The thrill and vibrancy of the America’s Cup is returning to Auckland’s waterfront in 2021 with the Auckland Council Governing Body giving its unanimous support to hosting the 36th America’s Cup.
At today’s meeting, Councillors approved the lodgement of a new resource consent application for the Wynyard Hobson location, agreed to by Auckland Council, Government and Emirates Team New Zealand on Monday.
Mayor Phil Goff said, “This is a time for Aucklanders to celebrate. We are a city that is capable of hosting world-class events and with the defence of the America’s Cup we will be the focus of the sporting world.
“We are going to make this the best America’s Cup ever. We are going to showcase our unique harbour and environment, of which we are very proud, and our city’s innovation and cutting edge technology.
“Not only will Aucklanders experience the excitement and vibrancy of a world-class event but it means more jobs and a boost to our accommodation, tourism and hospitality sectors.
“This is alongside significant legacy benefits for Auckland including the earlier removal of the bulk liquid storage tanks on Wynyard Point, new public space on Hobson Wharf, a sheltered space for a whole range of maritime events and bringing forward work already planned to improve our city centre.
“I want to acknowledge ETNZ and the government for their roles in developing the base location. We have agreed a base configuration that is less expensive than previous options and requires a much smaller extension into the harbour.
“In the end we have reached a point where all three parties are together and ready to get down to the business of delivering a cost-effective, timely and world-class base and village experience for all New Zealanders,” says Mayor Goff.
Emirates Team New Zealand representatives Tina Symmans and Kevin Shoebridge, thanked Auckland Council and Government officials for their tireless work, saying what seemed like mission impossible was solved through everyone compromising to reach the best solution.
“The three parties have always had the same end goal in mind with different aspects to achieve along the way, but the option agreed is an excellent option easily comparable, or better than, San Francisco, Bermuda or Valencia, so it’s very positive,” says Kevin Shoebridge, ETNZ Chief Operating Officer.
“The most important thing is to defend the Cup and make the most of the investment. Moving into the Viaduct Events Centre is the best thing that can happen towards making it a successful defence for ETNZ.
“For us to move into a facility that will be up and running in a matter of months means we can be launching race boats in April 2019 and gives ETNZ the best opportunity to defend the Cup in 2021.
“Also it’s a great central location putting ETNZ right in the centre of the team and village atmosphere, so from a public and team point of view it’s going to be a fantastic location with the best interactive public areas for people to be close to the team,” says Kevin Shoebridge.
At the meeting the Governing Body also approved the Host City Appointment Agreement, entered into between all three parties and the cost-sharing agreement between Auckland Council and the Government.
This includes the council’s total share of $98.5 million of the $212.4 million budgeted to host the America’s Cup.
The new resource consent application to build the base infrastructure will be lodged in April and will be publicly notified for submissions. It replaces the earlier Wynyard Basin consent, agreed by the council in December 2017, which will be withdrawn.
The consent application will remain as a direct referral to the Environment Court with a decision expected from the Court in October 2018. It is expected that overall consenting timeframes will be extended by about two months.
A further application to for the relocation of SeaLink and the commercial fishing fleet will be made once on-going investigations on alternative location options are completed.