The Auckland Council is dusting off plans for the city's waterfront that include new cruise ship facilities, berths for superyachts and a park on Wynyard Pt.
The plan aims to open up more of the waterfront which has slowed since Wynyard Quarter was opened in 2011 and people rediscovered the harbour edge. It also caters for the growing needs of the cruise-ship industry and longer term plans for a large park at the end of Wynyard Pt.
The immediate problem of berthing giant cruise ships like the 348m Ovation of the Seas has been addressed and a longer-term solution to use Captain Cook Wharf as the main cruise ship terminal put forward.
On busy days, Queens Wharf and Princess Wharf could provide a further two berths for the cruise industry, which is worth $484 million to the New Zealand economy and growing.
The most contentious proposal is likely to be a 60m to 80m extension of Halsey Wharf for the rich and famous to moor their superyachts. One idea to reconfigure a 4.5ha park at Wynyard Pt to make it more visible from the city may prove popular.
There are plans to redevelop the ferry basin with boardwalks, or possibly even reclamation, and moving the ferry berths up the western side of Queens Wharf.
The plans are similar to a central wharves strategy in 2015 that came to a halt when Aucklanders went to war with council and Ports of Auckland over further reclamation of Waitemata Harbour for port use.
Councillors were briefed on a draft version of the plans on March 10. A final version will be made public on Thursday and discussed by the planning committee on March 28.
Planning committee chairman Chris Darby confirmed plans contained in the draft version, which have been obtained by the Herald.
A number of parties, including Auckland Council, Panuku Development Auckland, Auckland Transport and Ports of Auckland, have been involved in the latest plans.
Darby said the recent plan for a $10m to $12m mooring dolphin connected to Queens Wharf for three to four giant cruise ship visits a year had been addressed. The solution was a dolphin sitting underneath the end of Queens Wharf, subject to harbourmaster sign off and a final safety audit.
Darby has mixed feelings about the proposals. He does not think Aucklanders would want to fill in more of the harbour for a Halsey Wharf extension to moor superyachts, but is open-minded about boardwalks, or even some reclamation in the ferry basin.
The council has flagged expanding the ferry basin as part of a $27m compensation package for the sale of nearly Queen Elizabeth Square to Precinct Properties for its $850m Commercial Bay tower and shopping mall on the site of the old Downtown shopping centre.
"In this area I have an open mind because there is overwhelming public benefit," Darby said.
The proposal for the ferry basin also involves moving the ferry berths - which may increase from eight to 12 to handle expected growth of 50 per cent by 2026 - up the western side of Queens Wharf at right angles.
Darby said at some stage The Cloud, built for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, would be removed.
"We need to remind ourselves it was meant to be temporary," said Darby.
At this stage, there are no costs attached to most of the proposals and the council is financially constrained when it comes to new projects. The council is also facing a hefty bill to fix the seawall along Quay St.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff is not commenting on the proposals at this stage.
The main waterfront proposals, from west to east
A planned 4.5ha park at the end of Wynyard Pt has been reconfigured to include some parkland at the end and more parkland running further down the east side to create a longer green belt view from the city.
Halsey St wharf extension
Build a wharf extension 60m-80m into the harbour to accommodate superyachts.
Reconfigure the ferry basin with boardwalks or reclamation to create more public space. Move ferry berths up the western side of Queens Wharf.
Remove The Cloud at some stage. Build mooring dolphin underneath the end of the wharf for mooring mega cruise ships.
Captain Cook Wharf
Turn the wharf into the city's main cruise ship terminal, possibly with a wharf extension. This is dependent on Ports of Auckland giving up the wharf, which is used for vehicle imports.