19 Jul 2018

Dunedin waterfront: Govt to contribute $800k to development

2:32 pm on 19 July 2018

The government will contribute more than $800,000 to the development of Dunedin's waterfront.

Dunedin city and harbour

Dunedin city and harbour Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones this afternoon announced $820,000 of funding to allow the Dunedin City Council to complete a feasibility study and business case for the project.

The announcement came at the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Dunedin Waterfront partners.

The ambitious plan, which was unveiled by local architect Damien van Brandenburg last year, has the backing of the Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, Otago University, Port Otago and Ngai Tahu.

Watch: 'Architect's ambitious plan for Dunedin'

Dunedin's Steamer Basin is currently lined by dated buildings, many derelict and no longer fit for purpose.

Mr van Brandenburg's vision included a hotel, university marine research facility, an architecturally-designed bridge linking the waterfront to the city centre, and, at its heart, a cockleshell-inspired cultural centre.

Mr Jones said a revitalised waterfront would add to the city's appeal as a visitor destination.

"The vision for the waterfront project also includes a hotel, residential accommodation, and aims to be focal point for locals and visitors," he said.

A close-up of Mr van Brandenburg’s design for a cultural centre on Dunedin’s waterfront.

A close-up of Damien van Brandenburg's design for a cultural centre on Dunedin's waterfron Photo: RNZ / Tim Brown

"The project is the right kind of ambition we want to see regions striving for and includes a plan to connect the town centre, the university and the stadium with walkways, cycleways and a bridge.

"This kind of thinking is very likely to attract new businesses with its appealing environment and its sustainable future focused design."

Dunedin City Council has already backed a [https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018625169/dunedin-city-council-votes-in-favour-of-20-million-footbridge

$20 million bridge linking the city and waterfront].

The government also committed $60,000 to the development of an economic development strategy for Otago.