If the port was shifted then freight forwarders would move nearby followed by service industries followed by housing and shops etc............and another city would grow, Auckland would then noticeably if not fatally, wilt.
The scrappy and ugly bits just need upgrading, to a quality and style that induces a sense of pride and consequently proper maintenance. It just needs a review to identify the crud, a programme to organise priorities, and the will to get started and realise it will never stop. It's not a big ticket item all up front.
One grand scheme to fix things now and forever is unrealistic.
I know people have been talking about Auckland's waterfront for years. My comment was directed at Reid's proposal and how he said he came by it.
I f I had to offer a suggestion to on how to improve Auckland it would probably be to look at how Tokyo changed from the madhouse of traffic and rush to the efficient place it is now. Of course their buildings are generally utterly boring (with brilliant exceptions). It is required that every vehicle has it's own parking space and then every parking space is rated/taxed until the traffic numbers fall to suit the operating capacity of the roads. I imagine that tax is used to help pay for the excellent rail system.
So, let's all have a multi-zillion dollar mega-iconic building so that all our cities stand out against each other.
No criticism of your comments on the Sydney Opera House and Utzon but proposing to lift an idea from Sydney as a way of injecting originality into Auckland simply because an anniversary pops up seems odd.
Auckland is splendid, great harbour, really cool volcanos (much the best sort to have in a city) and the waterfront overall is wonderful (not just the inner city bits - there is more). The buildings are not up to Paris standards but what other city has buildings of that order anyway?
And I don't even live there any more.