Queens Wharf Will Now Sort The Mayors From The Boys


save,jpgThank goodness.

Putting the Queens Wharf design contest on hold – as I called for the other day - is the right decision but it’s not going to be the end of the debate about what should we do about this very important downtown site.

But, like the bus strike, everyone seems to be dazed in the headlights and have no idea what to do.

I also agree with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey who says not developing Queen’s Wharf would be a disaster for Auckland.

After promising to open up the red gates after 100 years, the authorities must do so but we need to take time to get it right. We must not rush something up just because we are having a rugby world cup in town for a few weeks in 2011 and the government has promised an old decaying barn downtown where rugby fans can get pissed. That may be rather Kiwi in culture but not very smart.

There is already the nearby Viaduct, which is full of places where people can get drunk.

Harvey says a lack of vision sent Queen’s Wharf into “a black hole” but, being  a member of the 2011 Group advising Government on the 2011 Rugby World Cup, he’s pushing for something to happen for the cup.

“This World Cup is the greatest ad for this country of all time. The eyes of the world will be on our waterfront. We need to show them something better than a couple of rusting old sheds It’s going to take guts to get something iconic developed for 2011. Auckland has been charged with delivering a world class space. Not doing so would represent a major leadership failure. Our waterfront has long been wasted by political hand wringing and tight fisted accountancy. This is a chance to right those wrongs. The redevelopment of Queen’s Wharf will give the waterfront an identity. Yes, we need to get it right. We need a great legacy design. But doing nothing is simply not an option.”

OK, well this is now a real test to see who in Auckland has the vision to clean up the mess and get it right second time around.

I look forward to seeing how our wannabe supermayors do in coming forward and take the leadership.

But let’s not get obsessed about having something there for 2011.



  1. Sam F says:

    A good result I think - now hopefully once the RWC is over we’ll still have a relatively empty wharf to develop *properly* - not just an ugly, built-to-a-price events centre with a couple of retro booze barns (smelling faintly of banana) in the middle.

  2. BA says:

    Auckland cant manage to organise a piss up in a brewery, and this whole debacle is a testament of this.

  3. Matt says:

    If the Queens Wharf project is to be a marketing exercise, then give it an appropriate budget for crying out loud. $80m is a joke. Telecom spends more than that on marketing in a single year, and that’s a non-capital expense against income that doesn’t even begin to approach the annual income that tourism brings to NZ.
    Either fund it appropriately, or stop pretending that the advertising opportunity presented by RWC2011 is a justification.

  4. Jeremy Harris says:

    Me too James…


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