Decision near on new, 'workable' America's Cup plan

Maricruz Casares
Marcha 14, 2018

Dunedin firm Animation Research's video on what a proposed America's Cup base for Auckland will look like.

The minister for economic development David Parker said the latest plan - revealed by Team New Zealand - is the cheapest of four options at $140 million.

It said it could not support the plan yet.

"That means it is still unacceptable for Aucklanders and for our harbour".

"The new proposal for an America's Cup Village will see a new, permanent wharf extension of 45m by 220m jutting out into the Waitemata Harbour - covering over an area of water at least the size of a rugby field with concrete", Viaduct Harbour Holdings Chief Executive Angela Bull says.

The plan requires the removal of a second bulk fuel storage facility from Wynyard Point to create more space there for bases. The same sort of negotiation is now taking place with Bulk Storage Terminals who own the other tanks that would need to be removed.

Emirates Team NZ chief Grant Dalton said: "This negotiation needs to be concluded before this plan could be considered viable".

He said the Wynyard Wharf tank removal and remedial work are complex and time consuming. We, with Government and Council, have concerns about the works timetable and availability of specialists construction resource in an already stretched environment.

On the government's Point-Halsey preference, Parker said, "There are still important details to work through and we are continuing to seek the lowest cost option with the smallest intrusion into the harbour, as has been our stated objective from the start".

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The government came to us with a further plan last week.

"The mauri of the harbour has been significantly degraded from extensive reclamations and port developments, and we do not support further unwarranted intrusions like the large concrete wharf structure proposed by Panuku that will extend 75m into the Waitemata".

The new option has been described as "workable" by ETNZ.

Resource management lawyers have argued the current application is unlikely to be able to be amended, or substituted for a new tank farm one, but would have to be replaced if this new plan was adopted, with extra time needed for the process to get to the point it is at now. Its a further iteration of the Ministers plan known as the Hybrid option but is closer to the one designed by Viaduct Harbour Holdings.

"None of this is ideal but we will continue to work through the challenges in an effort to see the America's Cup hosted in 2020/21 in Auckland".

"It's where our home is and where our heart is", said Dalton, adding Team New Zealand is meeting with challengers in Europe at the end of the month and confirmation of Auckland as a venue and the class rule are eagerly awaited by them. Council and Government have their own challenges and we recognize that they are doing their utmost to meet them. A Team NZ variation based around Halsey Street Wharf, and 4.

A contractor has been lined up to build the infrastructure, said Parker, who is confident the cup bases can be ready by the end of next year when the first syndicates are due in Auckland.

Parker said a new resource consent application will be lodged for the new plan on March 23.

"The America's Cup will be fantastic for New Zealand".

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