the other. This is why LBs have a lot of influence even where they don’t actually have decision powers.

          1. The local boards finally won to preserve some large old pohutukawa trees near the St Lukes overbridge. The toll that took, on lb members and public, in terms of campaigning time and effort, was massive. The toll it took on AT’s standing in the area was also massive (golly gosh – many of the campaigners lived in West Lynn). And removal of the trees had been a poor, stupid decision from the start.

            An appropriate level of input from local boards would be to shine a torchlight on stupid decisions, so that righting mechanisms in Council or AT or other CCO’s take over from there.

            The absence of these righting mechanisms, due to an entrenched car bias, is where the problems arise. Unfortunately until AT is revamped, the progressive local boards have to do much more than shine a torchlight, and the regressive ones find a sympathetic ear every time.

  6. The best thing you can make out of it (assuming the car park building goes ahead) is, at that time, strip a lot more parking from surrounding streets and make it into bikeways, wider footpaths and bus lanes.

      1. Since money is always tight (and opposition always strong), retrofit projects always end up at the bottom of the ladder and have to climb up. They never magically appear at the top of the list like the East West Motorways or Mill Roads.

  7. This really isn’t fair on other suburbs that are not getting this level of investment. Takapuna should have been made to choose between the development or the existing carpark. Doing both means there is $26 million less to spend elsewhere.

    1. Given the choice they would probably opt for the carpark. Why would anyone in Takapuna care about plonking apartments on a convenient carpark that gets used a lot? For years Takapuna City and then North Shore City collected cash in lieu of parking that was supposed to be spent in this centre- on parking. The only winners in removing parking are the owners of other places like Milford Mall.

      1. If you don’t improve other ways of getting to a centre, true. But that’s the problem – we focus more on keeping a status quo in favour of parking than on improving other modes.

        As for “why would anyone in Takapuna care about apartments” – any property owner or shopkeeper that wants business in the area will (or should) care about getting more people to live there.

        And that’s ignoring your comments re “plonking” as if Panuku will simply get some Ex-East German architects to prop up some prefab Stalinesque apartment towers. If anything, Panuku will go *too far* into “fancy and luxurious”.

      2. Yeah, or the owners of Takapuna Mall. Or the owners of the Killarney St carpark, or the Bruce Mason Carpark (the last two are council owned FYI).

  8. $60,000 for a carpark? That is more than 95% of the cars that would park there would be worth. That is like spending $1million on a house when council will only value it at $300,000. Obscene beyond belief, as bad as that other Panuku debacle with building luxury homes on Dominion Road. Their mission statement is clearly in need of an edit. People need to park their cars at home and stop expecting everyone else to pay for their damned convenience.

        1. Thank God they are allowing space for a market in the space where a market already happens. Words fail me.

      1. Sailor Boy
        I don’t share your confidence that Panuku is not involved. I sent an OIA to them on 26/1 asking some searching questions about their involvement in the project. As of today I have had no response and from the nature of the questions it must have been evident that they might have formed part of submissions to the Planning Committee which happened last week.
        I have also seen public comment that local Board members have not found Panuku helpful.
        I think the best we should say at this stage is that the jury is out although where does this pile of Panuku verbage fit into what they are doing?

        “Panuku – The vision is to make the most of Takapuna’s unique sea and lakeside location and create a safe, accessible and vibrant town centre orientated around pedestrians and cyclists.”

        1. If the Devonport Takapuna Local Board members find Panukuk hard to work with, that sounds like a good thing to me!

          Fair point regarding the OIA request though. Maybe my position should be ‘Panuku might be awful, but AT and the local board definitely are’.

  9. Surely the time has come when AT needs to get out of car parking buildings and private enterprise needs to step up in its place. Then and only then will we see car owners having to pay the “real” cost of parking provision.

    Radical thought: why not privatise kerbside parking as well – parking companies could lease the spaces from AT and then charge what they like. Wouldn’t be long before there was a call for AT to take over again, I reckon.

    1. Great idea. Good way for Council to make money out of what is now space not producing any income. And you can bet private operators would be much more motivated to enforce parking restrictions making the spaces more efficient.

      But let’s remember that commercial models must only be applied to public transport. Road space allocated for cars never has to justify itself financially. It is just regarded as a sacred right that must be provided.

  10. Why on earth is AT demanding more parking be built? What the fig has that got to do with them? This is totally absurd.

  11. If the cost is 60k per park, and each hour is $2. The return could easily approach 10% yield, which is very good.

    Let some private investors to fund it.

    The car parks can also rent back to shops for customer parking. Win win.

    1. “If the cost is 60k per park, and each hour is $2. The return could easily approach 10% yield, which is very good.”

      If. You have stumbled on the problem. Takapuna has a parking issue because AT parking is so damn cheap. The current gasometer site is $5 per day and the three adjacent private sites are $12 or $14. AT is charging $2 for the first two hours and $2 for each hour after that. With another 450 spaces there is no chance that AT will achieve $2 per hour.

      AT’s last venture into car park buildings -Ronwood- produces 0.4% on the cost of assets.

  12. Another option…. Dig out the existing carpark and build an underground carpark then build the apartments as planned above. Keeps the same number of carparks (actually probably creates a few more) and allows the development above. Can leave the Gasometer site alone until someone wants to develop it properly like Damian said earlier:

    1. I agree with this idea.
      And whatever they put on the Gasometer site doesn’t need to be as grand as the Merge concept.
      If the council DO proceed with building a multi-level carpark on the Gasometer site they sure as heck better make the foundations strong enough to allow for additional floors (commercial/apartment) to be added later. 20 years from now a developer will come knocking.

  13. Nuts, old thinking. I suspect if the government fronted up with a plan to build a light rail line right into the heart of Takapuna at no cost to them or Auckland directly they would reject it.

    1. Well, they’d have to strip parking to enable that, so yes, probably, lol. After all, in Auckland, even highly busy bus stops in a town centre are somehow seen as a negative by (some) retailers and (some) Local Boards. People getting on / off, walking past your shop – UGH, get away there! We want car parks!

      1. Aaah, remember when the buses used to go along Hurstmere Road, right through the heart of Takapuna. Actually, businesses don’t want priority given to PT users, even though they walk right past the door. Everyone knows they have less disposable income than car users. That’s why Countdown gives petrol discounts to large spenders. Effectively, non-car owners are subsidizing car owners by way of higher grocery prices.

        1. “Everyone knows they have less disposable income than car users.”

          Not sure whether you are taking the P*** here, but even in Auckland this is only very conditionally true anymore…

          And even if true, having such a customer walk past your shop 10 times a week may well create more average spend for most shops than a driving customer going there once a week…

          1. Not taking the p***. it may not be true, but it’s the way the business community thinks. Who was the politician who said recently that nobody does their shopping by PT? Some people are simply out of touch with the realities of others’ lives.

          2. Dick Quax, Auckland Councillor for Howick, after which the word “quaxing” has been coined in a very amusing rebuttal to his views.

  14. Providing car parking is a valid commercial use for urban land. I find it bizarre that “free market” advocates then demand that government (local and central) should have to provide parking on non commercial terms simply when the land is publicly owned. Doing so distorts the free market and deprives the private suppliers of parking the true market value of their investment. This inhibits the private sector in providing parking as a viable and valid use of their land and buildings. Council roadside parking should only be provided when this space is effectively spare and should be priced so that the Council is a price taker rather then a price maker. Councils should not be inhibited from using such valuable assets in a fully commercial way to reduce their dependence on rates to fund their services.

    1. I don’t necessarily disagree. Just remember that “fully commercial” would mean the operator would pay a price for use of that land that includes accounting for all costs to society that the parking incurs. These costs include the costs due to the traffic induced by the parking. Carbon emissions, road runoff polluting our waterways, social costs due to disconnected populations, public health costs due to inactivity and air pollution, loss of fossil carbon availability for future generations. (Use of the land due to the land’s property value is, of course, additional to this for commercial operators working on publicly owned land, and may be the only cost you were thinking of?)

      Also, to work as a free market, all car park spaces should be paying these associated costs, including those at competing retail centres, and both public and private spaces.

      Then your idea would work, except that there would be very few places where the extra space does actually exist. Most of our road corridors are way too narrow for good walking and cycling infrastructure to be added. Trees need to be retained and added, as they are part of both green and active mode infrastructure. So you’d be hard-pressed to find on-road space for parking.

      1. All Council provided carparking is a free market distortion. Councils should not provide any car parking at below market rates in competition with private operators. They should only provide free parking where the land is genuinely spare. Providing free, or below market priced storage for large lumps of metal in constrained areas must be the lowest priority.
        The highest priority must be given to facilitating pedestrian access, mobility and amenity. Almost all the final access to adjacent properties will be made by pedestrians.
        Businesses will however require provision for commercial deliveries but it is valid to provide restrictions on times to reduce congestion for the competing road space.
        Vehicle roadway space should be heavily prioritised on the basis of the space efficiency of moving people and commerce for the transiting vehicles. Hence cycleways and mass transit should get enhanced priority.
        Such changes can be disruptive to businesses so outcry can be expected. The vastly higher pedestrian movement in Queen Street has already forced many businesses out as landlords demand higher rents. In an extreme case the Two Dollar Shop has been replaced by Louis Vuiton.

      2. Providing publicly owned land and or buildings at less then full commercial value to private car park operators is a subsidy and freemarket distortion as it penalises those carpark providers who have had to fund their own land and building costs.
        There is some merit in levying additional charges on all carpark providers to help offset the costs of induced roading demand and perhaps later extending this to cover the other societal coats.

  15. I wonder when they actually going to plan for all the extra traffic they are putting on the road. Not only around Takapuna, but lake road to Devonport and a harbour bridge which has not had a capacity increase in 55 years. Get real council. Oh i forgot, the inner city rail loop is going to fix everything

    1. The only way to plan for all the extra traffic is to plan to reduce it again through better PT infra and road reduction.

  16. Here’s a copy of an email that I sent to the Mayor, Councillors and anyone else that I thought might be interested.

    I have investigated the proposed construction of two multi storey car parks in Takapuna,; one on the Gasometer site and the other on 40 Anzac Street. Much of this investigation has been informed by answers to OIA requests. I am lead to the conclusion that it is extremely dubious that these are necessary and that it is contrary to any of the stated objectives of Auckland Council, Auckland Transport (AT) and Panuku.

    Executive Summary

    The proposed Gasometer car park building is a $30 million project including land cost. The analysis done for a project of such a scale seems woefully inadequate with the fundamental component, demand, not established. AT have acknowledged that.

    It is strongly arguable that AT can not met the other test required to allow the project to proceed, that the project will be commercially viable. Of course, this factor will be determined by the first.

    I do not need to tell you what your Council Plan, AT’s Statement of Intent or Panuku’s Vision Statement say, but it is difficult to see how either of these projects sit within these parameters. I am particularly appalled that it can be considered part of Panuku’s Vision Statement for Takapuna.

    These projects appear to fail miserably against all standards that might be expected: adequate planning; acting in accord with current policies; reduction of congestion; reduction of vehicle pollution; reduction of carbon emissions; preservation of land for housing; and sound financial management.

    Why These Projects Just Don’t Stack Up

    Inadequate Planning
    My first concern is that the decision to proceed with the proposal is based on car park demand analysis done in 2016, which was prior to AT increasing prices in 2017. (That analysis was part of a report prepared by flow Transportation Specialists and I shall refer to this as the flow Report). Those price increases were supposedly to reduce demand. (A letter of 30 October 2017 obtained under an OIA request says, “It should be noted that AT has introduced a new pricing regime in Takapuna since the Flow report was undertaken. Accordingly, the demand context may have changed somewhat in the intervening year”.)

    AT then proceeded to make projections for parking demand in 2046. The projected demand for parking they used is based on a car mode share of 75%, only slightly down from the current level of 82%. It should be noted that the ART assumption is 59%. Both of these figures seem bizarrely high given that the recently released Auckland Plan predicts a car mode share for the city of only 27%. It will not be lost on you that Takapuna is accessible from all directions, save the sea, by public transport and it is hard to see the cause for such pessimism that people will feel compelled to drive to Takapuna.

    I cannot tell from my enquiries whether AT is legally required to provide public car parking on the 40 Anzac site. Could AT be in the situation that they are building two car parks simultaneously to meet demand only predicted in 2046?

    Increased Congestion
    Of course the more significant issue is 75% car mode share of what. ART predictions show that the number of households in Takapuna is likely to be four times the current number by 2046 and employment will double. Potentially carbon emissions could increase by 300% in respect to vehicle traffic to Takapuna.

    Another issue identified by the flow report was that the road corridors to Tapapuna are unlikely to be able to cater for the demand caused by significant extra vehicle traffic caused by more car parking. This point was addressed in an internal AT email dated 22 February 2017, “limited capacity for traffic growth on the corridors leading to Takapuna logically leads us to put a cap on parking”. This simply hasn’t happened.

    Carbon Emissions
    I note that AT, rightly, have set ambitious targets for the reduction of vehicle carbon emissions. It is hard to imagine that these might be achieved if the metropolitan areas where success should come more easily cannot achieve those targets.

    Restricting Public Transport Flow
    Both of these projects lie on the current bus route and so significant traffic movements due to accessing car parks is likely to impact bus movements. An internal AT email of 22 February released in an OIA request shows that no modelling of traffic impacts has been done despite traffic from both proposed car parks likely to impact on bus movements.

    Current Lack of Responsible Pricing for Car Parks
    Very arguably the current shortage of car parking in Takapuna is due to AT’s current pricing of car parks. Car parks are full because they are too cheap. The flow Report said, “it (the high utilisation of the Anzac St park) could be the result of the pricing being low and not sufficiently managing the demand”.

    The long stay market is distorted by the ridiculously cheap prices that AT charge. The gasometer site is $155 per month or $5 per day. Compare this with the three private sector car parks within 200m of this facility that are $14 per day. As you might expect with such low pricing there are significant waiting lists for the AT sites..

    The current pricing begs the question, for whose benefit are AT operating these car parks. It is certainly not for the benefit of rate payers.

    AT has Acted Contrary to Expert Advice
    Without being disrespectful, AT received the “flow Report” in 2016 that suggested AT should address the problem of increased demand by decreasing the number of long term parkers using pricing mechanisms. AT have done nothing and appear to intend to do nothing. A recent OIA request reveals that currently AT has no plans to increase parking prices for the Gasometer site.

    More importantly, what AT have decided to do is directly contrary to the advice of their commissioned report, the flow Report which advises against a “predict and provide” approach. At page ii, “This approach would also require significant investment in parking buildings, and tie up significant areas of land for parking, rather than land uses that contribute to the metropolitan centre.”

    AT’s Non Adherence to Current Policies
    I note that the AT Parking strategy is to transition away from long term commuter parking. This will not be addressed by the current proposal. Reasonable consideration of current demand suggests that long term leases will be required to make the new buildings appear to work.

    Policies 1B, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D and Table 5 of the AT Parking strategy are clearly the factors that are relevant. I am not going to comment on all of these items individually; suffice it to say that the flow Report looked at these factors and came up with entirely sensible, better options.

    As mentioned earlier, this whole premise is built on very rocky ground; what is and would demand be if AT managed parking prices in accord with the aforementioned policies?

    The strategy also states that new off street facilities must be both commercially viable and justified by demand. AT seems unable to meet the second criteria because they simply don’t know what demand will be. In my view AT will also fail to meet the test of being “commercially viable.” The words need to be read together first of all. The Cambridge Dictionary defines commercially viable as, “the ability of a business, product, or service to compete effectively and to make a profit:” It is enormously problematic whether either of these buildings can achieve that. In response to an OIA request AT informs me that the Ronwood Avenue carpark has only a 0.4% return on the cost of land and buildings. The predominant reason for that seems to be that the cost of parking is just so cheap, as it is in Takapuna, and adding 450 car parks won’t allow prices to rise anytime soon, presuming AT had a will to do so. While the Ronwood Avenue car park is said to make a profit this is completely disingenuous as it ignores the cost of capital.

    Loss of Valuable Housing Land
    Both 40 Anzac Street and the Gasometer site represent excellent opportunities for high or medium rise apartments or commercial facilities (and therefore represent outstanding land use and I am completely supportive of this). And the flow Report agrees. “This would tie up significant areas of land for parking, rather than land uses that contribute to the metropolitan centre.”

    The development of 40 Anzac Street will at some stage displace 250 vehicles. It is difficult for me to comment with any degree of accuracy regarding solutions because I simply don’t know how Panuku intends to develop the 40 Anzac St site. If this is a progressive development then significant parts may initially remain available for car parking use in the short term while AT progresses alternatives.

    A part of the initial solution lies in the document, Takapuna Parking Strategy (supplied under an OIA request, seemingly undated); “4.3 This could be readily made up from the transition of leased parking from the beachfront to short term management” and at “4.4 AT lease parking will eventually be transitioned to short stay.”

    Again the flow report is helpful. The flow Report recommends “the conversion of some long term parking spaces to short term spaces.” It identified that the primary way to find additional short term parking spaces was to reduce or eliminate the amount of long term parking. It is useful to note that flow believe the situation could be entirely fixed by the latter approach. Not only is this a no cost solution for AT, but is likely to be highly profitable as they manage demand with price increases.

    Perhaps part of the answer lies in what AT proposed only last year in Parnell. Faced with a significant shortage of parking AT proposed that on street parking to be priced at $5 per hour after the first two hours. (Takapuna pricing is only $2.00 per hour and so there seems considerable scope for movement. Based on the price elasticity provided by an AT email of 12 October of -0.2 (i.e. a doubling of cost produces 20% less demand) any immediate shortfall in parking caused by redeveloping 40 Anzac could be instantly met by this measure alone.

    This is just a superficial consideration of the solutions available; and these are already known to AT; so the need for this very expensive project seems completely unjustified because there are so many realistic alternatives.

  17. don’t you think for one moment Auckland city council that you should be dealing with takapuna poor waste water/sewage instead of money making off our public laND. taka puna beach is constantly red flagged.absolutely disgusting.

  18. Mad over-provision of parking aside, do we need to know what figures are behind the black boxes to really analyse the fairness of the deals? How many of them have been unearthed, Matt?

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