Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wynyard Quarter blues

I visited Wynyard Quarter only last August. Now, according to the NZ Herald and central Auckland business association Heart of the City, there are proposals to do away with open spaces such as those around Wind Tree and the kiddies' playground -- for tower blocks.

"The children's playground at the hugely popular Wynyard Quarter is set to be replaced by a towerblock, says the Heart of the City business group. Chief executive Alex Swney says Aucklanders are loving the new open spaces at Wynyard Quarter but blissfully unaware of plans for high-rise towers on the playground and other open spaces in a draft waterfront plan.

"Yesterday, Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell refused to comment on any plans to tear up the playground, which has been a huge hit with families since it opened in August."
Aucklanders, feel free to go to Heart of the City's We Only Get One Chance page to add your thoughts on the redevelopment plans for North Wharf, Bledisloe Wharf, the inner city rail loop and Auckland's urban sprawl. I vote for the playground -- it needed work on keeping access safe for the kiddies when I saw it back in August but it, and Wind Tree, are way better than more glass-and-steel monoliths dominating our waterfront.

Update 14 October 2011: According to today's Herald ...
"Waterfront Auckland has confirmed the children's playground at Wynyard Quarter is sitting on a development site and will be moved. But chief executive John Dalzell said it would be relocated north of the gantry, about 200m away, once the land is vacated by the bulk liquids industry in 2016 at the earliest ...

"The playground is part of the first stage of the Wynyard Quarter development that opened in August to huge crowds and rapturous support from the public. But much of the open space west of Beaumont St, including the playground, is sitting on three development sites for buildings of up to three storeys."
They want to shift the playground 200m northwards, by about 2016 or so.


  1. What the !! !! !! Thanks for sharing !! I WILL pop over and have my say - for goodness sake how many high rises do we need? And surely the kiddies in these high rises need somewhere to play?

  2. Maybe they'll replace what's lost with a rooftop playground, a la the old Farmers in Hobson Street? Don't worry, I am (bleakly) kidding ...

  3. Okay so the Corporate Clones are at it again within the space of a mere 24 hours. This sucks. First they target the Memorial at Kartoum Place, then they want to rip down the Facade of the old Queens Head Hotel and now they want to destroy the areas just made for recreation and enjoyment for everyone. VILLAGE IDIOTS and even the Village binned them out the door. Vandals to say the least.

  4. Cheers, Liz -- and I absolutely agree. They went to all that effort just for something as ephemeral (to them) as a kid's soap bubble? As I said with the Queen's Head Hotel Facade post -- spread the word, people.