Plans afoot for waterfront roadway

STAKEHOLDERS: St Heliers-Glendowie residents association chairman Keith Savory and Royal Akarana Yacht Club general manager Andrew Brookland say better access to the eastern bays is key.
STAKEHOLDERS: St Heliers-Glendowie residents association chairman Keith Savory and Royal Akarana Yacht Club general manager Andrew Brookland say better access to the eastern bays is key.

Limited parking, shuttle buses and steps down into the sea - just some of the ideas open to feedback as planners seek a long-term vision for Tamaki Dr and the coastal suburbs it serves.

The masterplan takes into consideration such things as how to protect and enhance the environment, provide more leisure space and improve transport links.

It represents a collaborative effort, Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson says.

"It has been endorsed by the mayor and is the first subregional project that engages every sector of the new Auckland Council."

Tamaki Dr is a "jewel of Auckland" but it is also someone's backyard, she says.

"We were very conscious that the local voice must be heard first and foremost.

"We called together boating and sporting clubs, ratepayers, residents and business associations - everyone had the chance to give input."

The aim was to consolidate aspects of previous plans into one document, deputy chairman Mark Thomas says.

"In the past we've been trying to please everyone and we've ended up dealing with issues in an ad hoc way.

"What we've sought to do here is to make some tough choices."

Ms Simpson says it's a starting point for discussions. "I'd like people to think about Tamaki Dr as a destination rather than just a road."

This is an idea St Heliers Bay Village Association manager Wendy Caspersonn fully supports.

"The whole area is an important natural resource so it is important that it is well-managed and that we look at connectivity between areas," she says.

She is "delighted" by the proposal to introduce frequent shuttle buses between the bays.

"At the moment buses go every 30 or 40 minutes and you have to wait up to an hour in the weekends."

But she is unhappy about the prospect of more clearways along Tamaki Dr.

"It is not possible to create two lanes so really it would just reduce parking. That would mean people visiting the beach at St Heliers would park in the suburban streets which would just push residents out. It's a vicious cycle."

Royal Akarana Yacht Club general manager Andrew Brookland is supportive of the Tamaki Dr masterplan.

"I think it's great they are trying to improve access and use of the treasure that is the eastern bays. It's going to be interesting to see what the community comes back with because some of the ideas represent quite different thinking."

It helps that the local board is being proactive and inclusive in the process, he says.

St Heliers-Glendowie residents association chairman Keith Savory says the masterplan is excellent but more focus needs to be put on easing traffic congestion.

"I would like to see improvements made to Kepa Rd because it is an absolute bottleneck. Also the Eastern Corridor should be brought back into consideration.

"The thought of having steps down into the water between Mission Bay and Kohimarama, I think that's wonderful but if you ban parking who is going to be able to use it?

"There is also a huge push for no parking on the seaward side of Tamaki Dr through to Ngapipi Rd. But where do people park if they come down and want to go to the beach? I think the council have their ear muffs on and there hasn't been enough concern for the community of the eastern bays."

The masterplan includes 10 priority projects proposed for the next five years and the board is asking residents to pick their top three.

The big question is how the masterplan is going to be funded, Ms Simpson says.

"We are looking very strongly now towards our mayor who has committed to its development. He knows its implementation is only as good as the money the city is willing to invest in it."


You can make a submission on the masterplan as part of the Draft Auckland Plan before 4pm on February 25. You can also give feedback as part of the Unitary Plan from March 15. Go to the Orakei Local Board website and click Local News for Orakei Local Ward to read the Tamaki Drive Masterplan. Alternatively you can pick up a hardcopy at the Orakei Local Board office in Meadowbank Shopping Centre. 

East And Bays Courier