Sunday, May 17, 2009

Queen City - Auckland

Yet another campaign to tart up Auckland.

More Auckland foolishness, an expensive rebranding to the Big little city - Sounds like someplace in Texas.

They will run an expensive campaign , pay a lot of cash to the hucksters but won't actually change the reality.

Ancient Dan campaigned 20 years ago to have the area from the Gladstone Road Bridge to the Viaduct declared a development area, to put Quay Street underground, remove the red fences from Kings wharf toPrinces wharf and open the city up to the sea, with the casino at the old railway station.

What Auckland got was a casino where the Bus depot should have been, and a bunch of restaurants around the sump at the viaduct.

So the public got the use of the worst section of the waterfront, a tiny corner on the left hand side.

Wellington did just run a campaign.It changed the waterfront into an interesting place.

It spread poetry along the wharves.

Stuck little eateries and pubs there, built museums and entertainment centres.

It is a pleasure to go there.

(And when they put the roof on Wellington it will be just peachey).

Auckland blessed with better weather and a wonderful harbour has for forty years kept the public away from their waterfront with those victorian red iron railings.

Like a finger up the city's nose the port company parks used import cars right smack dab in the prime waterfront area.

Vancouver, San Francisco, hell every port city in the world used the opportuniy of the change to container shipping to reclaim the waterfront for recreation and leisure. Not Auckland

An advertising campaign won’t do it.

You actually have to change the physical reality.

The problem has been that Auckland's local body politics are steeped in childishness.

Getting the City, the region, the port company to agree open the waterfront up is near impossible.

What they will do is try and turn that industrial tank farm miles away into a real estate rake off.

The one city structural changes will not do it.

Until the Auckland political culture changes or a leader like Robbie arrives progress is unlikely.

Another tartup campaign putting make-up on the old whore will not work.


  1. The ecomomic recession has stopped the grandious tank farm developement dead in its tracks. Whats required now is some visionary leadership to recognise this reality and initiate the moving of the commercial port to the tank farm, freeing up all the valuable port land to create a sence of place and living spaces that the community will get excited about. Some civic leadership will be required to achieve this. few of the encombants display any vision leta alone leadship. Rollo

  2. Hey Dan, this is quite interesting.

    What do you mean you campaigned 20 years ago to get the eastern side of the CBD declared a port area? Were you a candidate in an election, or did you belong to a lobby group?