Recommended Sponsor - Buy Original Artwork Directly from the Artist

Source: Auckland Council

In a recently published update, the Auckland Council group continues to deliver positive momentum across the Midtown Regeneration Programme while building smarter across agencies.  

Work hours are being extended on-site in Victoria Street until the end of December in order to achieve the re-opening of Victoria Street for some traffic movement by the end of 2023, a key milestone in getting the city centre ready for the completion of the City Rail Link (CRL).

Work to expand the city centre’s critical wastewater infrastructure is set to begin early next year, carefully coordinated with street improvements. The new infrastructure will ensure more resilience on the network while enabling growth and capacity for the city’s future development.

“Our city centre is crucial to the success of the whole region, so we need to ensure it’s working well and efficiently, as quickly as possible, while also reducing impacts on businesses wherever we can,” says Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson.

“The city centre generates a fifth of Auckland’s GDP. As it gets more attractive to business owners and investors, with better connections to the rest of Auckland, then its value – and the benefits it brings the whole city – will keep growing,” she says.

In summary, the midtown programme looking ahead:

  • Significant Watercare works in 2024, at the intersections of Queen Street with Wellesley Street, Victoria Street and Mayoral Drive, have been incorporated into the programme, ensuring underground services are completed ahead of streetscape upgrades. Underground works will build capacity for future residential and commercial growth, further safeguard the health of the Waitematā Harbour, while also aiming to reduce disruption at street level in the long run.

  • After encountering some unexpected complexity underground in Zone 1 (Victoria Street West) which slowed progress, construction of Te Hā Noa on Victoria Street is extending work hours to catch up and enable the anticipated opening of the Victoria/Albert Street intersection by the end of the year as planned. Also in December, CRL will open the Victoria/Albert Street intersection to one lane east-bound and one lane south-bound along Albert Street, through to Wellesley Street. By the end of December, Victoria Street will open to east-west traffic – from Federal Street to Kitchener Street – with one lane in each direction, reflecting the street layout of Te Hā Noa when it is complete. Further detail in editors’ notes.

Auckland Council Director of Infrastructure and Environmental Services Barry Potter says Aucklanders expect us to be nimble and build smarter.

“The works happening in the city centre are vast and complex – including the City Rail Link, streetscape work, transport network upgrades, and attention to longer-term environmental resilience and future-proofing underground services.

“There is strong commitment across the council group, and with other partners such as Vector, to ensure we’re scheduling our works so that we’re reducing disruption wherever possible.

“The midtown area is changing week by week. You can see Victoria Street taking shape, and you already get a sense of how seamless the area is becoming as we prepare it for the opening of Te Waihorotiu Station,” says Mr Potter.

Te Hā Noa

Related projects in the midtown programme include:

  • The upgrade of Federal Street, from Mayoral Drive to Wellesley Street, now completed with a tree-lined and community-focused shared space

  • the upgrade of Queen Street from Mayoral Drive to Shortland Street, completed last year, with the final phase to Custom Street set for completion next month

  • the upgrade of the Myers Park northern end and underpass, set to be opened by the end of the year, with boardwalk, new native trees, wetland garden, flood mitigation elements and a new stairway to Queen Street

  • the Te Hā Noa project on Victoria Street which started in April this year; once completed will create a thriving environment while welcoming thousands at the new Te Waihorotiu Station when it opens

  • plans to deliver a place-based programme in High St that will prioritise people and enhance the unique heritage and history of the area, are underway.

  • significantly improved options for people taking the bus, walking, using micro-mobility and cycling on Wellesley Street, along with improvements to streetscape and the surrounding environment.

This momentum of change in midtown, and throughout the city centre, is supported by Auckland Council’s investment of the city centre targeted rate (CCTR). Read the CCTR 2022 / 23 report here

For a map of the Midtown Regeneration Programme, please click here

Source of economic data: Infometrics Regional Economic Profile, Auckland City Centre

Background Notes

Construction hours on Victoria Street until end of December

  • Construction working hours on Victoria Street West have been extended from Friday, 13 October. The new hours mean that crews will be working seven days, and later into the evenings Monday to Saturday, until the end of this year.

  • More workers will be on-site, working in two shifts until 11pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 7pm on Sundays.

  • Works will include completing underground ducting, preparing the roadway on the northern side and continuing work on the northern footpath.

  • Good progress is being made in Zone 1 (near The President Hotel, Countdown and Mecca). However over the last few months, construction crews have encountered some unexpected complexity underground. That has meant the team has needed to accelerate construction in order to re-open the Albert/Victoria Street intersection to vehicles, by the end of this year, as planned.

  • The Auckland Council project team acknowledges that early starts and working late into the evening may impact people who live and work nearby. To help with this, crews will aim to do the noisiest activities during daylight hours and finish construction activity by 10:30pm each day. The last half hour will be used to tidy up the site and make it safe to leave overnight.

  • Auckland Council development response team members have visited all neighbouring ground-floor businesses to let them know about these changes. A staff member is dedicated to the management of any issues that arise for people who are impacted in the neighbourhood.

City centre’s economic scorecard

  • Auckland’s city centre is New Zealand’s highest performing 4.3 square kilometres, with data showing growth in employment and GDP within the city centre boundary is tracking faster than New Zealand as a whole.

  • Infometrics Regional Economic Profile, Auckland City Centre, measured GDP in the city centre at $26,686 million in the year to March 2022, up 8.2% from a year earlier. New Zealand’s GDP increased by 5.3% over the same period.

  • It cited employment in the city centre tracking up 6.6% in the year to March 2022 compared with New Zealand’s equivalent increase in employment of 3.0% over the same period.

  • The Infometrics report also averaged economic growth in the city centre at 4.4%pa over the last 10 years compared with 3.0%pa in the national economy across the same decade.

More on midtown regeneration

  • Read about the investment the Auckland Council group is making to spearhead the midtown regeneration here, and about the design symbiosis of Wellesley and Victoria Streets here.