Takapuna is one of Auckland’s most important and iconic centres. It’s also one I know well given I work there.

But like so many places around Auckland, it could do with some love and Auckland Council and Panuku Development Auckland have big plans to do just that, to help encourage more development and much needed housing in the area.

One of those plans is to, at great cost, replace the existing Anzac St carpark with a multi-storey carparking building nearby on Huron St. They would then redevelop the existing carpark into a town square and sell some parts of it for development. Many support this change, including even the local business association, but there has been significant opposition from some, including the local board who are trying to prevent any development of it.

So the Council and Panuku have launched another consultation on what to do with the land and are asking for feedback on three options.

Significant population growth is expected in Takapuna over the next 30 years. Smart redevelopment is required to accommodate this growth.

Our vision is to create a vibrant, safe and accessible town square at 40 Anzac Street, in the centre of Takapuna. This is off the back of engagement earlier this year, as well as consultation and planning dating back to 2010.

The town square would add around 3,000sqm of council-owned public space to Takapuna. We would partner with the private sector to deliver new homes, shops, eateries and offices on the rest of the site. There is some misinformation out there about this development, and it’s our responsibility to give you the facts.

With that last sentence there’s clearly a level of frustration at some of the discussion that’s been happening. It’s something I’ve heard from many others too. The local board already seem upset that the consultation is open to everyone and not just a select group of people.

With the two “do something” options (1 & 2), Panuku have even created some 360° visualisations of what it may look like. The birds-eye views below show the concept along with where the visualisations are looking from.

Option 1 – Town square Hurstmere to Lake Road

This option effectively creates a long square from the mall through to Hurstmere Green, which flows down towards the beach.

This option locates the square between Lake and Hurstmere Roads. This option would be sunny and safe, with strong links from Shore City and the bus stops down to the beach. It would have views of Rangitoto and could accommodate large events, particularly in conjunction with Hurstmere Road.

I suspect this option would be the best for those wanting to retain the Sunday markets. I could imagine stalls lined up along the route and then down Hurstmere Rd which Auckland Transport are planning on upgrading.

Below is one part of the visulasation of Option 1

Option 2 – Town square adjacent to Potters Park

In this one, the square is more of a square and located next to Potters Park

This option is sheltered from winds with strong connections to Potters Park. It could accommodate large events, especially in summer when Potters Park could be used.

And here’s part of the visualisation for Option 2

You may noticed on both Options 1 and 2 that it includes widening the existing connection through to Hurstmere Green. Looking closely, it appears that all three buildings here would go and be partially replaced (the Design Store building has been empty all year).

Option 3 – No town square

This is the do-nothing option and the groups opposing change are pushing this option very strongly.

This would mean the status quo remains:

  • The site at 40 Anzac Street would remain a car park, with no town square or additional public space created for Takapuna
  • The site at 14 Huron Street would not be developed in to a multi-level car parking building and the apartment development on the other part of this site would not go ahead
  • No upgraded bus facilities on Lake Road
  • No streetscape improvements along Huron and Northcroft streets

We do not believe that this option benefits the future of Takapuna. Doing nothing in this key central site won’t create the people-friendly environment envisioned for Takapuna.

The main opposition group/s are calling for the entire capark to become a public space. They also want a multi-storey carpark underground on the site (as well as the one on Huron St). I’m not a designer but I suspect it would be a soulless and desolate place if they got their wish. The Aotea Square of the North.

I can’t help but think that if this option comes out on top, that the Council and Panuku should put a hold on all investment in Takapuna. There are many places all around Auckland screaming out for investment and would be happy to see more development in their areas. That would be bad for Takapuna.

The consultation is open till 10-August.

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104 comments

  1. Do something, please!

    Seriously though, those options look like a vast improvement on what’s there currently.

    Takapuna could be so good: One place in Auckland where you have density close to amenity.

  2. There has been talk of a light rail spur to Takapuna from what is now the Northern Busway. It would be nice to see some sort of provision for the spur to terminate in or under the current car park.

  3. Be interesting to know what your “average “ local citizen A thinks of the options without any misinformation. Are the opposing groups just outspoken and bit representing what citizen A would want?

    1. As a former Takapuna local (I lived in The Terrace 100m away) I’m disgusted by the council for even trying this on.

      There are plenty of sites to build on in Takapuna, like the former Police Station, Gasometer, Bruce Mason carpark, there’s plenty of old low rise between Como St and Byron Ave that could be pulled down and developed.

      The council are just looking for a fast buck, like all the other park, golf course and marine selloffs, it’s the public who are being screwed. Also what next, do the council ask the govt if they can sell off school sports fields like what has happened in the UK??

  4. I’ve seen flyers up from the “do nothing” brigade that urge people to “save the heart of Takapuna”. Really? With a great beach and terrific views out over the water, the “heart” of your area is a car park?

  5. It is really disappointing to see Panuku’s plan being supported here.

    Nobody is calling for a do-nothing option – what locals want to see is the space developed into a proper public space, not sold off to private interests.

    This area is approximately the size and shape of Aotea Square, and this is ideal for transformation into a public space that would be perfect for markets, for music festivals, for public gatherings, a place to meet and a place for everyone to enjoy and share. Panuku’s plan would shrink this down to half the size of a football field, shadowed in multiple directions by private high-rise buildings. This is truly place-destroying.

    I would encourage everyone to submit for option 3, which it at least does no harm. It can be much more than a carpark, and Panuku’s plan shows both a lack of imagination and effort from our Council. It is for very good reasons that locals, and unanimously the Local Board, are opposed.

    1. Does this question go deeper, then? What is Panuku’s purpose? Is to provide plans that improve places **at no expense to the ratepayer**? If so, is the constant call to keep rates low at the heart of all this? Where do the people of Takapuna sit on that issue? Have they been pressuring the Council to raise rates to increase the services Council can provide?

    2. Is there any evidence these music festivals and public gatherings that would need an area the size of Aotea Square would actually happen frequently. Most of the time Aotea Square is a soulless location and it has much greater number of residents in the immediate surrounds.

    3. Aotea Square is far too large for central Auckland, let alone Takapuna at 1/20th the size. In Takapua a square that size would be empty, windswept an unused (well, apart from skateboarders and dodgy teens begging for cigarettes). That is precisely what is so wrong with the ‘give us everything we demand but don’t you dare increase rates’ brigade. Their dream option is actually a really, really shit outcome for the city. Go hang out in centre place in Hamilton if you want to soak up the ambiance of a square that is far too large for the context.

      I ask you what is the most important thing in a town centre? He Tangata! He Tangata! He Tangata!

    4. As a local, I’d challenge your view that option 3 is “what locals want”. As with many things in Takapuna, such as the caravan park, there is a small but extremely vocal and belligerent group opposed to any form of change, any intensification, any reprioritisation of space away from cars etc. Unfortunately that group controls the local board. I just hope their influence doesn’t fatally harm Takapuna’s transformation into a vibrant, people-centred space.

      1. I’m not a local, but I’d surmise that perhaps what the locals like about the present location of the carpark, is that it is conveniently right behind the shops they like to shop at. Removing the carpark to 150-200m away is likely seen by them as a retrograde step. Taking the bus to go shopping is probably also seen, by most in Takapuna, as undesirable. So – two issues to solve.

        The third issue might be that the weekly market is there? Are people concerned that if the present flat carpark is built on, that the market will go?

        1. Everyone involved has confirmed time and time again that the new plan is designed for the market and that the market will stay.

          It’s the local anti-change NIMBYs who are insinuating that removing the carpark will mean no more market.

          1. The market currently takes up the entire car park and there are always some vendors who have to move out onto adjacent streets. And you’re telling me that huge buildings plonked onto the car park won’t affect the market at all?

          2. No, I never said it would be exactly the same. It will be affected, for the better!

            The area of the current carpark is about 6,000 square metres. The area of the option 1 square and lanes, plus the new square fronting hurstemere Road, is also about 6,000 square metres.

            So same space for the market, in a much nicer setting.

      2. As a local I totally agree. The discussion is dominated by older people who have the time to spend protesting. And as the average local board member is 100 years old that demographic gets the most weight.

        The young people and families who will benefit most from enhanced space never get a look in. The area needs more residents not more cars.

        1. Most young people with families will never be able to buy one of the apartments that they will build on the site, so who getting screwed here? Also all those apartments will be built without parking spaces, but most of the people who will buy them will be affluent and own cars, most of those cars will end up permanently parked in the new gasometer parking building, further reducing the numbers of available parking spaces in Takapuna. This entire idea is a complete mess. BTW I’m not old either.

          1. They’ll have a lot more chance to buy one of those apartments than any other housing in Takapuna. Relative to anything else on the local market, the apartments will be affordable.

    5. ‘What locals want to see is…’

      Er, I’m a local and that car park is a complete waste of good space.

      I’m surprised the local board are so vociferously against it but they had to fight tooth and nail to keep the campground so perhaps they are all too aware how Panuku operate behind the scenes is the only thing I can think of?

      I’m pretty much dead against option 3 but there are some valid comments here about leaving it as it is until someone comes up with a master plan.

      Greg N’s comment below might just have convinced me to vote for the status quo, even if that leads to a hold on money being spent on investment in taka.

  6. A good design for Takapuna should probably start with sorting out the block between Hurstmere Rd and the beach. This is dominated by car access and car parks. Note the pork chop or entirely missing pedestrian amenity to get down to the beach:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Shore+City+Shopping+Centre/@-36.7876566,174.7736065,112m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x6d0d39d7af3befad:0x538d4d714de77c89!8m2!3d-36.78779!4d174.7700787

    Council needs to get rid of the carpark at 12 Channel View Road, turn that into something more people-friendly, and remove car access along The Strand and Channel View Rd so that there is an entirely pedestrianised route down to the beach. If they did this, then these Panuku options would make sense.

    1. I agree with your suggestion.

      The last time I was in Takapuna was during the Skypath hearings when I was speaking to my submission. How long ago was that now? 3+ years? Seems a lifetime ago now, and we’re still waiting for the damn Skypath to be built. But i digress…

      Basically I have had zero reasons or desire to go here much before or since that time.

      Shows how attractive to many folks that part of town is. Its a clusterf*ck of cars and parking and little else.

      However, while something needs to be done, I don’t think we need to “do something” just because we need to “do something”.

      I’d prefer to see a plan of how the PT/Light rail will be properly integrated into the area BEFORE we decide what to do with the land. Yes we need more housing and such in Takapuna.

      But not at whatever cost that may be.

      I know there is talk of a separate PT station on the old gas works. But is that just because thats the easiest/cheapest use for a severely contaminated site, which is not particularly close to the sea or other ammenties, and is stuck in a side location. Closer to the Busway but only a little.

      Always feels to me that that plan is akin to the Manukau train station – placed where it was as the least unacceptable position, and not because it was the best location.

      So how about this radical idea for a change, and unlike most other parts of Auckland redevelopment, lets have a true master plan produced which spells out the grand plan for the area, then we can agree the timing and order of things are to be done, then actually do it.

      If Panuku is the best CCO to lead this then let it do so, but only once the big picture is firmly in place.
      Otherwise we’ll get Panuku’s idea of whats needed, without the rest of the community or council actually buying into it. Leading to piecemeal, disjointed and outright crap development decisions from public and private developers.

      Too often, with these things up to now, its a case of Fire, Ready, Aim.
      We make these long term decisions in a stupid hurry in which we only live to regret the haste.

      As Patrick oftens says, its not always what you build, but rather what we choose not to build is the bigger and more important decision.

      Agree the status quo is crap, but there are worse outcomes we can end up with if we don’t get the overall planning right.

      Sorting out the beach access and then sorting out the PT for the entire town centre will provide two key anchors to the rest of the plan. Without those anchors, the whole thing will just drift whichever way the political and development winds are blowing.

      Auckland, and Takapuna deserve a lot better. Even if they don’t realise that yet.

      1. Yes, I agree. I’ve never known where the heart of Takapuna is. Looking at the map, it seems it should be a spine of people activity leaving the beach at a right angle, and cutting through the whole urban area. This spine would then connect with a wide swathe of people-friendly activity parallel to the beach, and to other short people corridors – to bus stops, to light rail perhaps, and to clusters of mixed retail / cultural / residential / commercial development. And the ‘squares’ should probably be where these corridors intersect the main spine.

          1. Oh, thanks. I go to Takapuna for the theatres and the beach. I’ve been stuck in the town centre having imagined I’d be able to treat some basketball kids to a meal mid-week, with nothing open. If the heart of the place is Shorecity, I’ll not plan to go again.

          2. who uses the beach in winter except people walking dogs. As a teenager shore city was where Takapuna kids hung out, like glenfield mall was for
            Glenfield kids. Bruce Mason is far from the heart of Takapuna Heidi.

          3. I’ll try to go there sometime; I’ve never felt the need before. 🙂 It looks like there’s good pedestrian crossing facilities for going from Shore City across Lake Rd to this Panuku design. That’s good.

            Elsewhere they need to add pedestrian crossings. Yes, I’ve been to Bruce Mason but more regularly go to the Pumphouse, some practice rooms near there, and to smaller (cheaper) venues that young people can afford to perform at, such as the church on the corner of Anzac and The Terrace. The only pedestrian crossings to reach such places (and there are none on Killarney St) are not on desire lines, making it very hard corralling teenagers or children safely between venues and the bus stops.

      2. As a more or less local (Northcote) who is frequently in Takapuna, I agree with GregN that PT needs to be sorted out as a priority. I’d like to see it much closer to Hurstmere Rd, rather than hidden away on the old gas site with hundreds of metres walk to shops, beach.

        1. Sorry Greg, the train station doesn’t need to be close to the sea and is only about 60 ‘flat’ yards from Lake Road.
          The gasometer site is the best available site for a station for the Takapuna rail spur station and I don’t believe the comparison with the location with the Manukau station is a fair one.
          It is however, important to get public transport properly sorted out before Panuku start any Takapuna rejuvenation process.
          On a personal basis, I don’t mind development of of the current parking area but would like a somewhat larger public pedestrian space with a visually, more architecturally attractive square, than Panuku have so far demonstrated. I am absolutely opposed to Auckland Council providing at ratepayer cost a multi-story car park on the Gasometer before the Takapuna rail spur is sorted absolutely.
          Disclosure: I live in Campbells Bay and visit Takapuna frequently.

          1. I disagree, its not a good site for a station. But takapuna doesn’t need a ‘station’, it just needs stops in convenient locations where people can get on and off.

            Stations are for waiting around in while various trains come and go. If you have a proper rapid transit line you’re not waiting and there’s no various services.

            Put the platforms on Lake Rd or Hurstemere next to the new square.

          2. If the money was there an underground loup around the lake with stops in Takapuna, Milford and a near the end of Shakespeare Rd is what is really needed. It’s a decent catchment area and I’m sure it would be a very popular service.

          3. “If the money was there an underground loup around the lake ..”

            Cost-benefit for such a tiny population would never stack up against projects in other parts of the region more welcoming of intensification. Whatever shore folk are smoking must be good stuff.

    2. Heidi, the heart of this issue probably lies in people wanting to retain cheap car parking. The market could be anywhere just as successfully.
      AT is complicit in retaining cheap car parking. Rather than attack the source of the issue which is commuter parking they have done nothing and so the problem persists. Their lack of fortitude extends to the proposed gasometer parking building. Their policy says that they should just say to the displaced leaseholders, “sorry the free lunch is over,” but instead they feel compelled to build a new structure for them. Disappointing and frustaring and I shall say what I really want to say when I have time.

      1. I agree with this. Long term carparking provision by council is not something that makes sense economically or philosophically.

      2. The new structure on the Gasometer site is intended as short stay visitor parking to replace 40 Anzac – I don’t believe there are plans to reinstate the old leases in the new building.

        1. Intentions are fine things. When the Ronwood Ave car park was built I am sure that there was no intention to fill a couple of floors with cheap student parking. The reality is that it happened because of the appalling occupancy when it opened.

          The odds are incredibly strong that the same will happen here. There simply is not pent up demand to fill it.

          If there is currently a shortage of parking in Takapuna then AT would be moving to lift prices just as their Parking Strategy provides. (or most likely not}.

          1. Completely right that occupancy was appalling, but the response was to cut the prices (years later AT have now finally increased them again slightly, and building still relatively full). But didn’t MIT lease the parking in Ronwood as a consent condition to meet a “shortfall” on its campus under the old District Plan provisions?

            Manukau and Takapuna a little different contextually given relative demand, retail/hospitality offering, and existing levels of parking surely?

          2. Certainly in Takapuna there is plenty of parking. It’s just that most people wanting to park want it as cheap as they can get it, and think the bargain basement rates that AT charges (ie subsidised even more by the public) are reasonable to demand.

            And certainly in Takapuna the traffic is sufficiently congested to require that parking be reduced, not increased, due to the effect parking has in inducing traffic. I don’t know enough about the Manukau situation to compare that with.

      3. Is the issue really commuter parking? If you look at prices on private parks, casual parking for even a few hours in the weekend is significantly more expensive than parking all day on a workday.

        1. “Is the issue really commuter parking?”
          The AT commissioned flow Report says that it is, with 1000 spaces (of about 2300) taken by long stay or commuter parking. So, far from AT providing parking just for business customers it is the employees or owners who are taking about 40% of the space.

          AT recognises that it is not their role to provide long stay parking, but has done nothing to remedy this. As a consequence the lucky few can secure parking for only $5 per day.

          On an anecdotal level our street is jammed from about 7am every morning and remains clogged until late afternoon.

          1. But that doesn’t explain that price difference. I’m not an economist but I would expect parking all day on Monday to be more expensive than parking for 2 hours on a Sunday.

            Are private operators just capitalizing on the odd sucker who parks on their carpark for a couple of hours without thinking it through?

  7. Submitted and given a scathing critique of option 3. Either of option one or option two looks great, although my preference would be option two, as it would incur less shading and geometrically makes more sense. Hope Panuku don’t shy away from transforming Takapuna for the better

    1. Manukau and Takapuna a little different contextually given relative demand, retail/hospitality offering, and existing levels of parking surely?

      Ron, I am not sure what you are saying. Yes Takapuna has a better retail/ hospo offering but is Panuku/AT expected to provided free car parking for this. I say free parking because after 6pm all parking is free.

  8. When the Council folk engage in these “consultations” it’s pretty clear what outcome(s) they want and what don’t want and couch the consultation options or questions accordingly i.e. do nothing you have this crappy car park, and you get punished by no other improvements to Hurstmere Road either! If you choose the other options you get all these glitzy apartment buildings (which you probably can’t afford to live in) and hipster crowds magically displacing the…seagulls. But clearly there are many other options to consider for the money (better public transport being one of them). And do they even mention the cost or risk? No, these things dear ratepayers, you needn’t consider in your decision. Of course Anzac St Carpark could be better utilised but this is tokenism consultation and democracy.

    1. Apartments go hand in hand with public transit and with profitable local businesses. The relevant consultation about big options and priorities was for the 30 year regional and unitary plans.

      No organisation can build fast enough and in an integrated way by having a long discussion and vote on each project. NZ needs civics education and our public bodies have to earn our trust as informed citizens.

      1. Yes that is my whole point. Why engage in all this meaningless consultation if you’re not going to give full facts or a balanced view and then actually listen to the feedback. It’s just a waste of money. The politicians need to make the decisions rather than hiding behind survey results and consultations.

        1. I have to chuckle everytime someone plays the ‘not listening’ card. Listening to you doesn’t mean changing everything and automatically doing what you want, it means listening to you. A decision is made based on all sorts of factors, not least the cost and revenue, and not to mention there is alway differing views in the community. If you don’t want the apartment development that generates the money, you don’t get the replacement carpark that costs money. You can’t have it all.

          Look up listen in the dictionary. People who complain about not being listed too sound like a petulant child whose parents ‘aren’t listening’ when they demand to eat ice cream for breakfast.

          1. Nick, will the replacement carpark cost the council money? I would’ve thought that parking fees should be set to at least cover costs? Really, it should turn a profit (as the other privately owned carparks in the area do). As stated elsewhere, it is not AT’s priority to provide commuter parking, they should provide public transport options instead.

            I completely agree with the rest of your comment btw.

      2. Top comment, Sacha. Why don’t we have civics taught at school? I find teenagers from Europe and the US have far better understanding of civic democracy than adults do here. We are being held back by misunderstanding about what consultation means, by a lack of expectation that authorities will follow their own stated strategies (because they don’t). I find elected representatives will often try to assist by taking a pragmatic path of least resistance with both local and national government, rather than really being overseers that policies are fit for purpose and being followed.

    2. The last thing we need is consultation on all of the numerous permutations and combinations, the reason we pay these people is to come up with solutions so we don’t have to. The purpose of consultation is to smooth the rough edges of a proposal or at least allow the option of it being canned if there is widespread disapproval.

      1. I agree with your first comment (although I would argue that Panuku isn’t necessarily giving the best options, see Greg N’s post) but disagree on the second. What is the purpose of consultation when you’ve already made up your mind what you want to do but present the options in such a way that you get the answer you want. It ends up being a box ticking exercise.

        1. Because there may be factors they haven’t considered that makes the experts reconsider their approach. But comments like “I don’t want Takapuna to look like Hong Kong”, which is the usual level of feedback on intensive development, are ignored.

          So the consultation is not “tell us what you think” but “tell us what we don’t know”.

  9. “The local board already seem upset that the consultation is open to everyone and not just a select group of people.”

    We need more clarity from council and its agencies which projects are regional and which are only local in scope. If Takapuna is to be a regional hub, then nimbys can sit on something sharp.

    It does also mean I agree with Greg that this space needs to be properly planned with the big transport connections. But there’s a risk that Option 3 might give moneyed loud locals more time to organise against their seaside village ever growing up.

    1. The locals don’t have a problem with Takapuna being developed, there are loads of sites development could happen, there’s a lot of old low rise between Como St and Byron Ave that could be knocked down and developed. There’s a dustbowl opposite the Mon apartments on Hurstmere Rd that empty, there’s the Bruce Mason Centre carpark which could be build over.

      My point of view is don’t sell the carpark until they come up with a really good plan, selling it off on the cheap to developers to build expensive apartment buildings is only benefitting the developers, not the people who live in Takapuna.

  10. Not mentioned is the alignment with Rangitoto, with the opportunity of a view to teh summit from…Burgerking. – maybe just from Lake Road. but that spine walkway would produce a market street such as can be found in many market towns, well suited to Takapuna.
    Also, Takapuna is not just about commuting. Some serious thought is needed to its night life, which has a client catchment that is not easy to serve by PT (which has to get better). Customers need at least sufficient convenient parking for those that can’t take PT. And workers (who need to stay around even later to clear up after them) need to be able to get home safely, when they do finish.
    There’s lees likelihood of finding a parking space in Takapuna at 8 pm than at 8 am.

    1. So true about the view to Rangitoto. Is that part of Panuku’s plan? It does look like the alignment of the widened walkway is close to the correct angle for this, in which case my going at a right-angle to the beach idea is not as good as this is. The L-shaped white roofed building seems to be in the way, though…

  11. Takapuna represents an utter waste of potential. A dismal failure in urban design. The aim should be something like Sydney’s Manly, but i’m not convinced we’ll ever get there.

  12. Why does the proposed LR station have to be a terminating station at the gas works. Why not have it go down Hurstmere Rd and back up Anzac St and back to the gasworks site. Hurstmere Rd good become a no car area even though I have to do deliveries down there in a truck on Monday mornings.
    Build the tram lines now so it as all ready for when the LR DOES come to Taka. Have it as a heritage tram till then.
    Option 3 is NOT an option.

    1. It seems to me the obvious place for the LR to terminate is the top of Como St, right next to buses and square; in the heart of Takapuna…so not really affected by these options.

      Something like this:

      possible LR route from Akoranga

        1. Yes any of these three, however am thinking is good to minimise disruption to the inlet, also Como St is essentially a big underused carpark, with bowling courts (courts?) and a Girl Guides hall… fewer properties to effect…

          1. Greens. Where worms are poisoned because their castings interrupt the bowling ball’s path.

  13. Grant
    You asked how I feel as citizen A. This Citizen A lives about 400m from the 40 Anzac site. 40 Anzac and the Gasometer site is the area that we pass through on our way to the beach, the movies and the shops. It is our backyard. It is not important to us because there happens to be a market every week, but because we (members of our household) travel this route every single day, whether going to school, to catch the bus for work, or for recreational purposes.

    I feel absolutely and completely betrayed by the actions of Auckland Council, AT and Panuku. Here’s why. We bought our current house only about three years ago; so we bought into the vision of intensification, but most of all we bought into the visions of the three named organisations above. Perhaps the vision most strongly espoused is by 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. Fine words, but at the end of the day just meaningless bullshit. How can such a parking structure so near to the town centre be in any way orientated around pedestrians and cyclists.

    Let me be absolutely clear that I think intensification of Takapuna is a great thing. Within 300m of us two medium rise towers are being built; and within 600m another two are also in construction. Far from the sky falling in this will ensure that we have thriving amenities in the metropolitan centre. Medium rise development on the Anzac and Gasometer sites will be a very important part of that intensification.

    What we didn’t buy into is the addition of a 450 space parking building on the Gasometer site that surely cannot comprise any part of the Panuku vision.

    This monstrosity on that site is completely unnecessary and is a direct result of AT failing to manage parking over a number of years as they are required to do. Further it represents a huge amount of space that would better lend itself to more medium/high rise housing on that site.

    The re-development of 40 Anzac is not dependent on there being a car parking building on the Gasometer site and it enormously frustrating to find these different components lumped together.

    Takapuna to Become a Hell Hole

    Currently 82% of all traffic trips in Takapuna are made by car. Over the next 30 odd years the number of people working in Takapuna is expected to triple and those living here is projected to increase by four times. Car mode share is predicted at 76%, compared with the city at only 27%. Takapuna will have lines of slow moving vehicles inching their way around – something akin, but much worse than a current Sunday in summer. The pedestrian experience and al fresco dining will be a nightmare.

    Complete Disregard by AT of their Parking Strategy Document (the Strategy).

    The Strategy was introduced after a period of public consultation presumably to make sensible decisions about the provision of parking. This document has been completely ignored in the formulation of proposals. Here is the evidence from an answer to an OIA request. “As per the November 2016 AT Board resolution, the need for at least 400 replacement spaces between the Anzac and Gasometer sites is agreed. As such, a public car park of this size on the Gasometer site would meet that requirement.” Yes, forget all the steps that AT has to go through in the Strategy before they build off street parking, they just ignored them.

    The essence of the Strategy is that they have to justify the need. Whoops! Panuku are going to spend $30 million without establishing whether it is warranted. Little wonder that the Mayor is struggling to find money for projects if this is the level of analysis undertaken

    When I see the Mayor reported as saying he is frustrated by the length of time this process is taking, I say, well maybe if Council organisations had played by the rules there would not be this high level of push back from the community.

    Contemptuous Behaviour by Three Organisations

    I have drawn the attention of all of these organisations to the complete disregard, mis-application or contempt for the policies of the Strategy. An acknowledgement would have been nice. I appreciate that it might have been difficult to be in any way apologetic because they have been under attack from almost every direction including internally (the Local Board). If my experience has been this it is little wonder that there has been such public discord.

    Collusion with Local Business Operators

    Hustmere Road is not a hugely successful shopping area. In the eight years that we have lived in Takapuna there have always been between 8 and 10 shops empty. Old fashioned thinking says, we can fix that by more car parks; despite their being no evidence to support this proposition. Indeed the contrary is the case, there are mountains of car parks and business is still not booming.
    Here’s what I suspect Panuku has done to garner support with the businesses of Takapuna for this proposal. Panuku said, we are going to build on 40 Anzac so what can we do to make it right for you? The answer seems to have been, well we need another car park. As we have seen the response from Panuku was, we will not just build you a car park but we will build it bigger than you widest, wettest dreams!

    Childish and Petulant Consultation

    The consultation on the Panuku web site is child-like in its presentation. Here are three options that are only explained in pictorial form. This abject level of detail is particularly disappointing when a High Court Judge has previously criticised Panuku over their lack of consultation. In easily challengeable jurisdictions (such as employment) such consultation would most likely be held to be deficient.

    With Option 3 Panuku say; in a seemingly display of either arrogance, petulance or just old fashioned bullying (and even the word blackmail comes to mind); we won’t do anything even if seems to make sense. Why will they not proceed with the bus facilities enhancement, whatever that might be? Why with a huge housing deficit in Takapuna would Panuku not proceed to allow housing development on the gasometer site?

    Consultation Dishonest?

    Let me continue with the theme in the last sentence of the last paragraph. Bayleys Real Estate are currently marketing a large proportion of the Gasometer site with the expressions of interest due to close on 16 August. There at least seems to be a strong degree of pre-determination around Council’s decision to list this property. If there is not pre-determination then it represents a waste of money for unnecessary marketing costs.

    Consultation Limited

    I am wondering how if I did not follow the Greater Auckland blog that I would be aware that consultation is even occurring? This is despite the fact that I have signalled to the Mayor and the CEO of AT that I am an interested party. The consultation item on the Panuku site does not indicate when it is due to end so this is unhelpful.

    My Vote

    I want to vote for Option A or B, but I don’t want some ill-conceived, badly thought out, economically unsound car parking building so unfortunately I will be voting C.

    1. After the level of research you’ve done into this, Taka-ite, this description of your frustration is well-warranted.

    2. Is the multi-storey carpark being proposed as a replacement needed in Panuku’s eyes? Or is it to appease the inevitable protest from the local board?

      Neither should be the case, and the criticism of Panuku and AC is perfectly valid. But I suspect its the latter and the board/nimbys is getting off lightly

  14. Heidi, like you I am passionate about the environment and urban surroundings and here is a single project that could have really adverse effects on both.

    Sometimes arguments are won on the back of facts, sometimes on emotion, and in this case seemingly dubious politics. This is not over until its over so I am still hopeful

  15. Options 1 & 2 are badly thought out plans for the carpark, the best option is at the moment 3, it should remain like this until the portal for whatever kind of rail based public transport is decided for Takapuna. And then the entire carpark should be turned over to a public green space, there are so many other empty and near derelict buildings in Takapuna which could be raised to the ground and turned into apartments.

    I must say I’m surprised Greater Auckland is looking at options 1 & 2 as viable plans for the area.

    1. I disagree with all your comments, sorry!

      For a start I think options 1 and 2 are very well thought out and fully resolved plans. The are the right fit for the context, the right scale and properly designed to work for Takapuna. The plans are cost neutral, they create more parking, a new public square of the right scale, plus more housing, shops and jobs. The square and it’s lanes stitch the three main streets of central Takapuna together in a way that a open lot carpark never could.

      Scale is important. You’re idea for turning the whole carpark into a green space is terrible, to be frank. It is far too large a site to have as one open space, green or not. Not to mention the fact that there is already one park right there next to it already (Potters Park), plus the new Hurstmere Green park right next to the site on the other side, plus of course the beachfront reserve park next to that. With three green parks in a row, adding a fourth the size of the first two put together would not only be a waste of resources, it would be an empty failure. A fourth public space of that scale would dilute all the crowds to the point it would be bleak with nobody around. People would go out of their way to avoid it. Empty means unsafe. Especially without the extra shops and homes around it from the development which would create a community of local residents and retailers bringing people to the area, and having eyes on the street.

      Option 3 is a bad idea. Spending $30m to make the whole site into a fourth park in a row because of some misguided idea that big empty green spaces are what town centres need (hint: they are actually the literal opposite of a town) is crazy.

  16. Looking at the article in the local rag with Chris Darby, the economics of this are finally being revealed. Seems like the majority of the proceeds from the sale of land at the existing car park are to be used to build another car park ($23.8m) with the remainder spent on the square, road improvements and a bus station ($12.8m)…. Doesn’t sound particularly logical. Although it’s not disclosed how much they estimate receiving for the land sales not whether all of these works are contingent on the land sale to go through. So it’s not clear to me why this is a good outcome for the people of Auckland.

    1. So you can’t see how swapping one open lot carpark, for: more carparking in a larger carparking building, a new town square, new lanes including a new link through to the beach, a bus station and road improvements, plus more housing and new shops… is a good outcome?

      Sounds like an amazing outcome to me!

      1. Do you know what level of ground and groundwater rehabilitation at the gasworks is intended, Nick? Best practice or do they get away with a cover-up?

      2. Nick R
        No I can’t.

        And guess where I got my ideas from – the AT Parking Strategy. Here’s what it says in simple form
        1) survey current parking occupancy to see if more is needed (not done!)
        2) if more is needed first increase prices to reduce demand (not done!)
        3) rinse and repeat (obviously not done!)
        4) prioritise short stay parking over long stay parking (no attempt made whatsoever to address this)

        AT’s performance on this matter has been inept and incompetent and I have told them as much.

        The existing leaseholders on the Gasometer site pay only $5 per day. Drive across the road and you pay $14. The Gasometer site is never full because what value would you put on parking at only $5?

        How much extra parking would there be if AT said, we are cancelling your lease; or if they didn’t have the guts to do this raise prices to $14 per day?

        The great thing is, if they did what their policy says, it would cost rate payers nothing, nil, zero, nada for a new car park because it wouldn’t be needed.

        Don’t tell me that $23.8 million is a great deal; and that excludes the land cost of about another 6 million, when it could all be done for nothing! Absolutely true that someone would pay the cost and that is the people who use the car parks, but that seems fair. Normally when you use a service you pay for it?

        I concede that I may be wrong so I invite you to point out the flaws.

      3. It’s without doubt a lousy outcome Nick. We lose three quarters of our public space to private interests. It is absolutely not a new town square but just the small left over part when most of what we currently have has been sold off to property developers. .

        Public transport improvements are desperately needed in the area but there’s no need to sacrifice a public space to achieve this. Is Auckland Council selling off Aotea Square or Myers Park to put rapid transit public there? I think not.

        It’s time to start thinking of public spaces as assets to be extended and enhanced, not sold off for a quick buck.

        1. ‘sold off to property developers’ and? That’s how things get built, housing, shops, amenity, I don’t get the idea that this is evil. By all means investigate leasing it, but the alternative is building nothing. Just asphalt. The Council is not going to play developer here and nor should it.

          BUT.

          I think publicly funding a car parking building is absurd, this place already has too much parking to be a decent place, the streets have too much traffic to be decent streets, and parking generates driving. To improve this place, it needs both improved PT and Active transport amenity and improved place quality, and properly priced and reduced parking supply. To thrive. I think rate payers building a carpark at this late stage is absurd and ridiculous.

          HOWEVER:

          For the local board and others carparks are like a religion, holy ground, beautiful, and exactly what public money should be providing. So here’s a compromise between people like me that see value in quality people space and those that just want parking. Sell or lease some of the existing vast carpark to fund another carpark nearby to satisfy the carpark fanatics, and to fund the creation of a real town square, free of parking, and so the private sector can build shops and homes for people to be right there… This is what this is; a compromise.

          Or, option 3, you can keep your vapid place, the car drenched ‘heart’; lose nothing you have now, and gain nothing you haven’t got…

          Council will take Panuku’s fine urban design experts to some other part of the city that welcomes improvement. I suggest somewhere in South Auckland as far away from the strange politics of this place as possible….

          1. Council will take Panuku’s fine urban design experts to some other part of the city that welcomes improvement. I suggest somewhere in South Auckland as far away from the strange politics of this place as possible….

            Patrick, you are better than this. Down the road in Devonport most residents are in a state of uproar over anything that offends either: their line of site with any volcanic cone:any attempt to modify any historic building; any attempt to intensify; and anything that offends their sense of entitlement to everything. Let me just touch on some of the recent projects: the Ryman retirement village; the iwi development and some private renovation near Cheltenham.

            Despite progress being resisted at every step of the way Council lavishes Devonport with gifts: a new library; a new ferry terminal; electric shuttles to get to the terminal; and the coup de grace, $50 million to be spent on Lake Road.

            No, no, no Patrick, don’t unwind that piece of vitriole. It does Cr Derby a disservice too.

            I completely agree with you that the proposal by many to leave 40 Anzac as a barren car park is absurd, but AT had the chance to fix this two years ago when the flow Report said it was too cheap. Prices should have been raised and I am sure that many would have fallen out of love with it.

        2. There are many way that keeping rates down is punishing future generations. With lousy infrastructure so our harbours and waterways get polluted, not taking our waste seriously, so they’ll be burdened with landfills and leachate issues, sprawl, so much roading they’ll have to maintain, not having looked after our bioregion so we’ll see pest outbreaks, soil collapse, species extinctions…

          Selling off assets in order to build good public spaces, when this is an essential service rates should be covering anyway, is just one more example.

          So for any Panuku plan that has a good urban form outcome, we’re torn between supporting it because we want good urban form, or objecting because public assets will be lost. And when they lump together a proposal that includes a good urban design for part of it, an unnecessary super expensive, traffic-inducing, multistorey carpark, along with the selling off public assets, well…

          1. I understand the value of public ownership. But not the idea that the every square millimetre the Council currently owns is ideal and essential. This looks like a good trade off. Sell (or lease) parts of a carpark to gain a true town square (and yes Panuku do know better than the rest of us how to do this, what good public realm is and how to optimise it), and attract new investment into the centre.

            And as I said above, I wouldn’t waste money on another carpark, but if that is the political cost of improving this important centre, it’s probably a swallowable rat (especially if its designed with possible future conversion to a real use in mind).

            Compromise people. Or go home.

          2. “especially if its designed with possible future conversion to a real use in mind”

            Yes, like the Henderson civic carpark near the library and Unitec that was built with taller floor heights to allow future conversion to offices and apartments.

          3. Sacha, I wasn’t sure if it was a genuine example or sarcasm, but I looked it up and see that the vehicle clearance height is 2.1m. Although this will be at the bottom of ramps, I imagine, I take it this is an example of where they didn’t future proof? Very good point. Are there even any design recommendations available for the design of carparks to enable easy conversion, like ensuring the north to south direction is small enough to get light penetration, ensuring lift shafts are appropriately placed for apartment layout, and holes are left for services shafts at frequent intervals?

  17. By the way, for those interested in what can be done in a space of this size may I suggest looking at the recently transformed Campus Martius Park in Detroit?

    As Project for Public Spaces (PPS) writes, “The recent transformation of the main intersection in downtown Detroit into a spectacular civic square is one of the great stories of urban regeneration in America. This city-defining move, undertaken by the non-profit Detroit 300, would have been remarkable anywhere, but in Detroit–which is beset by as many problems as any major city in North America–it was particularly daring and exceptional. Using Campus Martius to redefine the downtown around a central square was ingenious precisely because most other cities would have gone a different route, like building a costly development project. Instead, Detroit chose this modest but revolutionary way to start with the city center”

    Auckland needs to embrace modern thinking like this and look to apply some imagination in supporting public spaces while drastically extending the reach of rapid transit around the city. Holding public transport improvements to ransom in order to coerce the selling off of public spaces is a terrible approach.

    1. “if that is the political cost of improving this important centre, it’s probably a swallowable rat”

      This is not true. Long before the proposal was ever put in front of the public AT decided to provide another 400 car parks. I have little sympathy that in digging a hole for themselves that the dirt is now blowing in their faces.

      Often if you ignore you own policies for the sake of political expediency it comes back to bite.

  18. “especially if its designed with possible future conversion to a real use in mind).”Compromise people. Or go home.”

    Patrick where is the evidence of this? I spoke with someone associated with Panuku less than two weeks ago and was told the cost of facilitating conversion to residential was working against such a proposal.

    Has this changed?

  19. “Compromise people. Or go home.”

    Now we are talking. Let’s see the Council stump up cold hard cash for a better pedestrian and cycling amenity for Takapuna.

    In the four years that I have used the bus to the city the only improvement ha been to add 50m more bus lane on Esmonde Road – with that 50m and another 1.5 odd km to be removed this year.

    The access to Akoranga is appalling at peak times because of the poor configuration of Fred Thomas Drive.

    I don’t have a huge sense of entitlement, but the balance is hopelessly distorted in favour of car transport. I am listening to how Council propose to move from an 82% car mode share and see some meaningful targets.

    1. Some starters for a compromise that will cost Council/AT nothing

      1) Implement parking charges after 6pm and on Sundays as the Parking Strategy says they should
      2) Set a fixed yield if the Gasometer car park is built (you guessed it – straight from the Parking Strategy) at a realistic level, say $14
      3) Do a survey of parking occupancy and adjust rates if required
      4) Apply derived money to projects such as a $1 weekend bus at 15 minute intervals to Devonport (to decongest Lake Road)
      5) Apply derived money to a $1 bus for trips terminating in Takapuna after 7pm. (Might this be helpful for local restaurants and bars?)
      6) Ask our urban design experts to improve cycle ways to Akoranga

      1. Agree parking must be properly priced, consistent with the strategy, in all scenarios. Over supply and and under pricing of parking is a place ruiner.

  20. An interesting discussion.

    I have always found Takapuna weird.

    The weirdest feature is without a doubt the car park between the beach and the town centre, without any reasonable way to cross it for people on foot. On a sunny day in the weekend, that car park would be free of charge, and completely full. I was always glad when I could just ride my bicycle from Milford. I was also glad I didn’t arrive there with a couple of toddlers.

    Actually, no. Even more weird is the block of Hurstmere Road between Lake Road and Anzac Street. Does that really need to be open for cars? Takapuna’s answer to High Street, CBD.

    There used to be (and maybe there still is) a pub in the back of 142 Hurstmere Road. It was quite fancy. It was also completely empty on a Saturday evening. You see, there’s this hole on nr 144 — the Wilson car park. Car parks do not make inviting environments after dark.

    40 Anzac Street? Always cheap, and usually full. Feel free to waste 10 minutes doing a circle to verify that. Contrary to popular belief cheap parking is not convenient at all. I don’t know why the council needs to provide parking this cheaply, but even in the CBD they can’t be bothered doing this properly so I’m not holding my breath.

    1. It makes you wonder why they bother using our money paying people to research the subject and write the strategy, when it just gets ignored.

      1. Heidi, as you have seen above this “ignoring” seems to have happened at Board level and now there seems to be a charm offensive to push things through. (Are Boards supposed to be about governance? – ensuring poor decisions are not made?)

        I think that I will shoot off some OIA’s this weekend to see if I can find exactly what happened. I can’t imagine that I will get an answer anytime before construction of the car park starts.

        I also must get hold of Cr Derby’s lobbying. It seems this might be in the North Shore Times.

    2. Exactly right roeland. It’s so shitty, and so fixable, but militant anti-change extremists are in high dudgeon there, with motivations that are impossible to fathom, blindly obsessed with dreary vistas of asphalt and tin as the ideal seaside and urban environment. Extraordinary.

  21. Just back from a walk around most of Takapuna, The 40 Anzac St car park was about half full, but around other parts cars parked wherever the drivers thought appropriate e.g. the grass verge where the Strand heads to the beach 4 cars (must be designated parking now?) and further down the Strand a Jeep parked in a garden. On the good news front it is the first day this week that we haven’t found a car partially obstructing our drive way (a car appeared to be, but was just pulling off as we walked up the street).

    The mis-management of parking in Takapuna reflects very poorly on AT.

  22. So many ableist and ageist discriminatory comments wanting to block all access for much of the disabled community to public spaces, you make good nazis on this site.

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