Te Komititanga, the new public square at the harbour end of Queen Street is the welcoming zone for people entering the city by train, bus, ferry and cruise ships.
Te Komititanga – meaning ‘to mix’ or ‘to merge’ in Māori - was gifted by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and City Rail Link’s Mana Whenua Forum before it was adopted by Auckland Council’s Waitematā Local Board in November of 2020. As well as the mixing of people, the name reflects the square’s location where the waters of Waitematā and Wai Horotiu, the stream that runs under Queen Street into the harbour, merged.
It is a place where people spend time and meet for celebrations, ceremonies and demonstrations, it’ll host events - you can imagine what a marathon finish line might look like in the picture below - and tens of thousands of people will walk through it every day.
The designs for the square weave together the cultural and environmental heritage of the area, acknowledging the point where the Waitematā harbour and the Waihorotiu stream that runs beneath the Queen Street valley meet. This local history sits alongside the early-1900s heritage of Britomart Station and the new Commercial Bay development to create a uniquely Auckland combination of past and present.
The paving beneath your feet is both beautifully intricate and rich in meaning – over 137,000 individual basalt pavers form a whāriki (welcome mat) designed by Mana Whenua weavers to depict a woven harakeke (flax) mat, greeting visitors to Tāmaki Makaurau from the sea. Other designs reference a meeting point of two waters, the Waitematā harbour and Wai Horotiu, before the area was reclaimed from the sea.