14 Feb 2018

Govt confident in preferred America's Cup plan

3:31 pm on 14 February 2018

The cost of building an America's Cup village in Auckland has risen to a possible $200 million, as the government and council agree on a new plan.

An artist impression of the government's alternative plan for an America's Cup Village, with more bases on Wynyard Point.

An artist impression of the government's alternative plan for an America's Cup Village, with more bases on Wynyard Point. Photo: Supplied / MBIE

The government says its alternative plan for an America's Cup base in Auckland is feasible, and will now be considered Auckland Council's preferred option.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said an agreement had been reached with a fuel storage company to relocate it off Wynyard Point - making the government option feasible.

"With Stolthaven Terminals vacating its premises we are able to reclaim previously unusable land on Wynyard Wharf and accelerate aspects of the redevelopment of Wynyard Point that will create a lasting legacy for Auckland after the Cup," he said.

Mr Goff said the new option could cost about $185 million and the previous plan favoured by the council up to $30 million more.

Mr Goff said Team New Zealand had questions when shown the new option last Friday.

Team New Zealand said it was surprised at the apparent agreement to opt for a different cup village design.

Team NZ said it considered negotiations to be still underway and it preferred a design now already in the planning process.

The new option will also have to be considered by Auckland councillors.

Economic Development Minister David Parker and his officials have been exploring a plan, which he prefers, at the same time that the council has begun the formal planning process for the option it settled on in December.

The government's option involves a smaller extension of existing wharves, 35m on Halsey Street Wharf instead of 75m, and uses more land on the adjacent Wynyard Point.

Costs have not been released for the two options but Mr Parker estimated his preference would be $15 million to $20m cheaper than pursuing the council's option.

"I believe the proposal will create a legacy for Auckland and all of New Zealand - our main aim alongside creating a top class venue for Team New Zealand and the Cup defence in 2021 and, hopefully, beyond," Mr Parker said.

The council and the cup defender Team New Zealand have both said time is tight to have the bases ready by late next year, and it's not clear how much more time will be needed to weigh-up the options.

Auckland Council hopes to have planning approval by August, if its option proceeds.

Mr Goff said whichever option gets the go-ahead, there was benefits in the the early departure of the Stolthaven tank facility.