Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

City urged to get shipshape

Auckland told to take the lead in hosting event and stop Government muscling in

Photo / Doug Sherring
Photo / Doug Sherring

Auckland officials are being urged to prepare for hosting the next America's Cup series, should Emirates Team NZ win the present match, but to resist the Government stepping in to force change, as it did with the Rugby World Cup.

Joel Cayford, a consultant, planner and former member of the Auckland Regional Council, said the city did not need any more structures like The Cloud, foisted on it by the Government in the rush to prepare for RWC.

That event and the pressure to gear up for it resulted in what Dr Cayford called a "pile of embarrassing legacy infrastructure" and hurried planning. He cited the Government's empowering legislation to force Auckland's hand on the issue as a situation which should be avoided.

"Auckland needs to get organised, plan for this possible future and show that it can indeed organise a 'p***-up in its own brewery'.

"Which is short for: organise a fantastic America's Cup event in the Waitemata Harbour and build a great party central for it and leave Auckland with some infrastructure it will be proud of," Dr Cayford urged.

He wants all vehicles banned from the east-west Quay St, which should be "pedestrianised" to replace a motorway-like stretch with a people-friendly walking areas.

North Shore-based Dr Cayford also called for the development of a light-rail link from the west's Wynyard Quarter to Queen St to improve links between the western end of the waterfront and the existing Queen St-centred CBD.

He also called for big improvements to public spaces around the waterfront and said a number of public organisations needed to collaborate.

Waterfront Auckland, the council-controlled organisation, said it was well prepared for a win.

"Our strategic master planning document consulted on in 2012, The Waterfront Plan, identifies a number of places along the waterfront designated for revitalisation which could potentially house syndicate compounds and a race village."

Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell also emphasised the organisation was well prepared.

"We've got plenty of options but need to know what the boats are, how big they will be and how many syndicates could come. If we could have nine syndicates, that would be the optimum."

- NZ Herald

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