The model showing the proposed stadium, on display during the consortium’s presentation.

Council committee ignores point of waterfront stadium request: agreement to test feasibility

Proponents of a stadium on the Auckland waterfront laid out their plans for Auckland Council’s planning committee yesterday, including a long question-&-answer session.

Image above: The model showing the proposed stadium, on display during the consortium’s presentation.

It was an information session, mainly explaining the process the Auckland Waterfront Consortium wants to go through over the next 3 years, not a request for assistance or prelude to a consent process.

But there was a request, as legal representative Mike Sage outlined at the outset: “We’re here today to request the council to enter into an agreement with the consortium & the Crown to test the feasibility of the consortium’s proposal that Bledisloe Wharf & the basin between Bledisloe & Queen’s Wharves should be transformed into a breathtakingly & beautiful precinct.”

That request was sidelined during the following 90 minutes. After the committee asked its many questions, committee chair Chris Darby linked the proposal to other propositions & the overall need to masterplan that area of the waterfront, thanked the consortium members and they were on their way.

The consortium’s waterfront map.

How the council might meet the feasibility test request – or whether the Government had already agreed to participate – wasn’t discussed.

Like other major infrastructure proposals, such as a ports alliance & moving the port out of town, this one could easily drift out to sea unless the council is prodded more firmly.

Shortly before the session ended, Cllr Ross Clow protested that Cllr Darby appeared to be presupposing the consortium’s proposal would proceed: “What about Eden Park Trust Board coming with their presentation – we do a business case on the status quo?” he asked.

Cllr Darby said the council could integrate some of the ideas being tossed around when it begins its review of the city waterfront masterplan, which at the moment doesn’t include this section of the waterfront: “I’m actually saying there does need to be a plan of our waterfront,” he responded.

“There is a stadium study [withheld from Radio NZ for 5 months, and then released with large sections blacked out] that identifies a preferred location to be then tested against the incumbent, which is Eden Park. That work is clearly identified as work yet to be done.”

Cllr Darby said the council could consider “over the coming weeks” whether it wanted to embark on examining a masterplan for the waterfront right along to the Pt Erin baths.

The Bledisloe precinct & Eden Park redevelopment proposal

In tandem, the proposal for a 50,000-seat stadium sunk to the sea floor at the end of Bledisloe Wharf, with the ability to expand to 65,000 seats, would be combined with redevelopment of the hallowed Eden Park to build an estimated 2500 apartments.

The wharf itself would have an estimated 2500 apartments built on it, plus retail, hospitality, hotels, commercial space & public space.

The proponents presenting yesterday:
Dave Wigmore (The Property Strategists Ltd, overall)
Mike Sage (Simpson Grierson, legal & overall picture)
Richard Goldie (Peddle Thorp, architecture)

  • I’ll post committee questions in a second stadium item later today.

Links:
Livestream of committee agenda item
12 October 2018: Archimedia masterplan proposal for ports area
18 May 2018, Radio NZ on PWC downtown stadium feasibility report: No conclusion on downtown Auckland stadium in $1m report

Earlier story:
19 October 2018: Consortium releases waterfront stadium proposal details

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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