Agreement reached on America’s Cup venue

An agreement has been struck on the Auckland waterfront venue for the 36th America’s Cup, including the division of costs and the payment of a hosting fee.

Economic Development Minister David Parker, Auckland Council and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) reached agreement in principle today securing the America’s Cup defence for New Zealand in 2021.

The signed agreement is subject to approval by the Auckland Council Governing Body, which will meet on Thursday.

“I am very pleased to advise that we have succeeded in negotiating a venue on the Auckland waterfront that all New Zealanders can be proud of. It significantly reduces the intrusion into the harbour at the lowest practical cost,” Mr Parker says.

“The event will also deliver economic benefits to Auckland and the country.”

“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Mayor Goff and I all stated our commitment to limiting the intrusion into the harbour, while achieving a word class venue for the Cup event, and this delivers that.

“Our work in reaching this point has seen a major cost reduction for taxpayers and Auckland ratepayers of more than $50 million, compared to other options. This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the time and effort we have invested to reach the best outcome possible,” Mr Parker says.

Mr Parker thanked ETNZ for their cooperative approach that helped achieve the final outcome.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said New Zealand could now look forward to hosting the event.

“It’s good for Auckland and great for Kiwis who will get to experience in person the thrill of an America’s Cup in 2021 and cheer our team on.”

“We have agreed a base configuration that is less expensive than previous options and requires a much smaller extension into the harbour. It allows the earlier removal of hazardous substance tanks from the southern part of the Point, is more straightforward to consent, will be quicker to construct and creates a positive legacy for Auckland,” Mr Goff says.

The location, known as Wynyard-Hobson, has evolved from several options on the table. It entails only about 6,600 square metre intrusion into the harbour at Hobson Wharf, compared to 9,900 square metres under the earlier Point Halsey option.

Other options had envisaged intrusions of 22,800 square metres.

“This gives ETNZ the certainty it needs to proceed with planning for the event.”

ETNZ will occupy the Viaduct Events Centre, while Luna Rossa will be offered the place on the extended Hobson Wharf. The remaining bases will be located on Wynyard Wharf.

The expected contributions are $114m from the Crown including a $40 million host contribution fee, and $98.5m from Auckland Council.

The funding agreement also sets out key financial reporting milestones, governance processes and other safeguards for the Government and Council’s investment.

The agreement details the timing of three events.

They are the America’s Cup Christmas Race December 2020 the America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series in January-February 2021 and the 36th America’s Cup match in March 2021.

A resource consent application will be lodged in early April.