Friday, November 14, 2014

Onehunga Wharf. About time it became a hub again!

Strong support for opening wharf LAUREN PRIESTLEY Last updated 05:00 14/11/2014 WHAT NEXT: Survey results show strong public support for opening up Onehunga Wharf. Relevant offers New numbers are stacking up behind overwhelming calls to open up Auckland's Onehunga Wharf to the public. Results from an AUT University survey on the use and tourism potential of the Manukau Harbour were released on November 6. And it has revealed strong support for the wharf to become a bustling public hub. Community members have been pushing for the outcome for years. At present, the Ports of Auckland-owned wharf is closed to the public. Hopefully the results will speed up action on the ground, Manukau Harbour Restoration Society chairman Jim Jackson said. "I think it just reinforces our position that the port of Onehunga is a critical piece of infrastructure for developing the Manukau Harbour. "We're very pleased with it, it's a great start." (Finally---we may be seeing a return of 'yesteryear---Onehunga resuming its rightful place as a hub, in particular as a buzzing port, open to the public, with the addition of shops, cafes and then no doubt a burst of activity re apartments nearby. This is as it should be. There was a time, when shipping between Australia and NZ was faster if one travelled via Onehunga. Just look at the map to understand that.Of course the issue of the bar at the entrance to the harbour was always against further development and after the Orpheus went down in 1863, things were not quite the same. OK, any modern day revival will fit present day needs, but I say---bring it on! This section by Neil Coleman ) The university's New Zealand Tourism Research Institute surveyed 272 visitors to the area and 688 residents in the study. It was commissioned by the Manukau Harbour Restoration Society and funded by the Manukau Harbour Forum. Results show 77 per cent of the visitors and 87 per cent of the residents surveyed were in support of redeveloping the wharf. Suggestions for development include the introduction of cafes, bars, restaurants, a fish market, a museum, marine and harbour heritage education and a visitor centre. AUT Professor Simon Milne said the results were strongly in support of a wharf transformation. "I think that's a good indication of the benefits it will bring to the community as a public space." Ports of Auckland spokesman Matt Ball said the Onehunga port is used for commercial freight and is not currently suitable for public access. The future of the port is still undecided, he said. A proposal to operate passenger ferries from the wharf was floated by Sealink in September but Ports of Auckland was never approached about the possibility, Ball said. The organisation would be happy to consider a public ferry operation from the port, he said. "It would not be safe to allow public access at the moment and it would be irresponsible of us to do so. "In the medium term, after Holcim cement moves to the Waitemata, Onehunga port will probably have a different future. What that future will be and how the transition will be handled are yet to be determined." Go to for the full survey results. Ad Feedback