Te Onewa Northcote Point wharf re-opened and dual-named

Northcote Point wharf has reopened after a blessing this morning and services have re-started after a two-year closure.

The wharf has also been renamed to Te Onewa Northcote Point, making it the first dual-named wharf on Auckland’s ferry network.

In 2018, routine maintenance found some structural deterioration of the wharf which meant Auckland Transport (AT) had to close it on a temporary basis for health and safety reasons. Structural assessments of the wharf confirmed that the wooden structure elements under the deck needed to be either repaired or replaced. 

The $2.6-million work to renew the 60-year-old wharf started on site in mid-July 2020, with construction finished before Christmas, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.  Final commissioning works and the installation of CCTV, an emergency help point and a public address system has now been completed.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomes the completion of work on the wharf. “This is great news for ferry commuters and the Northcote community,” he says. “The wharf is now structurally stronger, and passengers will benefit from better seating, lighting, and shelter. Everyone who uses the ferry instead of travelling by car into the city centre will help reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion on our roads.”

Having worked closely with mana whenua throughout the project, the wharf will become the first to be dual-named on Auckland’s ferry network in both te reo Māori and English and will now be named Te Onewa Northcote Point.

“By recognising the area’s te reo Māori name we recognise the intimate connection between Māori and the land on and around which the wharf is located,” says Richard Hills, North Shore Ward Councillor. “It is an ongoing gift to the people of Auckland that residents and visitors can continue to arrive there by sea, as Māori traditionally did.”

“This seemingly simple change underscores the constantly evolving and deepening of Auckland Transport’s relationship with mana whenua,” says David Nelson, AT’s Portfolio Delivery Director (Projects). “Eventually, bilingual signage will direct people to the location of bus services and help them navigate their way to the nearby pā site.”

Within the new shelter, ferry users will find a new, covered gangway featuring designs created specifically for Te Onewa by Reuben Kirkwood, Kaiwhakairo (head carver) for Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki. The design reflects a coastline panorama of the flat-topped maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau creating varying headlands and inlets, and hikuwai, the reflectivity of the sunrise and sunset within the tidal patterns on the water’s surface.

Supporting quotes from mana whenua:

"We support this initiative from Auckland Transport to roll out the use of dual names on signage and we implore other council and crown entities to follow suit in the celebrating and acknowledgement of the traditional place names of not only in Tamaki but wider Aotearoa. This encourages the use of Te Reo Māori as well as celebrating some of the untold stories associated with these sites of significance to Māori.” - Ngāti Whātua o Orākei

"The AT dual naming initiative not only goes some considerable way to reinstating the mana of both the site and the name ‘Te Onewa’, but marks a watershed moment whereby the culture and identity that underpins Tāmaki Makaurau, i.e. Ngā Mana Whenua ō Tāmaki Makaurau, is at last being brought to the fore." - Adrian Pettit, Kaitiaki for Te Ākitai Waiohua

“Restoring traditional Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland place names alongside English place names recognises the history and significance of these places. The stories behind these places, such as Te Onewa, point to the earliest relationships of Mana whenua with place and the dual names provide a link to these stories." - Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua

Read more about the Northcote Point Wharf Renewal Project Information.

For information about ferry services, visit the Auckland Transport Journey Planner.