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A step in the right direction

Onehunga-Wharf

July’s news that Panuku Development Auckland has purchased Onehunga Wharf was a long time coming, but it has been  welcomed as a step in the right direction. There are plans to make it into a new community space, similar to Wynyard Quarter, with homes, cafes, retail, and public spaces; its regeneration will be part of the overall Transform Onehunga project, led by Panuku.

Councillor Chris Darby, chair of council’s Planning Committee, says the site will play a key role in building on Onehunga’s strengths, and revitalise the area. “This site provides a great opportunity to rethink how Onehunga will reconnect and embrace its historic harbour-edge location. With the threat of the East-West Link severing the town from the waterfront removed, Onehunga Wharf can plan for a future as a magnet for Aucklanders, with the flavour of a new Wynyard Quarter. People can relax and socialise, or enjoy commercial, cultural and tourism activity – all right alongside the existing fishing industry.

What happens next ?

Panuku says that development on the site won’t take place for another five years, as there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to do. This includes negotiating usage with other key players such as NZTA, undertaking maintenance and upgrades, and working with existing leaseholders. The wharf also has health and safety issues which need to be addressed. It has taken over seven years for Wynyard Quarter, a similar project,  to be developed to the point where it is today.

 

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What they say

Denise Lee MP

“The move is a great step forward in the plan to transform Onehunga and will have significant benefits for our community.” However, she goes on to say that we need to bear in mind that two major transport projects also need to be considered, a revised East West Link and Light Rail to the airport. “At this stage we can’t get too excited about the wharf’s purchase as we have no idea how it will work with other projects in the area. These need to fit within the overall Onehunga transformation story. Transport and Placemaking can’t be two separate strands.”

Councillor Josephine Bartley 

“We want the wharf development to complement Onehunga Mall but not take away from it, as we want to keep promoting the businesses along the Main Street. Along with Taumanu Reserve, it is another way to connect Onehunga back to the harbour after State Highway 20 severed the connection many years ago. We need to be able to connect the port development to the walkways there, to Onehunga Lagoon, Taumanu Reserve, the shops, the train station and Waikaraka Park and Gloucester Park.

“We don’t want this to become an area of its own ……it needs to be connected and part of Onehunga. Residents have said to me that they don’t want to lose the real character of Onehunga, so what will be important with this development is the engagement with the local community. That what is developed is something that they can feel proud of and connected to as part of Onehunga.”

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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