Hats off to the local board and particularly Chair Chris Darby. Devonport locals are about to see significant improvements made to their local wharf.
Despite rumours progress on the wharf was slow, Darby has been working behind the scenes for some time to get the right heads around a table to bang together. With the help of Mayor Len Brown this has happened and Darby and the local board finally have something to show for their efforts.
Auckland Council is refurbishing the wharf in a two-stage upgrade that will see visible improvements before Rugby World Cup 2011, and significant structural and facilities improvements commencing in 2012.
“This work is long overdue,” says Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Chris Darby.
“This is the first significant maintenance programme for the wharf in the last 20 years, which will benefit both daily commuters and the heritage tourism potential of Devonport village.”
“Auckland Council has enabled this work to proceed swiftly, with strong collaboration between the Mayor, Auckland Transport and the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. This will bring new life to Devonport Wharf.”
Darby was adamant that the upgrade was directly as a result of the new super city structure. “The budget for this has come from all over Auckland. There was no budget in the legacy (North Shore City) council for this. The state of the Devonport Wharf has become one of Auckland’s most important priorities.”
The total budget for the project has yet to be finalised, but The Speculator estimates six zeroes after a number between 1 and 9 will be close.
“This wharf has been neglected,” says Len Brown. “Devonport locals have had to wait long enough for this, presenting this tired face to local commuters, Kiwi and overseas visitors alike. Auckland Council is stepping up to make improvements and make them now.”
“In two months, we will welcome 85,000 visitors to Auckland for RWC 2011, and we want Devonport to be able to welcome visitors to smart and tidy wharf. Ferries are an important part of Auckland’s ongoing transport mix, so it is timely for us to make sure passengers have a decent terminal to use,” says the Mayor.
Work scheduled before Rugby World Cup include replacing guttering and damaged cladding; cleaning, plaster repair and repainting internal walls and ceilings; repairing broken concrete pillar bases, new lighting and illuminated signage at the main entrance; minor refurbishments to existing toilets, and new footlights from the berth to the bus stop on the external walkway.
The wharf, which previously came under North Shore City Council, is now the responsibility of Auckland Transport. The cost of the two-stage refurbishment falls within the normal repair and maintenance budget of Auckland Transport, reprioritised for this work.
There are some minor improvements also planned for the neighbouring Victoria Wharf prior to RWC 2011. Further refurbishment will be investigated at a later stage.
The Devonport Wharf refurbishment will tie in with the construction of a Marine Square arrival court linking the terminal to the village, and a spacious boardwalk to be developed between the two wharves.
See other article for details of the pre- RWC upgrade.
The Speculator will keep you up to date on developments on the wharf; you can also subscribe to receive updates by clicking on the link below.