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