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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 mid-2021, Auckland Transport will carry out 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 - last updated 25 November 2021
Project zone: Central 


Project overview

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

Our plans for Downtown Auckland have evolved over time. Various stages of public consultation have influenced their direction, focus, and design: 

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

There are 6 key projects in this programme. We originally planned to complete them by December 2020, in time for the 36th America’s Cup. However, we had to delay them due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, and technical challenges facing the Quay Street strengthening (jet grout piling) works. We completed the programme in July 2021.

Downtown project work map.

Completed projects:

  • Utility relocation: late 2018 to mid-2019 
  • Galway Street enhancement: late 2019 to November 2020 
  • Lower Albert Street bus interchange: late 2019 – December 2020 
  • Quay Street strengthening mid-2019 to December 2020 
    • Queens Wharf to Marsden Wharf (Palisade wall) 
    • Princes Wharf (jet grouting) 
    • Ferry Basin (seawall anchoring) 
    • Ferry Building (seawall anchoring) 
  • Te Wānanga (the downtown public space): Open to public July 2021.
  • Ferry Basin redevelopment – Stage 1: Ferry services open to the public July 2021.
  • Quay Street enhancement: mid-2019 - June 2021


Project details

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

Te Wananga (the new 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

The Auckland Council Group has stopped work on the Queen’s Wharf Mooring dolphin project due to the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the cruise industry and the council’s finances. There will be no further work on the project as part of the Downtown Programme.


Public engagement

In November and December 2018, we asked the community for feedback on the Downtown programme. We focused on how we could reduce any disruptions caused by construction.

We also wanted to help people learn more about all 7 projects on the wider Downtown programme.

We analysed your feedback in the report below. We've used it to refine our construction programme and think about how we'll work with the community while these works take place.

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


For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport