America’s Cup Village proposal offers win-win-win
The Government and Auckland Council have today released plans for a world class America’s Cup village on Auckland’s waterfront to host the 2020-21 cup defence.
It provides for at least seven syndicate bases around two basins in the Wynyard area with provision for restaurants and bars, public viewing, and hospitality areas.
The proposal incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified last month, and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government.
The Auckland Council and the Government are cooperating on all aspects of the “hybrid’ proposal including consents, which can be achieved in a similar time frame to the notified option.
Crucial to the revised village plan were negotiations between officials and Dutch company Stolthaven Terminals that will see it vacate its southern tank farm site on Wynyard Point.
We thank Stolthaven for their cooperation.
That has cleared the way for more land-based locations and reduced the need to build out into the harbour.
Economic Development Minister David Parker says the proposal is a win-win-win for all parties, reducing costs and environmental impact while offering an excellent venue for the defence.
Costs have increased across all options but the relative cost of this proposal is expected to be $15 million to $20 million less than the Basin option before putting a value on the harbour intrusion, which had also been significantly reduced.
It could have been possible to have a smaller extension of Halsey Wharf, but the Government is prepared to compromise to provide - and exceed - the number of double bases requested by Emirates Team New Zealand, Mr Parker says.
“I believe the proposal will create a legacy for Auckland and all of New Zealand – our main aim alongside creating a top class venue for Team New Zealand and the Cup defence in 2021 and, hopefully, beyond,” Mr Parker says.
As part of the plan ETNZ will be granted the prime spot at the end of Hobson Wharf in a development worth $30 million.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Mr Parker and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff have all expressed their wish to minimise the intrusion into the harbour, alongside providing a first class location, and the plan delivers on that.
By reducing the proposed extension of Halsey Wharf from 75 metres to 35 metres and altering the layout the proposal restores important sight lines lost under the prior plan.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he was pleased the Council and the Government had worked collaboratively to reach a consensus.
“The Wynyard Hybrid option reduces the need for large extensions into the harbour while creating a vibrant and connected America’s Cup village that competitors and the public can enjoy,” he says.
“The America’s Cup will be fantastic for New Zealand. We want Auckland to host the cup, and Council and the Government are working with Emirates Team New Zealand to ensure that we can provide the infrastructure in a timely manner and deliver an incredible event,” says Mr Goff.
The proposal offers the added advantage of bringing forward the redevelopment of Wynyard Point in line with the Auckland Council’s longer term plans.
Mr Parker said under the plan unveiled today there was flexibility to make changes to the layout of bases on Wynyard Point if ETNZ had further concerns and was willing to engage in further discussions on those.
“We believe we have put forward plans and made changes that meet Emirate Team New Zealand’s concerns,” Mr Parker said
Mr Goff has discussed the Wynyard hybrid option with Auckland’s councillors and it will go before council’s governing body in the near future.
Agreement has not yet been reached with ETNZ on the hosting agreement and the location.
The plans can be viewed at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/infrastructure-growth/americas-cup