Wharf extension for America's Cup draws strong criticism

NZ HeraldBy: Bernard Orsman

Opposition is growing to a large wharf expansion for the America's Cup, with fears it will cause lasting damage to the Waitemata Harbour.

The same groups who stopped further expansion of the harbour for port use are lobbying Auckland councillors ahead of a workshop today on options for the America's Cup syndicate bases.

“The time has passed for perpetual reclamation and wharf expansion to remedy short-term problems with long-term detrimental effects on the harbour,” the Society for the Protection of Auckland Harbours and Stop Stealing Our Harbour said in a letter to councillors.

Councillors will be briefed on up to six options, including a proposal for a 3ha extension of Halsey Wharf – where the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre is – for as many as 10 bases. The cost has been put at between $80 million and $100m.

Other options include an extension of the northern breakwater at Westhaven Marina, Captain Cook Wharf near the port and dispersing the bases at several sites around Wynyard Quarter.

There is real urgency around making a decision and having the facilities built by mid-2019, when the first challenger syndicates arrive for the 2021 defence. Team New Zealand have a preference for all the teams based at one location.

Read the full story at the NZ Herald.

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