Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Otara interchange Otara interchange

The Otara interchange project is a great example of development that has actively sought community engagement to provide a high-quality urban space that reflects and responds to the values and needs of users and the community's unique heritage.


Project overview


Otara interchange

The primary aim of the project was upgrade of the Otara Bus Interchange shelters and adjoining public toilets, both of which had been misused and vandalised. 

Aspirations for the project included cultivating a safer community space which would provide a boost for the local economy. Additionally, planners sought to connect with local people through promoting a sense of identity, particularly for the many young residents who use the bus interchange. 

A high level of community buy-in was seen as crucial for delivering a quality urban space that is both used and respected by the community. This was achieved through a range of mediums including an open day, letter drops and meetings with the Community Local Board and local business groups. 

The end result is a public space that provides both an effective transport solution and an improved urban environment. The final product features designs and motifs that reflect the unique Pacific Island and Maori heritage of the local community.

The project was considered for the award for Excellence in Community Engagement at the 2012 New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards.


Background

Auckland Transport commissioned Opus to provide full design services for this public transport infrastructure upgrade and streetscape improvement to the Otara town centre interchange. The scheme was based on the concept design report presented to the previous Manukau City Council in 2010. 

The preliminary site investigation highlighted that the potential for improvements to the area was considerable. The project team considered an integral design approach to public transport infrastructure improvements and localised streetscaping and connectivity issues to the bus interchange from the neighbouring Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and Otara mall.

There were issues that required design intervention to improve the safety and amenity of pedestrians in the area.

Otara interchange upgrade complete

Other matters included a shortfall in shade and shelter in the bus area, a derelict and graffiti-prone environment around the toilet block and dense foliage creating hiding places and diminished sightlines. A lack of a coordinated design effort had resulted in disjointed spaces.

The project has now been imbued with an urban design “place-based” approach, under direction from an active local community board. 

The design of the new interchange builds on the rich cultural diversity and strong sense of community in the area and will now be supported by various communal activities such as the weekend market, performances and artworks in the Mall and will provide an attractive, safe and coherent public space. 

Central to the interchange upgrade is the new plaza connects the different spaces created by transforming the underutilised road reserve and the site now includes upgraded bus shelters and public toilets, sculptural seating platforms and a kids’ play/art area in a landscaped setting. 

The plaza will be an important new addition for this vibrant community, combining diverse activities typical of the area with new leisure spaces and paths, creating opportunities for a diverse range of communal activities. 

The interchange design incorporates an oversized shelter to accommodate additional numbers of seating and improve the visibility and clarity of the pedestrian movements. Integral to the development is the community artwork, developed by the local artist Filipe Tohi in collaboration with Michelle Ardern. This will help achieve a unique identity for the Otara interchange and contribute to the character of the area. 

The resurfacing of the area uses an abstract wave theme, which is an extension and continuation of the surrounding streetscape. Large triangular seats located under the trees are another highlight of the plaza concept. They aim to recreate the traditional gathering points of the Pacific community and double as amphitheatre seating for informal meetings and community gatherings. 

The existing taxi stand and clock tower were refurbished in their current location to define the eastern edge of the plaza. The new taxi stand incorporates basalt stone from original structure and the canopy design relates to the bus shelter. The design bridges the old and the new to continue the legacy of this space. The existing ‘Otara’ sign was made more visible and welcoming by integrating its current location within the plaza edge landscaping.


Community and partnerships

Maori blessing of the opening of the Otara interchange after improvements done

The project was first identified by Manukau City Council and responsibility transferred to the new Auckland Council and Auckland Transport when the local government changes occurred in November 2010. The work was co-funded with Auckland Transport responsible for the bus shelter and the taxi stand upgrade and Auckland Council for the plaza portion and the toilet block.

The project was then progressed as a joint venture project with Auckland Transport being responsible for the physical delivery of the project. After the local government amalgamation and Auckland Transport formation this project was a unique and successful example of collaborative and joint venture delivery model for such projects. 

Understanding the community's needs

The project had its origins in Manukau City Council’s Otara Neighbourhood Accessibility Plan (NAP) which began in 2009. A key part of that study was to identify stakeholders and interested groups inside and outside of Council to develop strong understanding of the issues faced by pedestrian and cyclists in the local community.

As part of the NAP study the Otara Bus Interchange and surrounding area were identified as being in very poor condition and uneconomical to repair. Antisocial behaviour by a minority of the community had led to overall decline in the quality of the space through vandalism and graffiti.

Consequently, rather than focus narrowly on the bus interchange island and shelters, as would be expected of a traditional renewal project, the decision was made to extend the study area to include the public space to the east of the island linking to the main entrance to Otara Mall.

The preliminary site investigation highlighted that the potential for improvements to the area was considerable. These would be achieved with an integrated design approach to improving the public transport infrastructure, localised streetscaping and addressing issues with how the bus interchange connected to the neighbouring Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and Otara mall.

Problems needing to be solved included the under provision of shade and shelter, the existence of multiple pedestrian routes from the east, increasing traffic conflict situations.

A high pool fence, defining the interchange area created a sense of disconnection for people using the area. Dense foliage in the vicinity provided hiding places and diminished sightlines, which made the pedestrian routes less safe for people entering and leaving the area.

Central to the interchange upgrade is the plaza that will encompass the diverse range of pedestrian movements and extends the interchange area to link with the Otara mall. the pedestrian areas.

Delivery of the above project gives effect to the aspirations of the Otara Community Advocacy Plan 2008-2010, within which the local community board set goals to:

  • Cultivate a safe community.
  • Provide for youth.
  • Educate.
  • Boost economy.
  • Promote health and well-being.
  • Connect and promote a sense of identity.

Building relationships

A high level of community buy-in was seen as crucial for delivering a quality urban space that is both used and respected by the community.

To achieve this aspiration a range of engagement techniques were used including:

  • Providing Maori and Pacific Wardens regular updates on project.
  • Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) whose students make up a majority of bus interchange users regularly updated via MIT Property Manager.
  • Businesses and residents in the surrounding catchment were contacted and informed of the project and this included use of Korean, Catonese, Mandarin and Indian language interpreters to ensure equitable coverage of community.
  • Promotional materials including posters and leaflets displayed and distributed to local businesses, community facilities MIT and Flea Market vendors. 
  • Project representatives met with the Otara Community Board several times over the project life to discuss the design. 

Various components of the design have focused on echoing local themes to encourage community “buy in” to the project.

The project team worked with the Otara Fresh Gallery exploring opportunities as to how public art could be integrated into the scheme. The end result was collaboration with renowned Tongan artist, Felipe Tohi, who has created art that reflects the Pacific peoples of Otara and the history and sensitivities of the area.

One such example is the site of the fatal stabbing of a young man being marked with a piece of art representing a cross glazed into the surface treatment.

The colour selection, pattern selection and material selection have generally been influenced by local issues. While the overall layout is aesthetically pleasing, the underlying materials are also robust to ensure durability.


Need more information?

Contact Auckland Transport

 

If you are experiencing family violence, don't worry, the information within this pop-up won't appear in your browser's history.

enter
Privacy policy

We’ve made asking for help safer than ever.

Join us in standing up against domestic violence and making more places of refuge across the internet.

If you, your business or your agency want to have The Shielded Site tab on your site we’ve made adding it very easy.

Click here to find out more. (WARNING: this will take you away from our shielded portal.)

NEED MORE ANSWERS

If you are living in fear in your relationship or in your family, there are so many ways we can help you right now. You won’t be turned away even if you don’t have children, a NZ visa, or money. If you still have more questions have a read below and contact us when you’re ready.

I’m ready to talk now.

You can call our 24-hour support and crisis line on 0800 REFUGE (733843). Or, if you prefer, you can click here and contact us discretely through our contact form and we will email you back as soon as possible.

What will I do for money?

There are a number of benefits and allowances you may be eligible for if you are a victim of domestic violence in New Zealand. We can help you better understand your options once you make contact.

I haven’t been beaten up, can Women’s Refuge still help me?

We support women who have experienced any form of domestic violence: verbal, psychological/emotional, sexual, and financial as well as physical. In fact, psychological/emotional abuse is the most common form of domestic violence.

How much does it cost to stay?

Women's Refuge support and advocacy services are free. In the safe house, rent is usually charged once your financial situation is sorted out. Safety is our main concern. You won't be turned away if you don't have any money.

How long can I stay in a safe house?

Some women only stay a night or two, while others stay for weeks. You can talk with the advocates at your local refuge about how long you think you need to stay to ensure your safety.

I don’t live with my partner, but he is abusing me. Can you still help me?

Yes, you don’t have to be living with your partner to experience domestic violence and you can still call us.

What happens if I haven't got any clothes or food?

Women's Refuge has clothing that you can have. We’ve also got toys and books, formula and nappies. You are welcome to use our emergency food until you get your financial situation sorted out.

Will other people be there?

Safe houses usually have other women, including women with their children, staying there. Refuge advocates are around during the day.

How will I get my kids to school?

The advocates at your local refuge will help you work out transport for your children, or help with changing schools.

Can Women's Refuge help me if I stay in my own house?

Yes, we can provide all the same support and advocacy for you no matter where you choose to live. You may be eligible to access support through the Whanau Protect service.

I'm living in a rural area. Can you still help me?

Yes. Find your local refuge and they will be able to arrange support, advocacy and transport for you.

Can Women's Refuge help around issues with children?

Yes. We can provide support and advocacy around matters to do with custody, access and care.

BEING SAFE ONLINE

The safest way to browse the internet if you suspect your browsing history is being monitored, is to use your browser’s private or incognito mode.

If you suspect your device has been compromised by spyware, then you should use consider using another device as some spyware may still be able to monitor icognito sessions.

To activate a private browsing session, follow the instructions below.

Safari

Open Safari > go to the File menu > select New Private Window

When finished, don’t forget to close your browser window to ensure your safety and privacy.

Chrome

Open Chrome > go to the triple-dot menu (top right of your browser's window) > select New Incognito Window

Internet Explorer

Open IE > click the Tools button > select Safety > and then click InPrivate Browsing

Mozilla Firefox

Open Firefox > click the menu button ☰ > and then click New Private Window

You should see a message in the new window saying that you are now browsing privately.

When finished, don’t forget to close your browser window to ensure your safety and privacy.

Getting out

The most important thing is for you and your children to get out safely. It is important to know that leaving a violent relationship can be one of the most dangerous times for women and children so it is important to make a safety plan around leaving and keep your plans confidential. Below are some tips to help you make a plan.

  • If you can, pack a bag with bare necessities and important documents that you can leave with someone you trust. Include important documents such as passport, birth certificate, bank account details, driver’s licence, and bank cards and other things like medicines.

  • Know abuser's schedule and safe times to leave.

  • Contact us for guidance or a safe place to stay for you and your children.

Getting help

We warmly welcome all women and their children to access our support, advocacy and crisis accommodation. If you need help or have questions, use our live chat to get in touch.

making a plan

The safety of you and your children (if you have them) will be your primary concern. If you’re not ready or cannot safely leave, here are some things you can do to stay safe now.

  • Make a safety plan with the guidance of a refuge advocate.

  • Get yourself a pre-paid phone; keep it charged and safe.

  • Keep photocopies of important documents (passport, birth certificate, bank account details, medical notes, driver's licence, etc) and store these at the home of a supportive friend or family member.

  • Keep a journal of all violent incidents, noting dates and events.

  • If you can, open your own bank account and try to save some money.

  • If you have pets you are worried about, consider them in your safety plan.

Privacy Policy – The Shielded Site Application.

General

In this privacy policy, the terms ‘NCIWR’, ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ refer to National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges Inc. NCIWR operates this web application at https://d3f5l8ze0o4j2m.cloudfront.net (‘this web application’).

This privacy policy explains how we may collect, store, use, and disclose personal information that we collect and that you provide to us. By using this web application you acknowledge that we may collect, store, use, and disclose your personal information in the manner set out in this privacy policy.

Collection of personal information

We may collect personal information from you when you use this web application, for example when you make a request for contact on this web application.

You may decide not to provide your personal information to us. However, if you do not provide it, we may not be able to provide you with access to certain information or services. For example, we may be unable to make contact with you if you do not provide us with your contact information.

Automated collection of non-personal information

When you visit this web application, we will not add traceable elements (such as cookies, sessions, and usage monitoring software) to your browser or device.

Use and disclosure

We will not use or disclose your personal information except in accordance with this privacy policy or the Privacy Act 1993. We may use your personal information to:

  • assist in providing information and services requested by you;

  • communicate with you

Your personal information will only be made available internally for the above purposes. We will not disclose your personal information to third parties. We will only use or disclose personal information that you have provided to us, or which we have obtained about you:

  • for the above-mentioned purposes;

  • if you have otherwise authorised us to do so;

  • if we have given you notification of the intended use or disclosure and you have not objected to that use or disclosure;

  • if we believe that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to assist a law enforcement agency or an agency responsible for national security in the performance of their functions;

  • if we believe that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to enforce any legal rights we may have, or is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property and safety of us, our customers and users, or others;

  • if we are required or permitted by law to disclose the information; or

  • to another entity that carries on the business of operating this web application.

Storage and security

All personal information collected on this web application is collected and held by NCIWR. We will endeavour to protect your personal information that is held by us from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

Third party service providers

This website may be hosted by one or more third party service providers (‘service providers’) who enable us to provide this web application. You acknowledge and agree that any personal information that may be collected on this web application may also be held and used by our service providers on our behalf. Any information collected will be securely sent and securely stored on a server.

Third party websites

This web application may be hosted by websites operated by third parties. We are not responsible for the content of such websites, or the manner in which those websites collect, store, use, or distribute any personal information you provide. When you visit third party websites from hyperlinks displayed on this web application, we encourage you to review the privacy statements of those websites so that you can understand how the personal information you provide may be collected, stored, used, and distributed.

Right to access and correct

You may request access to, or correction of, any personal information we hold about you by contacting us as follows:

Email:info@refuge.org.nz
Post:Privacy Officer
NCIWR
PO Box 27-078
Marion Square
Wellington 6141

To ensure that the contact information we hold about you is accurate and current, please notify us of any changes to such information as soon as possible.

Contacting NCIWR

Any emergency relating to domestic violence should be directed to 111 for New Zealand Police assistance.

If you request assistance through this website, we will endeavour to respond as soon as we can. If you require advocacy services phone 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 to talk to a refuge in your area within New Zealand. All member refuges of NCIWR are listed on our main website (www.womensrefuge.org.nz). If you do visit the Women’s Refuge Website, please note that it is a traceable site so we recommend you use the online safety tips found on this web application to visit www.womensrefuge.org.nz safely.

Advocacy services are available at member refuges. Your call and information will be treated in confidence and privacy.

Changes to our privacy policy

We reserve the right, at our discretion, to alter this privacy policy at any time. Changes to this privacy policy will take effect immediately once they are published on this web application. Please check this privacy policy regularly for modifications and updates. If you continue to use this web application or if you provide any personal information after we post changes to this privacy policy, this will indicate your acceptance of any such changes.

This privacy policy was last updated on 6 October 2015.

If You’re In
Immediate danger
CALL 111 IMMEDIATELY

If you fear for your safety:

  1. Run outside and head for where there are other people.
  2. Ask someone to call 111
  3. If you have children take them with you if you can
  4. Don't stop to get anything else
Close