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Auckland Transport

Downtown programme Downtown programme

Auckland Council has a vision to transform the waterfront into an attractive, people friendly environment. From 2018 to early 2021, Auckland Transport will deliver the first phase of this 10-year vision.

Mai i te moana ki te whenua, mai i te whenua ki te moana

From the sea to land, from the land to the sea (the endless unbroken continuum)

Mīharo (extraordinary)
Manaakitanga (welcoming)
Auckland to Tāmaki (authentic and beautiful)

Project status: Construction
Project zone: Central 

Project overview

The Downtown programme is creating a generous and welcoming destination along the water’s edge that is recognisably Tāmaki Makaurau. It will be a space that strengthens people’s connection with the Waitematā Harbour – a vibrant, transformed environment for all to enjoy.

Planning for Downtown Auckland has evolved over time. Its direction, focus, and design have been influenced through various stages of public consultation:

  • City Centre Master Plan and Waterfront Plan – 2011/2012.
  • Downtown Framework – 2014.
  • Future layout of Quay Street – 2014.

We have accelerated 6 key projects within the programme. These were targeting completion by 2021, in time for the 36th America’s Cup, Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC), and Te Matatini, however with the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, all planned completion dates are subject to review based how quickly works are able to resume at normal productivity levels.

On completion, Auckland’s waterfront will look dramatically different.

Downtown map 2019 overview of the changes

Projects to be completed before 2021:

Note: with the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, all planned completion dates are subject to review based how quickly works are able to resume at normal productivity levels.

  • Utilities investigation: mid-2018 to December 2018 - complete
  • Utilities relocation: late 2018 to mid-2019 - complete
  • Quay Street strengthening mid-2019 to under review (under construction)
  • Quay Street enhancement: mid-2019 to under review (under construction)
  • Ferry Basin redevelopment – stage 1: mid-2019 to under review (under construction)
  • Galway Street enhancement: Late 2019 - under review (under construction)
  • Mooring dolphin: mid-2019 to late 2020 - under appeal
  • Lower Albert Street bus interchange: late 2019 - under review (under construction)
  • Downtown Public Space: early 2020 - under review (under construction).

Project details


Quay Street roadworks and disruption updates

Over the next 2 years, activities and movement along and around Quay Street and the Ferry Basin will be affected by Downtown Programme.

Quay Street Strengthening CM

Quay Street strengthening

To protect Quay Street and the utility services that run beneath it, the historical underground seawall is being seismically strengthened.

Quay Street enhancement thumbnail.png.jpg

Quay Street enhancement

Quay Street will become a revitalised waterfront place, with wider footpaths, easier navigation, new street furniture, more trees, and greater opportunity for business and events.

Bus Exchange thumbnail.png.jpg

Downtown bus interchange

A bus interchange will be created at Lower Albert Street. A second interchange is being investigated for southern and eastern services.

Ferry terminal gangways thumbnail.jpg.png

Downtown ferry basin redevelopment

Creating six new berths on the west side of Queens Wharf is the first step towards a modern, ferry terminal. The new berths enable Pier 3 to be decommissioned. Further development will occur post 2021.

Downtown public space thumbnail.jpg

Downtown public space

An exciting waterfront public space will be created in the ferry basin between Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf. Following the 36th America’s Cup, the public space will be extended further towards Queen’s Wharf.

Queens Wharf Dolphin Structure thumbnail.png.jpg

Mooring dolphin - cruise ship mooring infrastructure

A new cruise mooring structure at the end of Queens Wharf means newer and larger ships will be able to dock in central Auckland. The project is currently under appeal.

Public engagement

In November and December 2018 we asked the community for feedback on the Downtown programme with a specific focus on the impacts of construction and how these might best be mitigated.

The engagement also aimed to build understanding and awareness of the wider Downtown programme across all seven projects.

We have analysed the feedback in the report below and used it to refine our construction programme and inform how we would work with the community through the duration of the works.

Read the Transforming Downtown public feedback report (PDF 1.4MB, 35 pages).

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport