This blog was published as a letter in the New Zealand Herald Today Tuesday, 24 September , 2013.
The Auckland waterfront and Hauraki Gulf are our regions crown jewels. Whether we win the Americas Cup, and I hope we do, the development of Westhaven is imminent. Every day fishermen, joggers, ramblers, dogs and their owners, sailors, children and kayakers play in their hundreds there.
If we lose the dog friendly beach or price out the ability of most folk from fishing or having a recreational life at Westhaven, we will damage the soul of our city.
From the fishermen who fish on the western side of the harbour bridge, the venerable sailing clubs, the marina of fine yachts and floating gin palaces, cruise companies, the new apartments, Wynyard Quarter, the bustling viaduct harbour to the working port is the soul of Auckland. It is organic. This is not Disneyland.
What we have is real. It is about people. It is Auckland. The restored Shed 10 is wonderful. It is gritty and reeks of maritime history. This is the key.
The challenge is to have a recreational and commercial port that will serve future generations of Aucklanders.
The strength of our city is that all can enjoy these jewels of our city. Damage the soul and we damage Auckland.