Auckland development plans could create 'lasting legacy'

9:47 am on 2 September 2017

Beautifying Auckland's downtown area and wharf could make it one of the "world's great cities", an Auckland business association says.

Lower Queen Street, Auckland Central

Lower Queen Street, Auckland Photo: RNZ / Calvin Samuel

Auckland Council has revealed it will vote next week on updated plans to make the city more pedestrian and public transport friendly.

As part of the changes, Captain Cook wharf will be turned into a berth for cruise ships, putting an end to its current role as a park for hundreds of cars newly imported into the country.

Lower Queen Street and Quay Street will have a greater pedestrian focus, with the bus turn-around areas removed from the area.

The chief executive of Heart of the City, Viv Beck, said Auckland's centre was critical for the economy and the new plans could have a lasting legacy for the city.

"It's a pretty defining moment for the city."

The project will be delivered in co-ordination with the construction of the City Rail Link.

Ms Beck said it was a "game changer" to have public transport brought into the plans.

"You get a much more holistic view, which is exciting."

But she said the association would like to see the ports decision discussed too.

The impact for business needs to be well-considered and there was a lot of work still to be done, she said.

Ms Beck said the most important thing at the moment was seeing something tangible that people could provide feedback on.

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