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Submission to the Freyberg Place Pedestrian Mall Proposal

Thursday 28 Jun 2018

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on the proposed Pedestrian Mall for Freyberg Place. We reserve our position on what is proposed, pending consultation feedback from business submitters and the response to our questions outlined below. 

It is our understanding that there is a ‘31 days in the year’ limitation for any one road to be closed as stipulated by the Local Government Act.  Given this, we recognise the need for Freyberg Place to be re-designated in order to deliver on the commitment to go from mostly open to mostly closed in a staged approach over time.  This was an agreement made with Auckland Council to address access concerns raised at that time by businesses in the district, which was endorsed by the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board in December 2015 and which is attached to this submission. 

However, we are not yet convinced that the re-designation of the road to a Pedestrian Mall is the most favourable way to deliver the best overall outcome for this important public space and trading area.

We understand that Auckland Council has undertaken an assessment of the benefits of road stopping for the space and ask that further information be made available by Auckland Transport on how the Pedestrian Mall option has been arrived at, and why a road stopping option has been discounted.

Whilst we have not seen any detailed evaluation of both options, it is our understanding that road stopping, if it was to be invested as a public reserve, may offer an additional benefit of only having one entity, Auckland Council, responsible for its overall management. We see this as a benefit over the current situation, which sees both Auckland Transport and Auckland Council having direct interests and control of the space.

It is our understanding, that both a Pedestrian Mall or a road stopping process (with the square vested as Local Purpose Reserve under S23 of the Reserves Act 1977), would continue to allow for necessary access. This would include emergency vehicle access as well as authorised vehicles - which is important given the narrow nature of High Street and the significant amounts of construction occurring in the city, which may require access in all sorts of places – including within the High Street District.  

Whilst further clarification is sought on the best option for how to designate the space in the long term, we request that in order to better deliver on the commitment to go from mostly open to mostly closed, a management plan is developed and put in place, with agreement from relevant parties. This is needed to give greater clarity on how the square should function for events, including describing when access should be restricted to ensure a safe and positive experience, whilst also taking into consideration access requirements for the wider district.

Yours sincerely


Viv Beck, Chief Executive
Heart of the City

Attachment One: Auckland City Centre Advisory Board, Minutes, December 2015