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Aucklanders slam “concrete rugby field” in their harbour

Aucklanders slam “concrete rugby field” in their harbour

Aucklanders overwhelmingly reject the new America’s Cup Village proposal that would put a rugby-field-sized concrete wharf extension into the city’s harbour, a new poll shows.

“The numbers couldn’t be clearer,” said Michael Goldwater of Stop Stealing Our Harbour, which commissioned the poll. “Aucklanders don’t want an America’s Cup Village that involves paving over our harbour.”

“Given a choice between an America’s Cup village built on existing waterfront land and structures, or building a new wharf extension out into the harbour that’s 45m by 220m, in line with the new proposal, 70% chose the option with less impact on the harbour,” Mr Goldwater said.

“Only 27% said their preference was for a wharf expansion.

The new proposal for the America’s Cup Village was revealed by Emirates Team New Zealand on Wednesday and backed by government.

“Some supporters of the most recent proposal released on Wednesday have praised it for intruding on ‘only’ 9900 square metres of the harbour. That’s the size of a rugby field. It’s a far cry from what the people of Auckland want, which is not a metre more of our harbour lost.

“Minister for the Environment David Parker has said that his preference is for the option with the least cost and the least encroachment into the harbour. That’s also what the people of Auckland want, and there is now real pressure for the government and Council to deliver it.

“The proposal on Wednesday showed that all the bases for America’s Cup challengers could easily fit on Wynyard Point. And yet the proposal, being pushed by Council, also includes a wharf extension of 45m by 220m on Halsey Point to house a single challenger base.

“There is a real risk the Council will lose public goodwill for the America’s Cup by continuing to push out into the Waitemata.”

Editor’s note:

Curia Research polled 500 Aucklanders on Wednesday 14 March. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

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