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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 early 2020 – March 2021, open to public June 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: December 2020

  • The final concrete pours for the new deck have been successfully completed and all planter boxes are now installed
  • Over the coming months, work will focus on locating custom designed seating areas for relaxation and placing balustrades around the apertures for safety
  • The ‘floating’ platform that is Te Wānanga is supported on 49 piles, extends 36 metres over the Waitematā Harbour and spans 73 metres in width
  • The seashell embedded concrete floor evokes a coastal space which is enhanced with ‘tidal pool’ apertures letting light into the depths below and mature pōhutukawa which will be relocated into six steel planters.​

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport