The New New Lynn Vision


One of the key side-effects of the CBD rail loop will be to rejuvenate the sad looking under-populated and developed parts of the CBD like Symonds St and Hopetoun Sts.

As always, Bob Harvey seemed to be out the gate first before anyone else was thinking about it and a plan to improve New Lynn now that it has a major transport hub in the town shows us just how the CBD rail loop could revive those CBD areas along the same lines.

When Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey enthusiastically drove the development of the New Lynn transport hob, he envisaged it not just being a catalyst for more public transport use in his eco-city but the hub itself helping transform a rather tired looking city centre.

At today’s Auckland Council Future Vision committee meeting, we got to see that vision for New Lynn described as “to create a unique sustainable urban place centred on a world class transit interchange by 2030.”

The revitalised New Lynn would accommodate 20,000 residents and 14,000 employees by 2030.

New Lynn was described as an existing sub-regional centre poised for redevelopment with infrastructure delivery well progressed, plan changes near completion, an integrated public transport interchange now complete and public realm upgrades underway.

The three main precincts and work streams proposed for New Lynn are The Mall (a bigger re-developed Lynn Mall), and projects called the Merchant Quarter and Crown Lynn.

A report to the committee meeting detailed what is in the plan:

The Mall: Kiwi Income Property recently purchased Lynn Mall and a large-scale redevelopment is anticipated to respond to the expected growth in the adjoining Crown Lynn area.  A dialogue has been established with Kiwi Income to ensure council is able to influence and respond to the objectives of the new owner.

Merchant Quarter:

The proposed Merchant Quarter

An urban regeneration opportunity adjacent to the rail station, with council control over a number of land holdings.  There is a Joint Development Agreement igned between council and Infratil.  A number of Public Works Act land acquisitions are underway, with appeals to be managed.

Development blocks to include a medical centre, a public car park, retail and a cinema .  Auckland Transport is also undertaking significant roading and streetscape upgrades around the Merchant Quarter, with works programmed to end late 2012. These were detailed on AKT the other day with this updated image of how Clark St will look.

Latest impression of Clark St

Crown Lynn:

Proposed Crown Lynn mixed use neighbourhood

Envisaged as a residential-led mixed-use neighbourhood.  Expected to provide around 2,000 residential units.  It is described as a brown fields master plan adjacent to the rail station.  There are multiple owners within this site and several Plan Change appeals.  PWA land acquisitions are required for roads and reserves.  Infrastructure funding agreements and memorandums of understanding need to be advanced with these owners.

Budgets have been divided up between Transport, City Transformation, Parks, Property and Communications.

New Lynn urban regeneration $17.1m

New Lynn land acquisition $2.7m

Storm water – Crown Lynn $3.5m

Recreation centre $7.1m

Parks – Crown Lynn $6.8m

Transport – Crown Lynn $9.5m

Transit Oriented Development $81.1m ($9m already spent)

Total: $127.8m

New Lynn’s $36m bus and train hub brought buses and trains together in the one place in the city square and is probably the best example of how such an interchange can work in Auckland. We will see one like it in Manukau when that rail development is finally finished and a bus interchange completed alongside it.

New Lynn buses leave outside the train station


And it’s only two years ago -New Lynn’s train station and separate bus depot looked like this!

New Lynn bus depot

How we caught trains in New Lynn 2 years ago

Talking of transport hubs, here is one of my ongoing pet peeves:

We don’t have a transport hub in the CBD.

I originally thought Britomart was going to be it and you would come out of the train station and be able to grab a bus. And that was why that area was closed off to just buses.

RWC 2011 visitors will have fun finding out how to catch buses if they make that assumption.

A Sandringham Rd bus that goes to Eden Park - if they want to have a look on a non-match day-  leaves from nowhere near Britomart but Victoria St near the car parking building.

Or they could walk to the other Victoria St and catch a Mt Albert-West bus which stops at Kingsland.

That’s a 10 or so minute walk up Queen St from Britomart.

We need one city CBD bus terminal alongside the train station and the ferry terminal.

If we close off Queen St to just buses, then there is no excuse for buses going to places like Sandringham and Henderson needing to go mid-town to save time.

Impractical? Too logical?




  1. Matt L says:

    New Lynn will be pretty good once a bit more commercial development takes place, it is also pretty well located as once we get the CBD tunnel it will only be about a 20 min train ride to the centre of town.

    I also agree about the buses around Britomart and is something I get quite annoyed about. Bus stops are spread across a wide area and it is pretty confusing to work out where to go. I also find it really annoying that when you leave the train station there is often buses blocking all exits (Galway St and Tyler St). I think they should have retained a bus terminal behind the railway station to make it an easy interchange.

  2. Andu says:

    Gosh it’s nice to see some of these plans for AKL. I just hope they come to be reality and revitalise the area in the way they are meant to. Wonderful to see New Lynn Transport hub looking good and working well.
    Britomart bus ‘transport centre’ needs to be given a huge rethink. Certainly much of Queen st should be buses only

  3. Patrick R says:

    The New New Lynn is looking very promising, great. Look forward to seeing it develop. And given time something similar down the line at Mt Albert…. these TODs will really work compared to distant bland sprawl suburbs with no employment or town centre on flattened farms out in the North Waikato…..What Joyce and Hide are determined to make us have.

    But I have to disagree with you on the need for a bus station, why does anyone need a bus from Britomart to Eden Park?, that’s what the train is for. Nothing much more depressing than an inner city bus terminus, remember we had one. The advantage of buses is flexibility; that they can use the existing widespread road network. Run them through the centre of town and stable them on the edge, where the land is cheaper and where they are needed again for the morning commute. As in London. But the plan must be to replace those city runs with street liberating rail, served by feeder buses, not long slow bus routes.
    Meantime there are advantages in spreading the city bus stops so whole areas are not swamped by an overkill of buses. They aren’t a great mix with pedestrians.

    Granted that makes the need for good planing and clear communication and crisp graphics greater, but that is needed anyhow.

    New Lynn is so going to be reborn, especially once the CBDRL is running. Good planing, positive transport decisions, and proactive developmnent can transform ordinary peoples’ lives. And the quality of whole neighbourhoods and the success of the city.

  4. Patrick R says:

    Important to mention: this is an example of doing things, finally, in the right order, get the transit sorted and at least make sure the planing isn’t fighting it and the intensity will follow. How not to do it: South east Auckland, not even an RTN corridor.

  5. Matt L says:

    Just reading some of the information on this and realised that the purple section on the tall building is meant to be car parking. Of all places why a car parking building there?

  6. Patrick R says:

    !#*?!…. Kiwi income still obviously believes only cars shop.

  7. Patrick R says:

    Well Matt let’s hope the stud isn’t too low in the car park it can always be repurposed into other uses when the oil price really bites….

  8. Neil says:

    Reinstating the cinemas in New Lynn would be a good idea, with a transport hub so close it just makes sense. The Redpaths branch occupying the old Village cinemas site now is very tatty…

  9. Andrew says:

    @Patrick R: I think you’re blaming the wrong company there. I believe it’s Infratil, not KIPT that is planning on building on the old bus station site you see there. Indeed, KIPT even advertise Sylvia Park as having “a full bus and rail service” and if you look at their website at, there’s a photo of a train right on their front page. I believe it was them which trialled Lynnmall’s “free delivery on presentation of your bus or train ticket” service last Christmas.

  10. Andrew says:

    On the CBD, here’s an idea:
    Westfield want to redevelop the Downtown mall soon. What if a bus terminal were to be built underneath the mall? So you’d have the CBD tunnel underground, a bus terminal at surface level, then the mall above.

    Bus terminal entry and exit would be Lower Albert St and/or Customs St and/or Queen St.

    We may lose QE2 Square but there’s not much of it left anyway, or alternatively you could have an elevated square at mall level above the bus terminal, sort-of like Melbourne’s Federation Square.

  11. Jon C says:

    Very PT- friendly company that did do the nice Christmas delivery scheme

  12. Mark says:

    re the CBD terminus - You can’t hold/ queue buses in the cbd streets around britomart. What is needed is a CBD connector service that circulates around the CBD. There was talk of the double “D” looop east and west - so University was covered.

    That then allows it to connect to proper terminals at say Aotea sq (behind Bledisloe). The CBD office drift is to the waterfront and east - so a lot of people are within walking distance of Britomart - thos ethat aren’t need a simple connector around CBD - maybe even tram as per Wynyard.

    But while people talk about North Shore bus capacity - the real bottle neck is bus congestion in the CBD and how to manage parked buses.

    Also when looking at New Lynn - rememebr Mt Albert has similar potential on a smaller scale, re a good rail interchange/bus hub and commercial/residential development. It also has the advantage of good schools - one of the key drivers for many people in where they locate.

  13. Luke says:

    in the CBD buses can be parked in the ‘dead zones’ along Nelson and Hobson, Wellesley, Victoria and Pitt St. There are also a few grassy areas between Grafton Rd and SH16 that could be turned into bus parking areas.
    This would allow buses to pass through Britomart, but not start/stop their journeys there.
    Also at peak times there should be no timing points in the CBD, so as soon as a bus arrives, it loads up and leaves asap.

  14. Patrick R says:

    Andrew, thanks for that Infratil info…. perhaps they should get into a little joined up thinking, car parks generate car tips, Infratil owns NZ Bus, why build carparking buildings next to a transport hub?

    But absolutely hate to see any underground bus terminus in the CBD, see above, run the buses through the city but don’t park them there. Anyway we need to run a couple of tunnels through that space in a mo….

  15. Patrick R says:

    And apologies to Kiwi Income… I like the delivery scheme at New Lynn… I do wish they had integrated the train station at Sylvia Park better though… They could have got more capture, not left it out the back across the car parks…. Just a thought for next time….

  16. Amanda R says:

    Great to see some joined up thinking going on in New Lynn, and yes it needs to be done at Mt Albert and Avondale as well - Avondale station is slightly out of the centre but there’s plenty of potential for intensity around the station and making good connections to the existing retail strip - and improving the lot. These small centres all more or less work with the trains because unlike the rest of Auckland the west did originally grow around the railway - just reverting to some of the early infrastructure patterns might be interesting.


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