Independent commissioners have today released their decision to grant resource consent for the upgrade of Queens Wharf to provide for berthage of large cruise ships (mooring dolphins).
A panel of three independent commissioners have decided that resource consent can be granted, subject to conditions of consent.
The decision states:
“After considering the evidence we have decided to grant consent, subject to conditions. We have found that although the proposal would have a range of adverse effects on the environment, both during construction and operation, those effects are able to be avoided, remedied or mitigated to an acceptable level by way of good construction management, engagement with Mana Whenua, and consultation with other stakeholders.
“The proposal by Panuku that the occupation consent for the dolphins expire once Captain Cook Wharf is operational as a large cruise ship berth, or in 15 years’ time (whichever is the earlier), and that the structures are then removed, was a key feature of the application that weighed in its favour.
“Its positive economic and social benefits, and improvements to the current process of receiving large cruise ships, were also beneficial features.”
In November 2017, Auckland Council’s Governing Body agreed to proceed with the application for mooring dolphins on Queens Wharf to provide infrastructure for the cruise industry to operate a quality, efficient and safe service when visiting Auckland.
The mooring dolphins would also enable the cruise industry to grow with the capability to accommodate the growing number of larger 350+ metre cruise ships visiting Auckland.
Panuku Development Auckland lodged the resource consent application in July 2018, which was followed by public submissions and five days of hearings. The independent commissioners then considered the views of submitters, the reports and evidence put before them in making their decision.
An appeal period on the decision is now open until 15 May 2019 for those who made submissions on the application.
A copy of the full decision is available here.