Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: On the Waterfront

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  • Russell Brown,

    It's learned helplessness. I call it battered-citizens syndrome.

    I'll try and remember to credit you when I use that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Wasn't the Viaduct basin built as "party central" for a previous publically subsidised sporting defeat? Is it not suitable for the RWC for some reason?

    It'll be used, of course, but there's not much public space there. The last Diwali festivities were crammed in there, and for all the colour and great food (yum! Diwali food!) it was a pain to navigate, and really couldn't grow any more.

    I don't quite get the hostility towards public waterfront space. Australian cities have been developing this way for years -- what's happened along the rivers in Brisbane and Melbourne (where they took out a road to make a pedestrian concourse along the Yarra) is brilliant.

    And I don't think converting Queens Wharf into a public open space is neccesarily a bad idea. I'm not sure on converting it into a duplicated area of bars for North Shore kids to vomit in is that good a use of public cash, though.

    The "party central", which, again, was going to happen anyway, is for the RWC. The acquisition has laid the ground for further development afterwards. Why do you have envisage the most pessimistic and unappealing scenario possible?

    Building a billion dollar stadium would have been a terrible idea, though.

    There were questions over cost and time scale, sure. But having that facility there, instead of throwing hundreds of millions at a rugby ground in the middle of a suburb, would have been brilliant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    where they took out a road

    Blasphemy - there is a special hell for those who don't properly worship the car.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Wow, it is good to be reminded occassionally of the small minded ennui and failure of imagination that seems to have Auckland's chattering classes totally by the balls these days.

    The Mallard proposal may or may not been a good idea. Personally, I was in favour of it because every now and again it is nice to celebrate our achievements with a bit of monumental architecture. And a properly planned waterfront stadium would have provided just that. A home for professional sports and conferences, big concerts (why not the BDO?) and cruise ships.

    But that is bye the bye. The whole thing got shot down by the scorn of a constant Greek chorus who mistake a permanent state of cynicism with sophistication.

    Auckland has a vested-interest knocking machine that trying to argue against is akin to arguing with a brass band. Just when you've dealt with Cassandra-like blasts from the Newmarket Business Association's trumpet the trombone of the intellectual snobs who can't stand the idea of the peasants enjoying a game of rugby starts up.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Rob W,

    The acquisition has laid the ground for further development afterwards. Why do you have envisage the most pessimistic and unappealing scenario possible?

    I don't understand where all the naysayers and doom-merchants are coming from. Anything that turns those eyesores of car laden wharves into usable public property has got to be a good thing.

    There were questions over cost and time scale, sure. But having that facility there, instead of throwing hundreds of millions at a rugby ground in the middle of a suburb, would have been brilliant.

    Exactly. I still miss the idea of a central city stadium. Mallard's idea would not have been my choice but I cannot understand why the visionless Auckland City leaders refused goverment cash to build an asset for Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    The "party central", which, again, was going to happen anyway, is for the RWC. The acquisition has laid the ground for further development afterwards. Why do you have envisage the most pessimistic and unappealing scenario?

    Because Auckland specialises in bringing to fruition the most pessimistic and unappealing scenarios. But bring it on, I say. If it's down on the water it can't be bad forever. And I agree on the stadium in the city Russel. Couldn't believe it when I took a turn down a side street off Cardiff's main drag, and there was bloody Cardiff Arms Park! Unbelievable!

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I cannot understand why the visionless Auckland City leaders refused goverment cash to build an asset for Auckland.

    To be fair, it was the Auckland City leaders who said yes please, and the ARC that decided it might inconvenience the importers of used cars.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    By the way, how do you get other people's quotes to be in grey text with that groovy little pinstripe alongside?

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    According to the anon editorial in today's DomPost, why yes "it"* is.

    * for many values of "it"

    I believe the correct value of "it" in this case is "everything", up to and including global warming. Or the conspiracy to make the public believe in global warming. Whichever you prefer.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I don't quite get the hostility towards public waterfront space.

    The Wellington local authorities had some horrific ideas for sun and view-blocking high rises. They also claim that restaurants and bars can be considered public space. There is also the untested assumption that without buildings the public won't use the area.

    The Wgtn waterfront is mainly and most heavily used as the most pleasant and often quickest way to walk from one part of Wgtn to the other, or as part of the public transport network with the ferry terminal, or as a destination it itself for fresh air purposes. There are an assortment of buildings, some of which have ground floor facilities such as restaurants.for which you need to pay money to use. They are better than having cars parked on the space but what do they really bring to the area? The exception and one of the places most at home on the waterfront is our maritime museum which is in one of the original wharf buildings and which is free to visit.

    The architects out there will disagree, but I think Aucklanders should fight for as much open and public space on their publicly owned space as possible.
    If it hadn't been for citizenship vigilance there would be a lot more of our Wgtn waterfront blocked to people. So better get some counselling for your battered citizen syndrome.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    To be fair, it was the Auckland City leaders who said yes please, and the ARC that decided it might inconvenience the importers of used cars.

    Now I think you'll find it is the other way around. It seems that once Auckland City heard about it they immediately leaked "details" to the press about how much it was going to cost 100 mill + was the figure floating around.

    By the way, how do you get other people's quotes to be in grey text with that groovy little pinstripe alongside?

    Groovy little instructions in grey next to the posting box.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Oh, I see now, pinstripes ? dunno.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Anything that turns those eyesores of car laden wharves into usable public property has got to be a good thing

    I'm guessing that most of the Aucklanders on here own cars, right? (I suppose there might be such a thing as a carless Aucklander, but am yet to meet one). So the car you drive (unless it's an NZ-built model from the dark past) will have been loaded across Queens Wharf or an equivalent facility on somebody else's waterfront.

    And the wharves *are* usable public property. They belong to Ports of Auckland who return $30mln a year to the council, money which pays for services that would otherwise be funded out of rates.

    I'd agree that right by the city centre isn't an ideal place for a working port, but then nor is having the city carved up by motorways.

    I guess having some sort of cruise ship terminal and bar area is reasonable. It's certainly more of a public open space than a stadium, which is no more than a commercial building for the sport industry (How much public access do current stadia have? None at all?)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Groovy little instructions in grey next to the posting box.
    ;-)

    I'm in your debt Mr Barnes. I always fail to read all the instructions, hence many unnecessary mishaps.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Now I think you'll find it is the other way around. It seems that once Auckland City heard about it they immediately leaked "details" to the press about how much it was going to cost 100 mill + was the figure floating around.

    Nope. From the Wikipedia article on the stadium that never was:

    In a 5 hour meeting on the night of November 23, the Auckland City Council gave support to the waterfront proposal by a 13-7 vote. However they qualified their assent by wanting the stadium to be "substantially east" of the Marsden Wharf/Captain Cook location preferred by the government, cutting more deeply into port lands, but also keeping views from Britomart unobstructed.[9]

    On November 24, the Auckland Regional Council unanimously voted against supporting the construction of the stadium at the waterfront (mainly due to its effects on port operations), opting instead to lend their support to an upgrade of Auckland's current rugby venue, Eden Park.[10]

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Jones,

    I agree with Russell's earlier comment re Melbourne, Brisbane etc. We have a beautiful harbour with loads of potential, but a general reluctance to spend any money to make it happen.

    I also note, the *special* liftout in the Herald today outlining the development of the Tankfarm. While I might not agree with all that it suggests, I do love the concept of opening up the waterfront with a mix of park and commercial development.

    Over the Bridge, Auckland… • Since Jun 2009 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Nope. From the Wikipedia article on the stadium that never was:

    Sorry Russ, I was referring to the current "party central" proposal.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Nope.

    Interesting. I didn't know that. I thought the central government was intending to introduce special legislation or use the special provisions in the RMA but then didn't once it became a hot potato.

    Either way, someone should demolish Eden Park. Take it behind a barn and shoot it. Anything.

    And while I'm thinking about it, isn't 2011 kind of soon?

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I think perhaps the most compelling reason for the upgrade is because everybody needs somewhere to get on a boat

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    deep in their hearts they know their city is unpardonably ugly and dysfunctional.

    Pardon? As a card-carrying South Islander living in this lovely city, I beg to differ. Sea breezes and ocean views outside my front door... lots of green spaces and gorgeous parks... the odd beach even apparently. What is ugly is the Hutt Valley. Urk. Oh, and Christchurch (apart from that big park in the middle).

    (I suppose there might be such a thing as a carless Aucklander, but am yet to meet one).

    I don't own a car. I bike everywhere except weekend football, when I grab a lift with team mates. Dangerous, hell yes! Aucklanders are fools on the road and there are no bike lanes. But I'll not own another car until I can get a fully electric one at a decent price, thanks.

    As for the topic, it's like all the fools who talked down the Wellington stadium - and the ones who keep opposing the Dunedin one.How can opening up the harbour more be anything but a great idea?

    I'll miss that lovely tank farm on the evening runs though. Ah, tank farms by sunset, gorgeous...

    Now, about those bike lanes over the bridge...

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood,

    Perhaps this calls for a but of urban pranksterism and healthy disrespect of authority? Like the way the rogue koru sculpture drew attention to the butt-ugly "pohutukawa flower" thingy at the Hobson street onramp?

    Take a few folding tables and chairs down to areas of the waterfront that we want access to, and just plonk down with your latte and hang out.

    Perhaps some nice potted shrubberies along the edge of the wharf?

    Hell, I'll bring along my hammer and help build something architectural like a big homage to a paua shell with Gehry-esque reflective coating.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Is there money in the budget for an old man on a bicycle to open them each morning?

    Rofflenui. Neighbours alarmed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    It did help in Wellington that we have Ian Athfield.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I mean an Athfield inspiration for architecture and design, not as the old man on a bicycle.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    the butt-ugly "pohutukawa flower" thingy

    I am the only person in the world who loves that thingy!

    It can come and be installed in my garden any time.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

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