New option tabled for America’s Cup venue

Agreement on the shape of a world class venue for the 36th America’s Cup event in Auckland remains elusive, with a new, fourth option having been tabled.

The latest option known as Point-Halsey, has evolved from suggestions by local residents group. It is by far the cheapest of the four options put forward so far, and envisages only a 9900 square metre extension of the Halsey St Wharf – significantly less intrusion than the other three options, which would have seen intrusions of up to 22,800 square metres. The option being discussed will also bring forward the removal of tank farms on Wynyard Point, creating a positive legacy for Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Mr Parker and Mayor Goff have stated they are committed to limiting the intrusion into the harbour, while achieving a word class venue for the Cup event. However, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) boss Grant Dalton cautioned that Wynyard Wharf tank removal and remedial work are complex and time consuming. “We along, with Government and Council, have concerns about the works timetable and availability of specialist construction resource in an already stretched environment. The government is seeking a second expert opinion on the timetable issue and we support them in doing this….There is little point in agreeing to a plan that can’t be delivered on time”.

Officials are currently working with ETNZ on the design and details of this fourth option, as well as other aspects of the overall event. ETNZ’s Dalton concedes the new option “on the face of it and to the layman’s eye…looks like it could work.”

 The four options that have been discussed are:

  1. The original Auckland Council option known as Wynyard Basin, for which a plan seeking consent was lodged on January 15. It envisages a base for Emirates Team New Zealand on Hobson Point with 74m extensions to both Hobson and Halsey Street wharfs. It requires 22,800 square metres of wharf extensions into the harbour.
  2. The Wynyard Point “hybrid” option presented by the Government and the Council on February 13, which put more bases on Wynyard Point but which reduced from 74m to 35m an extension on Halsey Wharf, while accommodating ETNZ on Hobson. It requires 14,200 sq m of extensions into the harbour.
  3. An option proposed by Emirates Team New Zealand which retains the 75m Halsey extension putting more bases on the extended Halsey Wharf, while holding Wynyard Point in reserve, with ETNZ on Hobson. It requires the same 22,800 sq m of extensions as the basin option.
  4. Point-Halsey. This design utilises land on Wynyard Point and reduced to 45m the extension to Halsey Street Wharf. There would be no extension to Hobson Wharf. It provides for two double bases on Halsey, one of which will be ETNZ’s base and additional bases on Wynyard wharf as syndicates are confirmed. It requires a 9900 sq m extension into the harbour.

Minister for Economic Development David Parker says only four double bases are now needed, rather than the six required at the time the hybrid option was announced, and this gives greater flexibility.

 A consent application will be lodged for the building of bases on Wynyard Point and the existing Halsey Wharf.

 That will sit alongside the council’s earlier application and ensure maximum flexibility.

Option costings: (Note: All information is approximate and subject to final decisions).

(1) Wynyard Basin (2) Wynyard Point (3) Halsey-Hobson (ETNZ) (4) Point-Halsey
Hobson 35 35 35 0
Halsey St Wharf 79 49 79 49
Wynyard Point 40 51 20 66
Other 21 24 17 24
Total  175 160 151 140