Why Te Papa North Should be In Manukau – NOT Wynyard Quarter

The Abridged Version of Why Te Papa North Should be In Manukau


Note: This is the abridged version of my earlier commentary on this matter.


It seems Te Papa North (Manukau) has stirred up some criticism towards fellow Aucklanders by fellow Aucklanders. One of the most recent and harshest criticisms came from The Listener’s piece: Editorial: the right location for Te Papa North“ (12/9/2013)

The reasons the person gave in that editorial piece were “interesting” to say the least. In reply I will outline why Manukau is the right location for such a museum.

Starting with the direct and indirect benefits of the facility being in Manukau; these economic and social benefits have to outpace the monetary costs of the facility. This in my opinion can be easily done.

The Economic Benefits


  • Employment in the facility whether it be the curator, the cafe owner or the  cleaner
  • Visitors spending their money inside the facility which has flow on effects


  • Contractors contracted by the facility to carry out whatever task it maybe – this has the flow on effect of contractors hiring more people
  • Visitors spending money in other areas of Manukau
  • Research committed by the facility
  • Urban Renewal projects carried out in the surrounding area owing to the facility being in THAT area
  • Investment attracted by both the Art elite (the patrons of Te Papa Manukau) and by others either in support of the facility or through other investments like urban renewal

The Social Benefits

  • Education/Research; conducting and equipping those with knowledge advances society and reduces inequality amongst the population. Think of the knowledge this facility could part on to our population here in the South which (and I pull no punches here) is socially deprived compared to the Isthmus. Te Papa Manukau will also complement the MIT and AUT campus sites both in Manukau too
  • Morale: Jobs and education mean less inequality which means a better functioning society through higher morale. A population that has a higher morale is a population less likely to feel the ill-effects of deprivation and everything that goes with it (crime, disease, health, low life expectancy). While Te Papa Manukau is not the silver bullet to our ills, I am pointing out a cog that will have more benefits in lifting South Auckland up

Of course those benefits do trickle across the wider city as well.


As for Te Papa North being inaccessible in Manukau rather than Wynyard Quarter, that is a load of rubbish. By 2018/9 when the Museum would be due to open you would have the following options:


With the City Rail Link near completion (by the time Te Papa North opens), the new EMU trains moving at usually 10 minute frequencies, and with some luck the Congestion Free Network under construction it would take you approximately:

  • 25-30mins from Britomart to Manukau by train
  • 1 hour (should be reduced when the City Rail Link opens) from Henderson to Manukau by train
  • 20-30mins by bus from the airport
  • 13 minutes from Papakura to Manukau by train once the Manukau Rail South Link is open (this would operate under 20 minute frequencies for the direct services)
  • 30-35mins from Botany to Manukau by bus
  • 75mins from the North Shore to Manukau (needing a mix of train, bus and/or ferry there until the North Shore Line is open (should allow the journey to be cut down to 45mins by then))


For those inclined to take the car Te Papa Manukau is very easily accessible by both State Highways One and Twenty (including using the Western Ring Route). Travel Times are approximate owing to differing levels of congestion – but apart from Papakura to Manukau, just use the public transport times and minus it by a third if going by car.

Thus accessibility is not a problem except for maybe those who live on the North Shore (who are relatively disconnected to the bulk of Auckland anyhow). So the transport card won’t fly with me.

The Proposed Te Papa Site in Manukau

Te Papa outpost site
Te Papa outpost site

As for Wynyard Quarter being close to such places as “Shops and eateries, farmers’ markets and recreation such as cycling and skating naturally flourish, that has already occurred in Auckland’s once-controversial Viaduct Basin.”

Well Manukau has shops (the mall you can’t usually find a park in the weekend), the Otara Market on  Saturdays (the biggest in Auckland if not New Zealand), places to cycle and participate in recreational activities, Rainbows End, even the Botanical Gardens where you can enjoy long walks and a bite to eat at the cafe . Manukau might not be the Ritz here but it is still enjoyable

With urban renewal also coming to the Manukau (Super) Metropolitan Centre the place is only get better.


One thought on “Why Te Papa North Should be In Manukau – NOT Wynyard Quarter

Comments are closed.