Aotea Square

Aotea Square

Queen Street, Auckland, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

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Aotea Square is a large paved public area in the CBD, of Auckland, New Zealand. Officially opened in 1979 by Sir Dove-Myer Robinson next to Queen Street, it is used for open-air concerts and gatherings, and markets and political rallies. In November 2010, a major redevelopment of Aotea Square was completed. The square was redesigned to make it appropriate for use by crowds of up to 20,000 people.Its name is derived from Motu Aotea, the Māori name for Great Barrier Island, which is the largest offshore island of New Zealand, approximately 90 km from downtown Auckland.HistoryConstructionThe square was created in 1979, with a large part of it being the former end of Grey's Avenue, which used to connect directly to Queen Street - a large underground carpark with 930 spaces had been erected underneath in 1975.In 2000 a competition for a redesign was held, but in 2004, before the winning design by Ted Smythe and Associates (including Rod Barnett and Dr Dushko Bogunovich) could be built, damage to the car park roof was discovered, which stopped the project. While the roof was temporarily stabilised and plans for its repair made, a consultation process initiated by mayor Dick Hubbard called 'Outside the Square' resulted in a new proposal. This proposal was abandoned after it was estimated to cost up to $600 million. After this the old design was revised several times (including some feedback from public consultation in August 2008) and was adopted in 2008.Construction started in November 2008 and ran to late 2010, during which there were no events in the square. The project was projected to cost NZ$80 million, around $45 million for the car park repair, $25 million for the upgrade, and $10 million for works on the Aotea Centre facade. A cost saving of $15 million was identified during the process due to a modified construction process for the car park roof, which allowed the project to dispense with building a temporary car park.

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