“Today, Queens Wharf becomes the public’s wharf,” said then Auckland Regional Council (ARC) Chairman Mike Lee in 2010 when the red gates were flung open, once again allowing the public to access the prime piece of Auckland’s waterfront, ending its days of being used to store cars and ripen bananas. The ARC and the government had bought back the wharf from the port for $40 million just under a year earlier.

But plans as part of Auckland Transport’s application to build new ferry berths along the wharf show that for most of the summer months, the wharf will be mostly off limits to the people of Auckland. Unfortunately we missed noticing the plans and the submission period closed late last year.

As part of the massive downtown works currently underway, we’re about to get a great new public space between Queens Wharf and Princes Wharf. This is expected to be completed in time for the America’s Cup in 2021.

The new downtown public space in the location currently occupied by Pier 3&4

Right now that space is used by ferry and tourist operations on Piers 3 and 4. The Ferry Basin is already at or close to capacity so as well as replacing those berths, more are needed. The plan is to add six new berths down the western edge of Queens Wharf. As I’ve said before, one major concern I have with this is that it means some ferry passengers will have a 300m walk just to reach Quay St which just makes catching a ferry harder and less appealing, especially for those with mobility issues.

To get those ferry passengers back to Quay St, they are expected to walk down the western edge of the wharf, uncovered (covered = solid, uncovered = stripped).

One of the reasons for stretching out along Queens Wharf is the eastern side of both Queens and Princes Wharves are cruise ship berths. It’s those cruise ships that are now becoming more of a problem. For some reason, the port, who operate the cruise terminal, have been allowed to use almost all of Queens Wharf to not only service the cruise ships but also for buses to turn around so that cruise passengers don’t have to walk more than a few metres – or perhaps they’re also trying as hard as possible to help the tourist operators capture them.

This is going to become a major problem when we also throw into the mix hundreds of ferry passengers, many with bikes or other bulky items, streaming to and from the boats. Below is what ATs consultants recommend

The western edge is of sufficient width to accommodate both pedestrian and vehicle movements. The intent is to provide a 2.9-metre dedicated pedestrian path with 600mm delineation, and a further 3.5 to 5.5-metre vehicle lane on its eastern side. The provision of the 600mm delineation provides an opportunity to operate a form of temporary separation.

So squeeze those hundreds of people into a relatively narrow path. With a maximum of just 3.5m it only takes a couple of people to effectively block the path and I can already see people just missing their hourly ferry because of the narrowed space to accommodate these buses.

The movement is also shown here. Buses will enter the wharf, drive up the western side of the cloud and then through what is meant to be the public space so they can pull up alongside Shed 10. This is another example where the movement and storage of vehicles has been prioritised over people.

For the odd cruise ship this wouldn’t matter so much but over summer, the exact time people are most likely to want to be using the public space at the end of Queens Wharf, cruise ships are in port on the majority of days. On top of this, over the next decade the number of ships visiting is expected to increase by 80-100% (obviously not all will be on Queens Wharf).

Having sold the wharf for $40 million, the port are now monopolising its use once again and all for an annual licence fee for cruise operations of just $1 – although it pays for sub-structure maintenance.

It’s not just cruise ships either that can take over the space. Events, especially large ones, can also see parts or all of the wharf closed off and vehicles given priority to move through the area.

So what will this look like in reality. First, here’s a visualisation of the completed new berths

Last Friday, Patrick also happened to be down on the wharf as they were testing this out. He grabbed a few photos. The bus is at about the same place it would be in a live environment with ferry passengers left to use the remaining space to the right of it.

The space issue is more clear here where the cone denotes where the vehicle lane is.

Finally, once buses get to the end of the wharf, they have to negotiate around the top of the wharf, making large parts of it unusable.

This is an incredibly poor outcome for ferry users and anyone who might want to utilise the wharf for public space, particularly on a nice summer day.

If this is what’s required to operate cruise ships then they simply can’t be on Queens Wharf. We need more public space for residents, workers and visitors and using it this way leaves the wharf and the public space far too compromised. Therefore we should be forgetting about the mooring dolphins to be built out off the wharf and work should shift to providing cruise facilities on Captain Cook Wharf instead.

Unless this happens, we might as well just close the red fences again and stop pretending the wharf is open to the public.

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94 comments

  1. Why not remove the Cloud altogether? How often is it used, and for what? Strenuous efforts should be made to retain those cruise ship berths – one of Auckland’s amazing advantages is that cruise passengers disembark virtually in the city centre, thereby avoiding the need for dozens of coaches to transfer people into Queen Street. That row of new berths for ferries looks a good idea, but I agree that the proposed plan looks far too congested. Removing the Cloud would provide more space for wider corridors for ferry and cruise passengers, with a turning circle for coaches at the outer end of the wharf.

    1. “Strenuous efforts should be made to retain those cruise ship berths” – I”m afraid I can’t see that. The fumes from the ships are literally killing us. Overseas tour operators make the profits. We seem to be footing the bill for their amenities. And the public space has been taken over. All for a tourist industry that has a really bad carbon footprint. This is a Win-Lose situation, and we’re on the losing team.

      Other cities are investing in tourism ideas – like cycle tourism – that can bring much more of the money into the local economy, and that produces infrastructure that local people can use.

      1. Well they should run on mains power when they are tied up to the wharf anyway. And electric sight seeing buses. Half price for lime scooters. I was recently walking a long Quay street and a couple of Aussie tourists pulled up on their Lime scooters. Which way to Mission Bay. How much power do you have. One had two bars the other three. I said well it doesn’t matter you can come back on a bus anyway if they go flat. So just carry on.

      2. Yes totally agree. These monstrosities are ugly, take up public space, disrupt ferries and other harbour users and cause huge amounts of pollution. I’m highly sceptical about the supposed benefit they bring to the city – most people will eat on board and are unlikely to do much shopping in Auckland, given that their cruises have probably visited much better cities for that. Sure there is some spend on tour companies and resupply of ships but is the benefit to these industries really worth the downsides to the city and its people?

        1. Cruise ship resupply is a joke too. They get quotes from every supply company in every port they visit and “negotiate” local suppliers down to meet the global rock bottom. There’s no money in it for a low volume high cost economy like NZ. Basically they are leeches externalising their costs and retaining their profits. I would like to see the Ports take a stronger negotiating position with them with high amenity resident NZers’ public access to Queen’s Wharf at the forefront.

          1. Good point, also they sit there burning bunker fuel adding huge amounts of really noxious crap into the air… PoAL need to lift their game and charge these beasts to plug into our grid (non-negotiable) while docked… perhaps it needs a bylaw so they just have to comply…

          1. And most cruise liners use 60 cycles however we use 50. Bit of a problem but not insurmountable. But a pretty hefty load no matter how you look at it. Maybe we could incorporate electric bus charging into the project particularly since our 50 cycle power has to be turned into direct currant then back into 60 cycle power.

      3. While I agree that this is an appalling proposal you ignore that tourism is NZ’s biggest earner, necessarily so in light of viable alternatives, and it really isn’t possible to cycle here from abroad.

        I agree the Cloud should go it’s a joke. Maybe the best option is too accept that Queens wharf is a working wharf and insist that Capt Cook is turned over as a PROPER public amenity with grass and a playground and all the other things that the waterfront currently lacks

        1. Until the country accepts the massive problem that air travel presents to the climate, and acts to minimise it, all we can do as a city is provide tourism options that maximise the benefits for us. And the benefits of an industry designed to benefit locals instead of big business is that the tourists get to have more of a local experience too.

          Tourism may be a big earner, but a proper BCA on these cruise ships in Auckland – including public health outcomes, and lost opportunities for uses of public space – would be welcome. As others mention, there are too many ways that profits are being swiped by the international operators, yet we foot the bill for the amenities and the public health consequences, and have to give over our space.

        2. Tourism is a big earner but it doesn’t mean we need to be a doormat for it to continue.
          It has grown massively in the last few years, now is the time to consolidate and charge reasonable costs and put restrictions on things it does that negatively impact on us.

          If all of these cruise vessels suddenly buggered off I doubt it would have a massive impact on our economy. Even if we put in a lot more restrictions that is not going to happen anyway, some might leave but not all.

          1. Big earner for who exactly? It is large by volume, but not per employee. It just supports a very low-wage, low-skill economy and is a burden on our environment.

            NZ will continue getting poorer if we focus on tourism.

        3. There are planes and planes can carry bikes. There are also people here who rent bikes. People are already coming here in droves to cycle. Clearly that should be grown as it benefits the local economy so much more than Big Cruise.

          1. As keen as you are to push cycling Lewis, I’m afraid only a very small number of tourists heading anywhere are going for a cycling holiday. More will rent cars, even if visiting London etc.

        4. The plan is that Capt Cook becomes the cruise wharf – that’s the plan that we should be going to asap – not this short termism that incrementally erodes all other public amenity and the vision and statements of city centre masterplan, waterfront plan and central wharves strategy as well. POAl of course has no incentive to either rush into that or even really want it – why would they when they can use Queens Wharf for another 15-35 years for next to nothing.
          Queens wharf is the obvious and natural extension of Qureen Street – it is the obvious (and existing) place for good quality public space at the northern end of the wharf – which is what it is mostly used for now. Let’s stick with the plan, which was a good one. And which we spent so much time agreeing on.

  2. If its good enough for ferry passemgers to walk 300m, the cruise ship passengers can do likewise. Simply keep the buses off the wharf.

    1. I agree. They could use some electric golf cart solutions, similar to those used at airports, go get disabled passengers from the cruise ships to the road.

  3. When the wharf was purchased it was for three reasons – the cruise industry, ferries and “an impressive” public space. Current plans capture the entire wharf for maritime transport infrastructure only. There are no plans of similar substance, for the promised public space. With a residential population soon to rival that of Whangarei, the city centre needs public space – public space away from the noise and towering buildings and at the water’s edge. The impressive public space on the wharf has become at best an after-thought, if at all. If the plans for the new “public space” (paid for by the sale of QEII Square and hard against an albeit quieter Quay St but very much within the city hustle) were dropped, ferry commuters would be able to disembark at Quay St and the need to capture the entire western edge of Queens Wharf for ferries would be removed. It is merely a convenience for passenger vehicles to traverse the entire length of the wharf to collect passengers waiting at the southern end of Shed 10. The impressive public space needs to be secured now – bring back the roof of Shed 11 for shelter – at the north eastern seaward quarter of the wharf.

    1. Well put and summarised! Yes it’s what was planned, but as you say now being eroded by various interests. The public space on the northern end of Queens Wharf needs to be secured now, and a firm commitment with plans, made to it by all involved.

  4. *sigh*

    In an intensely pluvial city that is also much given to regular blasts of westerly wind we have isolated planning elites who probably have covered car parks in the city still insisting that verandas are a nice to have that are too good for the hoi polloi, who will have to navigate rain, wind and bus splashes just to get to Quay Street.

    Will we ever learn?

  5. Oh dear what a mess. Back in the days of ARTA (early 2000s) there was a plan to have a ferry basin right on the seawall parallel to Quay Street, with half a dozen finger wharves projecting into the basin just a few metres walk north of Quay Street – similar to what they have at Sidney). This would have required removal of most of the southern end of Queens Wharf, with the northern end retained as a public space connected by a new E-W link structure across to Captain Cook Wharf which would contain and protect the basin. Under this plan there was no provision for cruise ships on Queens Wharf – they would be serviced by Princes Wharf as had been the case for decades. I agree that the tail has been allowed to wag the dog – ferries and public access are far more important than cruise ships.

  6. A 300m walk to busses won’t stop cruise passengers from getting on the tour busses. These excursions have been pre-booked, prepaid before the ship has even berthed in Auckland. Also the excursion busses need to sit and wait for up to 30 mins as each passenger comes through Customs/MPI checks on the boat. They don’t all turn up in a single minute. Given the size of the ships the passengers have probably already walked in excess of 300m on the boat just to get to the gangway.

    The Cruise ship industry will always talk this up, but in reality its really common for passengers to have to walk some distance to excursions busses. Isn’t this what the Southern Paddock is for?

    It looks like a badly implemented version of Auckland’s Domestic Terminal pickup area that will end up with queues of taxis all in single file waiting and waiting and …..What will the exhaust fumes be like for the waiting ferry passengers

  7. If they are going to be permitted to once again dominate use of the wharf and its access, then the Ports of Auckland should be forced to buy it back at their sale price of $40M plus property inflation over the past decade of say another $80-100M. Add to that a unique location acquisition goodwill value of say a further $100M! This $240M can then be used to better provision alternative public park space throughout the city and waterfront, to cater for future growth of city high-rise dwelling residents. And the $36M GST on the repurchase price should be reinvested by the Government into the city! Thank you Ports of Auckland for paying your way as a commercial operator who potentially can make billions out of your monopoly over managing our port, facilitating passenger ferry services and catering for International Cruise Ship Tourism, along with events like the America’s Cup.

    1. Yes, good thinking – that might get them reconsidering. Currently Why would POAL want to use their port area when we have us suckers providing them with all this for nothing. And the last thing POAl want to do is compromise as it sets such a bad precedent for them – its their modus operandi.

  8. This looks like a really bad outcome for ferry users. They are spending all this money and the best they can do is a bunch of floaty wharves with ramps off the far end of Queens Wharf?

    Why don’t they build a proper ferry terminal at the ferry building?

  9. What the buses need is a turntable. Similar to what they use to turn locomotives around. Then they could drive up the middle between the cloud and shed 10. Onto the turntable round they go and back out to pickup or drop off the punters. Thinking back I seem to remember there being turntable on the original Cook Strait ferries for cars or maybe they were for trucks. But anyway my Wolseley 6/110 went for a ride on one of then probably in the early 1970’s.

  10. Embarrassing, the term being used on a daily basis to describe the Council, AT and even the Government.

    Get rid of the Cloud, its a shanty structure with nothing in it but a few people playing free badminton. Turn that space into public space with hospitality and amenities, meaning that Cruise Ship people won’t need to shuttle in a bus past it as there will be actually something here they want to see.

    Could probably run the Wynyrd Tram up and down here to ferry them if needed.

    It’s all just a mess.

    1. I’ve been thinking that Mike Lee might want to stick his neck out here to insist on a better public outcome, given his prior involvement. I wonder if he, too, thinks the tram from Wynyard might be the solution that’s required. Chuckle. Do you reckon the passengers’ knees can cope with climbing up the steps into the tram better than walking along the flat?

  11. Plenty of these Cruise ship visitors hop on buses and immediately go out of the city centre. Not sure why the city centre should be where we accommodate the ships. There was one floating city just hanging around the harbour on Sunday – perhaps it was too big for the wharf, or there were too many ships there already. It seemed to cope.

    I actually think it would be an entirely pleasant experience for visitors for the ships to berth somewhere else in the harbour, and for them to hop on appropriately sized tour operator boats to go to a number of different locations around the harbour. The best way to see our city is from the water; this would improve their experience.

    1. Cruise ship passengers fan out on foot throughout the city centre. I’ve encountered them walking as far away as the domain (asking the way to the museum). They do a lot of shopping too. Once I was in an outdoor sports shop and an American gentlemen came in asking if they sold boomerangs (yes seriously).

      I think visitors should be encouraged to use the same active modes and PT infrastructure that locals use. if the council don’t consider that infrastructure good enough for tourists, then why do they think it’s good enough for locals?

      1. Those who want to visit the city centre would still have the opportunity to come on a smaller boat. We just wouldn’t have to lose our public space to them. The proportion who fan out from the ship on foot must be small given the number of bus tours that operate from the ships.

        Imagine the improved opportunities for accommodation providers, cafe owners, ‘experience’- operators along the cycle paths if we got into cycle tourism. And the actual crossing of paths and meeting of minds… and compare that to the advantages Auckland receives by having some probably overseas-owned stores selling tat.

      2. They walk through and get about as far as Freyberg Square. Then I see them standing around looking at a map. Then they ask how to walk to the museum. Then I tell them to catch a cab because it’s just too hard to describe how to get there on foot or by transit.

  12. As a city centre resident, I occasionally go to the end of Queens wharf to look at the harbour and get away from the hustle. I’m sure there are many other residents that do the same, as well as workers and tourists.

    The amount of public space we have in the city centre only ever goes backwards. Queens wharf was an opportunity to have a great public space at the end. Now it will be obliterated by the huge turning circle of buses.

    The wharf will lose its western edge to ferry berths and buses, lose its eastern edge to giant cruise ships, customs and servicing functions, and lose its harbour facing end to a mess of mooring dolphins and turning buses. On the Quay street end it will be cut up by vehicles coming and going. Not much left at this point so shut the red fence again. Thanks for the peoples wharf.

    There is a lack creative vision for the true value of Queens wharf which has led council to chopping it up into commuter and tourism uses.

    The City Centre Residents Group made a submission and has been ringing the bells about this, sadly my feeling is that council just wants to ram this through… hope I’m wrong.

    1. And don’t forget that all these vehicles will be crossing the bike lane. This is bad enough already with vehicles turning into the ferry terminal. Nobody bothers looking, so often I have had to warn drivers who seem surprised that bikes might take priority.

    1. Looks like a good idea Patrick.

      As for the OP, could they not just extend the path out off the wharf another metre or so to give more space for pedestrians? Wouldn’t be very expensive to do either.

    2. Was just about to suggest the same exact thing. It’s less than 150m from the end of Shed 10 to Quay St. How much nicer would it be for passengers to disembark both ferries (Also a massive tourist attraction) and cruise ships onto a vehicle free wharf with landscaping and greenery instead of concrete vehicle lanes. I was originally going to suggest a gondola to Britomart but the distance is so short I’m not sure it makes any sense.

    3. Yes good idea indeed. Problem is POAL are very reluctant to give up any space on existing port land if they can get Queen’s Wharf for next to nothing. Compromise is a bad word as it sets a bad precedent.

  13. Has no one in Auckland Transport been to Vancouver?
    Seabus – specifically the nature of the vessels and the manner in which they berth – is an outstanding example of appropriate infrastructure / hardware for a short trip ferry service.
    Has this type of operation not been considered?

      1. Unfortunately the video doesn’t show the key issues. Multi doors on the left side open and passengers disembark. Pretty much at the same time multi doors on the right side open and passengers board. Boat is a snug fit in the chute – can’t recall but I believe it is not tied up. It is the same at the bow and the stern – runs into the chute and pulls straight out. Same procedure the other side.
        Makes our craft look like clunkers………….

    1. Yes it has. Such a system would be great, but it requires purpose built dock infrastructure, and a specifically designed set of vessels.

      Remember we have a law that still puts the revenue, the vessel ownership, and the choice of boat and schedules, into the hands of the private ferry operator. You can thank Steven Joyce for that, but it means AT has limited ability to do anything meaningful with ferries.

  14. Just spent nearly an hour waiting in the harbour waiting for a cruise ship to dock so our Devonport ferry could unload.
    I’m all for supporting tourism but this is ridiculous. People have things to do

    1. Yes, I’ve been hearing of people late at work today who were on the ferry that was an hour late. And other ferries 20 minutes late.

      Oh, the business case with those travel times!!!

      1. Thanks, reasonably new to ferry / bike commute and have been loving it. This is the first time it’s happened to me. Concerning that it’s a regular thing and may become more common. 45 mins with 2 hungry kids is an eternity …

      1. With the 8am from Waiheke on Sunday we had to get around the Oceans of the Seas and their bloody tenders who taking any notice of the commuter ferries and that made us around 20minutes late getting into the Ferry terminal

  15. A couple of points:
    1] good on you guys for discovering this now, hopefully it’s not too late (even though submissions have closed) to change things. I can’t imagine ferry operators are too impressed either.
    2) The Cloud is what it is by design. It is underused because it is too expensive to hire and council aren’t interested in utilising it because there are some within who want it gone. I wonder if this is a part of that plan: create a problem for which the solution is the removal of The Cloud? given the other plan is to reinstate Shed 11 I wonder what will be achieved however.
    3) is there any way to utilise the Cloud as a de facto ferry terminal/waiting area? During winter when it rains I’m not sure there will be enough shelter under the canopy planned for the six ferry berths. If you allowed a few food trucks into the Cloud it could be quite a space. (I’m just scratching for ideas here, trying to think laterally).
    4) The point I should have led with…. Cruise operators are only interested in getting their passengers off the boat and onto a tour bus as quick as they can, without letting them find their own way to the local port area/city. A minority of passengers will have done their homework and learnt they can simply walk off the ship and into downtown Auckland to do their own thing. Cruise operators will have spent a lot of time and effort ‘upselling’ their Passengers onto a half day or full day ‘tour’ at a cost of US$80-$200 a head (or more). It’s big money for them.
    5) so we are facilitating that money funnel for them by allowing the buses (20-25 of them queued up) to line up next to the ship(s) to whisk them away. As others have noted, all this for a dollar a year.
    I’ve been on six cruises so I know what I’m talking about. Auckland is a unique port, in the cruise world. I’ve not seen any others so close to the action. Commercial Bay are going to make a killing once they’re open.

    1. Agree to all of your points. The Cloud could easily be repurposed as a public space, which would make it a lot more useful.

      1. I have called that structure the elephant (as in white) ever since the last government dumped it on Auckland. It truly has lived up to this name above all others. It was only ever a temporary structure as it’s life is governed by the age of its sail roof. It never had a future there and really has always been a WOFTAM (waste of time and money).

        1. You would have prefered the government spent $40million on… what was it actually for anyway, I can’t remember? Some ‘corporate hosting’ while the RWC 2011 was on? That $40million would have been an even bigger WOTM. Especially given that building anything more than what we got probably wouldn’t have been finished in time for the RWC, because NZ.
          I thought the Cloud was a WOTM too, but once it was built it should have been used more.

          1. What gets me is the council have installed a number of shacks on Queens Wharf by Quay St why did they not site them in the cloud and then use that space as a turn around area for the buses e.t.c … This would make the area saffer for the general public using the northern end of the wharf, also then the cloud could be used year round instead of being shut up most of the time . Also it could also be used for displays or exhibitions for those that are going down to that end of the wharf

          2. It isn’t being used more due to the rental cost. In 2010 it was commented that there was already an suitable venue for RWC activities further west at the Viaduct Events Centre.

    2. re your point 4. Yes exactly, been on one cruise to Australia & you get into the must book things mentality. Did some tour straight off the ship & back on, no time for anything else, but in retrospect, wish we had just wondered off and checked out the local street cafe’s etc.

        1. Looking at Google maps can see a big one there, but we were on a guess smaller older one & we definitely went under the bridge. It was Melbourne where we took a bus tour and rode on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway out in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

        2. The cruise ships were actually moved to an area around the headland where ‘The Rocks’ are, but very close. It was ex Navy IIRC, but regardless… development spread around from the rocks to the cruiseline pier. It would be like if we built the cruise terminal where the containers or cars are unloaded, which seems to me to be a more suitable area than where they are proposing – but of course it suits the PoA to use our space not theirs for cruise boats.

    3. The cloud also has a Resource Consent life – 2022? And the skin at least would need replacing much past that. It gets brittle and degraded.

      1. I understand that, so maybe it has to go, but looking back (it was erected in 2011) it’s a darn shame we didn’t utilise it more and better while we had it.

  16. I came over from Waiheke on the 8am sunday and there were 3 cruise liners in port 2 were berthed and 1 ginormus one sitting in the channel with tenders removing passengers and when I left to go back on monday there were another 3 berthed . So if they do all this work were will the extra cruise liners going to go or will they sit in the channel burning fuel and all their tenders running about blocking the way for the commuter ferries ?
    And I have seen 5 cruise ships spread all over the port as there was a storm out at sea and they had to lay over for a few days and the buses had to go between all the different wharfs as customs didn’t have the staff to be at each ship , so all the passengers had to clear at Queens wharf before going to thier boat

  17. And Matt that bottom photo doesn’t show another building that has been added on the end of Queens wharf which looks like a signal box

    1. The Lighthouse. And Panuku want to build another building behind the Lighthouse to replace the events end of the Cloud (when the cloud goes).

  18. Matt, thank you so much for publicising this. I had no idea and I am part of Auckland Free Walking Tours which leaves from the wharf. I have been doing it for five years and numbers have grown and grown. It looks like there would be no room for us, or the welcoming coffee stands and food trucks or baseball court or photo exhibitions in the new plans, or indeed the lovely North End of the wharf where people fish and sunbathe in walking distance from the downtown offices. It is a great public space and provides breathing space in the increasingly busy downtown area. The proposed pedestrian space is far too narrow and will be utterly infuriating to commuters. There is no need for extended vehicle access on the wharf. Moving more cruise ship operations to Princes Wharf could be part of the solution, or perhaps using part of Captain Cook Wharf for buses and taxis.

    Despite the huge cruise ships berthed right next to us, we have found that most of our walkers fly into the country and are staying in the CBD. I am sure many tourists go straight onto buses, though others do find their own way. It would be brilliant for New Zealand, and cruise ship guests, to be able to come off the boat, find themselves in a well-signed, mainly pedestrian space in which local tour companies are able to get more of a look in and more spending money goes into our brilliant restaurants, art galleries, cafes, local tour companies, than overpriced bus tours. Should boats be encouraged to stay a minimum of 24 hours so that we can boost our restaurants, concerts, and theatres. Should ATEED lean on cruise ships to provide space for marketing materials on upcoming events in the cruise ships so people know if there are plays, rugby games, concerts or festivals going on?

    Having said that there is a growing diversity in cruise ships with some of them offering bicycle tourism and great lectures on board. I think we have to perhaps encourage those types more, by making it easier to do them, rather than follow the get them straight on to a bus model. Love the idea of taking a tender to different parts of Auckland – wouldn’t it be fab to go to Takapuna for some stand up paddle boarding, or Devonport for a walk up North Head. Why not do the customs processing on board the ships? And make the ships provide the room to do it?

    One other issue bearing in mind the current arguments on sewage and stormwater is the blackwater coming off the ships. Where does it go? Is it pumped off into Auckland’s sewage system as was suggested by a cruise ship visitor to me earlier today? Does it go straight into the harbour? Or is it dumped at sea? Does anyone know?

    1. Good to get the perspective of walking tours – and a nice description of what happens on the north end of the wharf for people. I can assure you that there was almost no assessment of this included in the effects on people in any of the resource consent applications currently going on for Queens Wharf!

  19. Re: cruise ships, last week I was writing a submission on the NZ Tourism Strategy and found that there were 259,000 cruise visitors last year (up 34% in 3 years); each passenger on a 2-week cruise from Sydney emits 2 tonnes of CO2, as much as a NZer driving for a year and 10 times the emissions of flying; cruise passengers spend an average of $1000 in New Zealand, compared to $3800 for all tourists.

    On “plugging in in port”, Ports of Auckland did look at this in 2017 and decided to install a plug for 1 cruise ship in the next 5 years – hardly commensurate with their goal of being carbon neutral by 2040, I would have thought. Can’t the ships just be banned from running their engines while in port?

    1. Thanks, Robert. It’s a particularly polluting way to spend a holiday, but that’s hardly surprising given the premise that you’ve decided to not just travel, but to take your own room, staff, entertainment and restaurants with you. I’d like to see how that $1000 is spent, too. How much of it goes to overseas tour operators, for example?

  20. More subsidies for POAL. Don’t pay rates, $1 to use QW after selling it for $40m…

    Asides from that and the pollution, I think conceding it to a working (transport) port isn’t such a bad outcome if you got Captain Cook for grass and a people space.

    Getting rid of the cloud for a return of Shed 11 would get you some more space. Implement Patrick’s bus idea as well.

  21. Referring to the suggestion regarding the provision of a shore supply, unfortunately the issue is slightly more complex. In the first instance there is the need to provide electrical power to all of the facilities on board which is required 24/7. This could certainly be provided by a shore supply if the local grid is up to the demand.

    The other issue is that on very windy days the vessels need to run their bow and stern thrusters to maintain station against the wharf….. ropes can only do so much. Not sure that a shore supply could cope with the demand, or whether current ships design allows for shore power to be directed to the thrusters, but perhaps someone could put me right on this point

    Re the point on the use of Bunker Fuel in port. Many ports have a rule that bunker fuel can’t be used in port due to the level of pollution it entails. They require that vessels switch to a lighter fuel in port, as per the recent case in Marseilles see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/26/cruise-ship-captain-fined-100000-for-using-dirty-fuel

    1. There was a capacity supply issue, but I think the current Quay st works also include a big upgrade in power capacity to this area. POAL do have plans for power supply to ships so this upgrade will be part of it. Unfortunately POAL’s plans are sort of on the never never 2040.

      1. Well I certainly hope that if they’re upgrading the power supply capacity to the area, that they’ve sized it according to the number of ships they’re planning on having. Has anyone checked?

    2. Plugging in to shore power is not as simple as just plugging in an extension cord to a boat. It’s equivalent to plugging a small town into the Auckland grid.

      The short answer is they currently do not have the infrastructure or local supply capacity to do this, and would have to install it. There is probably a question of how much they’d want to spend doing that on what is apparently a temporary situation.

  22. I quite like the Cloud in itself. Is there a problem with keeping it secure & maintenance? How would this compare to something else or the return of shed 11?

  23. In all the angst about cruise ships (I thought they used less carbon per passenger than jet aircraft?) Matt’s original point about passengers having to walk three city blocks to the end of Queens Wharf got a bit lost. I would have thought:
    1. The most interesting places for public spaces are at the tips of Queens Wharf, Princes Wharf and Pier 2 (currently a gated rubbish and servicing compound for Fullers)
    2. To remain close to the station and buses, ferries should spread eastwards along the Quay St breastwork – Captain Cook basin as well as Queens.
    3. Sure we need more people space and seats along the Quay St waterfront but the ferries provide a lot of the interest for people on the waterfront.
    4. Cruise ships are mainly a summer thing, which also offer interest. If they use the east side of Queens Wharf it makes sense for smaller ones to be using the same infrastructure on the west side.
    5. Auckland is a logical and highly valued interchange port. We can therefore dictate terms to them (electricity hook-up, bus restrictions, pedestrian priority, etc).
    6. The infamous design competition for Queens Wharf went nowhere precisely because the cruise industry got greedy and wrote a Rolls-Royce brief. The design for these ferry berths looks like its based on a Fullers brief.
    7. Piers 3 & 4 are

    1. Was saying that Piers 3 and 4 are low pontoons used by small independent ferries that serve places like Pine Harbour and West Harbour with efficient single-person operations. The berths on Queens Wharf look more Fullers-size. They’ve monopolised infrastructure at the main Piers 1 and 2 for too long.

    2. When I looked at it once, it appeared that taking a cruise uses more fuel than flying the distance. However, you are on the ship for those days, and presumably not doing some other fossil fuel -consuming activities. So you’d have to look at the entirety of the holiday to make a fair comparison. Choosing to holiday locally (without flying or cruising) for most holidays is clearly the lower fuel option.

      I think the other most desirable places for public spaces are wherever people can get to the quickest from their workplaces for the maximum relaxing time… so a range of spots along the length of the waterfront.

      1. Agreed Heidi, so it’s clearly worth building out the lower deck along Quay St, and particularly in front of the two historic kiosks (which also seem to have been taken over by Fullers), and putting in more seats and shade trees, but personally I think it’s a bonus to have little independent ferries coming in and out to the lower pontoons.

        And don’t get me started on banishing the buses to a bus station and roundabout three blocks east of the Ferry Building and Britomart Station. It’s encouraging that the silo thinking is no longer all about cars and motorists. But there still seem to be some silo thinking. Buses have been pushed away from their logical centre of gravity both at Britomart Station and the new Aotea Station

  24. “Having sold the wharf for $40 million, the port are now monopolising its use once again and all for an annual licence fee for cruise operations of just $1 – although it pays for sub-structure maintenance.”

    The question is why is it so damn cheap? Why are the rate payers of Auckland subsidising the Port to run a commercial operation i.e. the cruise ships? And are the cruise ship operators paying a reasonable berthing fee? – and as an owner of Ports of Auckland we should know.

    It is frustrating that Auckland Council and CCOs seem unable to set the return on assets to achieve a reasonable return for the rate payer. And don’t learn. There are parking buildings that don’t even achieve a rate of return to match the long term cost of capital; and yet another is being built with a similar poor rate of return expected.

    There seems an opportunity for the cruise ship patrons to be charged for the service that has been provided for them. I like the example of the Queenstown Airport where the operating organisation has decided to pass some of the cost on to users and the taxi surcharge is $8. What about a controlled pick up/drop off at the cruise terminal? What a real incentive that is to use public transport.

    On another theme it looks as thought the taxpayer of NZ might subsidise the operators of Lime Scooters if Christchurch is an example. They have proposed an annual operating fee of $49 a scooter for 1000 scooters. Total revenue for Chch, $49k per year. Total ACC bill for NZ so far, $200k and rising? How are our local authorities ever persuaded that such operations represent a great deal for anyone other than the company’s involved.

  25. Ports of Auckland get the rolls royce brief and option, AT and Panuku get the rest. Residents and other people can just go somewhere else please.

  26. That proposed pathway for pedestrians looks like it belongs on a pirate ship for those no longer welcome on board, and I hate to think what kind of barrier would need to be placed for health and safety reasons. It all looks particularly arse about face, even on an Auckland Council scale. How does council not have to notify Greater Auckland when something like this comes up? Still trying to sneak awful planning under the radar? JAFAs deserve their waterfront to be accessible for all, and the movement needs to be away from restricted spaces.

    1. I hadn’t even noticed that! There is a lot to dislike about this idea, but that has to be by far the worst part. That’s enough land to be a decent pocket park too.

  27. What is the likelihood of getting Captain Cook Wharf into council ownership?

    Using that for cruise ships (both sides) would seem the best outcome. The three current ferry berths on the western side of QW could be replicated on the east, so there isn’t the 300m walk. Likewise the small berths off Quay St if needed,

    Move/ditch the Cloud to free up space for grass, though Shed 11 could return parallel to Shed 10 – its much smaller than the Cloud.

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