• TBBA CEO Terence Harpur in the Anzac Street carpark.

Takapuna's Future

Takapuna needs Council investment and development to continue its growth trajectory and secure the economic viability of our metropolitan centre, says TBBA CEO Terence Harpur.

Auckland Council and its Council Controlled Organisations of Panuku Development Auckland and Auckland Transport have three major investments and developments planned in Takapuna to enable it to grow into a major metropolitan centre.

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are investing $12 million upgrading Hurstmere Road to improve the storm water system flowing onto Takapuna Beach, and upgrade the streetscape to enable a more pedestrian-friendly main street. This is desperately needed, not only for improving our water quality and enjoyment of our beach, but to improve our main street to encourage visitation and the attractiveness of our town centre.

Auckland Transport and Panuku are also building a large high-tech multi-story car park of 450-550 spaces on the gasometer site between Huron Street and Northcroft Street (next to the Sentinel Tower). This will enable easy-to-find public car parking with electronic capacity signage and upgraded streets leading to Lake Road. Construction is due to start in October 2018.

Panuku Development Auckland is also leading the investment and development of the central Takapuna asphalt car park. Their plans are based on years of Auckland Council planning work and public consultation. This development aims to create a large public town square of at least 3000sqm (similar in size to Aotea Square and in addition to Potters Park), laneways, connections to the beach and new commercial and residential buildings. The development is focused on the pedestrianisation of the central area of Takapuna and having large-capacity car parks within easy walking distance of it. We need more public open space to host events, civic ceremonies, markets and a place for our Anzac Memorial, currently located on private land. It would be amazing to also see hospitality and retail developments flowing out to the square, making for a very attractive place to visit. Accessible parking, pickup/drop off and limited short stay parking should also be included. We also need more retail, commercial and residential premises built as the majority of Takapuna’s surrounding catchment area is sea, harbour and lake. We need more places for people to live, work and play.

The Takapuna Beach Business Association (TBBA), of which I am the Chief Executive Officer and whose mandate is to act in the best interests of its members to ensure economic development through strategic planning, development and collaboration of key stakeholders, supports this development. In December 2017, a survey of the members of the TBBA found that an overwhelming majority favouring the redevelopment of the 40 Anzac Street site with the vast majority of the proposal being supported. Further consideration is needed, however, around the provision of adequate public short stay car parking in the Anzac Street development. This would be in addition to the re-development of the gasometer site to deliver a large high-tech multi-level public car parking facility with additional capacity and covered access ways into Takapuna’s retailing hub. The TBBA continues to work with Auckland Council and its CCOs to ensure the best outcome for its members.

These are exciting times for Takapuna and mark a significant milestone in developments in the area, which for a long time have been privately led, rather than council led. Auckland Council has finally recognised Takapuna and is investing in its development and future. We need to support these developments and contribute to their designs. If we do not continue to push Auckland Council for them, the investment will move on from Takapuna to other town centres. Takapuna would get no major council development for the next 30 years and would see its neighbours being developed and grow while Takapuna gets left behind. This would be a tragedy.

These developments are an exciting step towards the long-term future of a Takapuna that will always be loved for its great beach and relaxed beachside atmosphere, but now with the added benefits that business and considered development can deliver.

Issue 89 July 2018