Advocacy Group ballots for the Basin for America’s Cup
7 March 2018
Advocacy Group ballots for the Basin as best for America’s Cup
The Stop Stealing Our Harbour Advocacy group has come out strongly in favour of the creation of an America’s Cup Village around the Wynyard Basin, directly in front of the North Wharf entertainment hub. Stop Stealing Our Harbour spokesman Michael Goldwater says this option has multiple benefits even as the clock is ticking towards the arrival of the first teams, expected in the latter part of next year.
In fact, the option of locating the America’s Cup Village has gained the support of well over a hundred of Auckland’s most prominent citizens, academics, resident’s associations and civic organisations.
“We welcome the opportunity to host another vibrant and successful America’s Cup in Auckland. But more than that, if as a city we get it right, the Cup can be used as a catalyst for the redevelopment of our waterfront, continuing the work started by Sir Peter Blake a generation ago,” says Goldwater.
However, he stresses that while time is of the essence, making the right decision is crucial for optimal outcomes for all interested parties. “This particular option offers the best solution for providing Emirates Team New Zealand with the prominent position it deserves on Halsey Wharf. Moreover, and crucially from the perspective of protecting the under-attack natural beauty of the Waitemata Harbour, it minimises impact by removing the need for controversial wharf extensions,” Goldwater notes.
Pointing out that a land-based solution will be quicker and easier to consent and build, he adds that this solution will also cost less, reducing any burden on ratepayers. “Putting the America’s Cup Village near the Wynyard Basin will enhance and complement existing and proposed recreational uses of this area, already treasured by growing numbers of Aucklanders who enjoy all it has to offer, along with the iconic views across Halsey Wharf, a major drawcard for the City waterfront.”
The proximity of the Wynyard Basin to the industrial activity of the Tank Farm is a further issue which Goldwater believes will be positively impacted should the America’s Cup Village find its hope in this location. He believes it will accelerate the de-industrialisation of the hazardous storage zone, noting that the Tank Farm owner Stolthaven has indicated an ‘in-principle’ willingness to accelerate their departure from Wynyard Point to accommodate the America’s Cup Village.
And he adds that the fishing fleet, an integral part of the life and character of the Auckland Harbour waterfront, will not be permanently displaced.
“Locating the America’s Cup Village in the Wynyard Basin provides the best solution for the event. And without downplaying the value and magnitude of the America’s Cup, it will also leave a lasting legacy for Auckland itself,” says Goldwater.
“As a smart solution which ticks all the boxes for all concerned parties, this is a real win-win, so I encourage the Government, Auckland Council and Emirates Team New Zealand to adopt this elegant solution. It will deliver a world class event venue while enhancing the character, vibrancy and beauty of our waterfront.”