What’s the economic value of Auckland’s waterfront redevelopment?

What’s the economic value of Auckland’s waterfront redevelopment?

For the Auckland region, it’s $4.29 billion by 2040, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by public agency Sea+City Projects and released by Minister of Transport, Steven Joyce. Job wise, the report projects an additional 40,100 jobs will be attributed to the redevelopment. 

The purpose of the study is to estimate the economic contribution of the Waterfront to the Auckland Region in 2040, and to determine what share of this contribution would not be achieved without a redeveloped Waterfront. 

The redevelopment is something Waterfront Development Agency chief executive John Dalzell describes as having the possibility to be “...the most important urban redevelopment project New Zealand has seen”. 

Dalzell says the economic success of cities is largely dependent on the skill levels of its workers and this means cities must be attractive places to both live and work. 

“We are developing a social, cultural, heritage and environment showcase on our waterfront. This will not only attract the investment we need, but create a prime destination for people and will be a significant contributor to a more productive Auckland economy. This benefits all New Zealand,” he says. “Our target will be to attract innovative enterprises, with a focus on start-ups and fast growth businesses.” 

The PricewaterhouseCoopers study estimates that the planned redevelopment of the Auckland waterfront will drive the following economic benefits for Auckland in 2040: 

Direct fulltime jobs comprise: 

• 13,600 employed in waterfront businesses

• 3,440 employed directly across Auckland as a result of the cruise industry

• 1,800 employed as a result of visitors to Auckland staying another half day to enjoy the atmosphere and activities on the redeveloped waterfront

• 950 employed as a result of major events planned for the waterfront.

The report applies a multiplier analysis to estimate the economy-wide impact of a change in production or employment in a particular industry. It also measures for the first time the benefits of a high quality, design-led approach to a diverse urban community on the harbour’s edge (known as agglomeration or clustering benefits). 

The report also lists the following benefits, some of which fall into social and environmental categories, but which the report says will impact on the economic picture: 

Direct economic benefits

A revitalised tourism industry; development and maintenance of skills in the Auckland Region; support for a diversity of employment and visitor attraction opportunities; stimulation of the fishing and water sport industries; and the generation of private benefits through increased property values in and around the Waterfront. 

Increased liveability and attractiveness

Achieved by raising quality of life; improving lifestyle choices; and changing the urban landscape. 

A sense of place and a raised profile

Achieved through building a brand; generation of international business opportunities; renewal of New Zealand’s clean and green image through its main gateway city; and the establishment of a unique environment for social interaction. 

Environmental and health benefits

Through greater use of walking, cycling and public transport; green design; brownfield improvement; and greater visual appeal. 

The report states that through community spaces, green areas and better walkways, the redevelopment will enable residents, workers and visitors to gather, interact socially and build better and stronger relationships. Public spaces will enhance the sense of belonging, creating a strong sense of ownership within the community.

The report in full can be found HERE.

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