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Auckland Transport

Te Wananga (the new downtown public space) Te Wananga (the new downtown public space)

Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council will be creating an exciting waterfront public space in the ferry basin between Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf.


Project status: Construction late 2019 to February 2021
Project zone: Central


Project overview

Wahapū – Harbour

Aucklanders tell us they want to feel better connected to the harbour, and growing numbers of people in the city centre need more space to move, rest and play.

Artists impression of Te Wānanga when completed.
Caption: Artists impression of Te Wānanga when completed.

Creating an accessible and vibrant waterfront

An exciting waterfront public space will be created in the ferry basin between Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf. This space will provide a focus and connection for downtown businesses, residents, visitors and locals.

Artist’s impression of people enjoying the new public space when completed
Caption: Artist’s impression of people enjoying Te Wānanga when completed.

Te Wānanga

As part of our commitment to delivering Te Aranga Māori Design Principles (Mana Tohu Ahi Ka Mauri) as a integral part of the Downtown Programme, the new watefront public space will be known as Te Wānanga.

Te Wānanga is a space is to meet, discuss, deliberate and consider. It is a learning space focusing on events and hui including Para Kore, raranga and whakairo. It will also be a learning place for sea ecology including mussel ropes and ichthyology.

Te Wānanga blends the boundary between the city and the harbour, stitching together the elements of land and sea It will be a place for respite and relaxation, an oasis inspired by our coastal and cultural environment.

Following the 36th America’s Cup, it will be extended further towards Queens Wharf.

Downtown Public Space - night image
Caption: Artists impression of Te Wānanga when completed.

Advocacy and Environment

Te Wānanga is designed to enhance the waterfront environment by supporting coastal and marine habitats to flourish. It is a space that connects and engages people with the city and the harbour.

Textured surfaces encourage the attachment of seaweeds, barnacles and periwinkles.
Ropes of mussels and kelp gardens help create an environment where water quality could be improved and monitored.

Marine life

  • A single mussel can filter up to 350 litres of water a day.
  • Wharf piles could form seabird roosts that could attract the Black-backed and Red billed Gull and Shags.

Downtown enhancements cross section
Caption: Artists impression of a cross section of the downtown public space both above and below the tidal line.

Progress update: September 2020

Works on Te Wānanga are now half way to completion with the third concrete pour for the new deck was successfully completed in early September

Installation of temporary platforms is ongoing as part of the construction of the section of new deck.

Around 100 metres of seeded mussel lines (kūtai), weighing around 600kg were attached to pontoons in the Maritime Museum and Ferry Basin in late June 2020. They form an initial trial for the up to 40 kūtai ropes that will be attached to the underside of the elevated tidal shelf of Te Wānanga.

Te Wānanga is programmed to be complete by February 2021.


For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport