Auckland Council – Community Facilities in partnership with the Orakei Local Board approached AR & Associates to undertake the concept through to detailed design and planning services for the Hobson Bay Kayak Access Structure. The project was part of the wider Shore Road Masterplan and the Thomas Bloodworth Park Masterplan, both developed through community consultation with Auckland Council.
Due to the sensitive nature of the receiving environment, ARAL were faced with creating a low-impact solution that provided for the needs of local residents and water activity enthusiasts. The site was historically used as a landfill, which was clearly evident due to the significant debris and rubbish within the stream. ARAL were tasked with liaising with various specialists including arborists, contaminated land specialists and ecologists for the preparation of the resource consent application.
Under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, Thomas Bloodworth Park was identified as a Site of Significance to Mana Whenua. Consultation between the clients and iwi was required to incorporate various cultural aspects into the final design of the structure. Iwi were given the opportunity to provide input in the finished detail of the structure including interpretive signage and balustrades following the construction of the structure.
From a planning perspective, the nature of the proposal coupled with the complexity of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan added a level of intricacy to the resource consent application stage. Overall, there were fifteen reasons for consent across four plans, both regional and district. Resource consent was granted from Auckland Council within the statutory timeframes and without requests for further information allowing constructing to occur before the end of summer for public use immediately.