We’re excited about Auckland hosting the next America’s Cup. In part this is due to the opportunity it provides to further enhance our city. That’s because there’s nothing quite like the unmovable deadline of a prestigious event to give politicians and officials the impetus needed to push along improvements to the city. I’ve looked before at some of the wider changes we might see.
A key decision is deciding on the location of the Cup bases and associated public Cup village. I imagine that location will go a long way to working out what other public infrastructure improvements will be built.
Yesterday the council announced a short list of five locations. The councillors need to decide on the location on 23 November so there’s enough time to sort issues like consent. The costs range from $140m to $190m so none are cheap – although they don’t say what each specific option costs. Both the government and the private sector may cover some of those costs too. A separate report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment claims the event will generate $550m-$1b in direct economic benefits.
From what I’ve seen, it seems the preference is to keep all the bases together if possible as that allows for easier sharing of resources, like cranes etc. It seems that there is a preference for the event to be held near the viaduct for the interaction with the public, as opposed to the more open Queens Wharf. Perhaps also hoping to recreate those scenes from 2000 of the public packing all sides of Viaduct.
Halsey Wharf extension
An extension of Halsey Wharf has been on the plans for a while but has also been opposed by some. This is most likely the most expensive option but I believe is preferred by some of parties. You can also notice the white outlines of ships along Halsey Wharf, this is where they expect a heap of super yachts will be parked up during the event and is absent from some of the other options.
Captain Cook West
The Central Wharves strategy aims to eventually lengthen Captain Cook Wharf and for it to become the primary Cruise Ship terminal. This option would make use of that to host the cup bases whilst using Queens Wharf for the public. Surely one major issue with this option would be getting the wharf back from the Ports in time. Remember, they want to build a multi-storey carpark on the waterfront before they’ll hand the wharf over to the council.
Captain Cook East
Similar to above but this option would have the bases facing away from the Queens Wharf. The image indicating that it would therefore allow for a cruise ship to be berthed at Queens Wharf. One downside to that is it would likely mean a lot of Queens Wharf taken up for activities associated with servicing that cruise ship.
Dispersed – Halsey Wharf and Westhaven Marina
This is the first of two options which spread out the bases over a number of areas along the waterfront. Half of the bases would be accommodated on an extension of Westhaven Marina with the other half on a smaller extension of Halsey and Hobson Wharf. You will notice there are fewer super yacht spots on the eastern side of Halsey
Dispersed – Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf and Wynyard Point East
The final option is to retain the Halsey and Hobson extensions from above but also have bases on an extended Wynyard too. It seems like the most practical but is probably not liked by some officials due to things like the lack of super yacht parking spots.
It’s hard to pick an outright winner from these options, all have a lot of pro’s and con’s. What option do you think Councillors should go with and what will they go with? My guess is they’ll pick the last option.