Amer­ica’s Cup op­tions floated

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SI­MON MAUDE

A har­bour lobby group that fought Auck­land Coun­cil over ex­tend­ing the city’s wharf now wants its sup­port over the Amer­ica’s Cup.

Stop Steal­ing Our Har­bour, which forced coun­cil-owned Ports of Auck­land to halt a wharf ex­ten­sion, is propos­ing two water­front lo­ca­tions for the 2021 host­ing of the Amer­ica’s Cup.

On Tues­day morn­ing, the grass-roots group de­liv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion to the coun­cil’s pow­er­ful Plan­ning Com­mit­tee and pitched two al­ter­na­tives to what is cur­rently planned.

The ma­rina, which is to the west of the Viaduct and Halsey Wharf lo­ca­tions, has been marked as ‘Op­tion A’ by the group.

‘Op­tion B’ would dis­trib­ute syn­di­cate bases around ex­ist­ing water­front struc­tures.

Group spokesman Michael Gold­wa­ter said the Westhaven break­wa­ter pro­posal could house eight Amer­ica’s Cup yacht­ing syn­di­cates with­out en­croach­ing on Auck­land Har­bour.

‘‘We’re ag­nos­tic about where [Amer­ica’s Cup bases] go as long as it’s low cost and is not go­ing to im­pede the har­bour. It’s just one of the op­tions, it is a vi­able op­tion.’’

When not used as Amer­ica’s Cup fa­cil­i­ties, the Westhaven site would re­vert to pro­vid­ing yacht­ing fa­cil­i­ties for Auck­lan­ders, Gold­wa­ter said.

Coun­cil agency Panuku De­vel­op­ment Auck­land has pro­posed a Westhaven Ma­rina re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion, ex­tend­ing the break­wa­ter to the east adding hun­dreds of me­tres of space.

The Auld Mug is on dis­play at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Westhaven on Auck­land’s water­front.

In 2015, Stop Steal­ing Our Har­bour led ef­forts to stop Ports of Auck­land ex­tend­ing Bledis­loe con­tainer wharf swal­low­ing hectares of Auck­land Har­bour.

Gold­wa­ter was asked if there was irony in the group now seek­ing Auck­land Coun­cil sup­port for an­other water­front project.

‘‘I don’t think there is any irony, our role is the ad­vo­cacy of one of our best assets, Auck­land Har­bour, we’re not seek­ing sup­port, we’re do­ing ci­ti­zen re­search for the peo­ple of Auck­land, which we hope will ben­e­fit Auck­lan­ders in the long run.’’

Auck­land mayor Phil Goff has pre­vi­ously sug­gested The Cloud on Auck­land’s water­front as a po­ten­tial venue for an Amer­ica’s Cup base.

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF

Where the 2021 Amer­ica’s Cup should based in Auck­land is yet to be de­cided.

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