Anzac St car park: High Court appeal withdrawn, deal struck on Takapuna site


A last-minute deal has stopped an almost eight-year public redevelopment saga from entering the courtroom.


In July 2019, Auckland Council's Environment and Community Committee approved plans to turn Anzac St car park, on Auckland's North Shore, into a 3000sqm town square with apartments and offices.


Two months later the recently reinstated Takapuna Residents' Association (TRA) asked the High Court for a judicial review into what it called "serious flaws" in that approval process. 

However, on Monday, the two groups came to an eleventh-hour arrangement that would see Auckland Council instruct the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and Panuku to include, where appropriate, the TRA in discussions of the future use of the car park at 40 Anzac St.

The assurance prompted the TRA to discontinue its application which was scheduled to be heard before Justice Matthew Palmer at Auckland's High Court on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the TRA's chairman Terry Dunleavy was happy his association would have a say on future "issues relating to the size and siting of new buildings proposed for erection on that currently open space, as well as possible accommodation of the popular Sunday market".
Anzac St car park has been the site of the popular Takapuna Markets for the past three decades, but the controversial development project had caused some in the community to fear for the market's future.
"Our association welcomes this opportunity now offered by [Auckland] council for the concerns of our Takapuna community to be heard."

Auckland Council and its development arm Panuku Development released a statement welcoming the discontinuation.

Meanwhile the car park regeneration project would continue to its secondary design phase. 

Kate Cumberpatch, a priority location director at Panuku, said they were working closely with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board on the design for the civic square. 

"The illustrations presented at the time were to give people an idea of what the square could look like," she said. 

" ... we are using our space at 38 Hurstmere to test and trial how it could be used." 


The TRA's appeal focused on two main areas: Whether two competing proposals for a future town square at the car park were accurately presented to councillors, and whether was the public consultation, cited to support those proposals, was proper and fair.

Part of the review aimed to ask why an alternative civic space specialist claimed his design had been changed. 

In August 2019, Richard Reid – an influential voice in stopping Wellington's Basin Reserve flyover project – claimed his alternative design drawing had been altered.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board had been at odds over elements of Panuku's design plans and engaged Reid to offer an alternative option. 

Following the committee approval, Reid said his design was changed and was a "serious misrepresentation of our proposal".  

But Dunleavy said Reid's concern, and other issues, were "better considered in constructive dialogue between all affected parties ... than argued in a court of law".