5 Feb 2010

Auckland mayor rejects plan for Queens Wharf

10:25 pm on 5 February 2010

Auckland City Mayor John Banks has come out against a proposed cruise ship terminal which the Government believes could be built in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Auckland's leaders are now divided on the revived $100 million plan to build a cruise ship terminal on Queens Wharf with the tournament just 20 months away.

Local body leaders have been canvassed by the Auckland Transition Agency on behalf of the Government, which favours building a party venue for fans and the cruise ship terminal.

Mr Banks was briefed on the proposed design but rejects it in favour of developing a longer-term plan for the waterfront with the cruise ship terminal built further to the east on Bledisloe Wharf.

The mayor also wants a less expensive rugby fan venue.

"Im not going to lead the Auckland City Council ratepayers to spend north of $100 million on a project that we don't think is good enough for the bottom of Queen Street. There are alternatives for what can happen in time to host the Rugby World Cup."

Other mayors who have spoken publicly either support the terminal plan or want further discussion.

Mr Banks has previously backed the creation of a waterfront master plan before there is any significant development.

Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey says he hopes the mayors can agree to support the Government proposal.

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully will not comment before hearing the collected views next week.