A new plan has been put forward for the America's Cup bases in Auckland by a company owned by some of the country's richest businessmen who own 20ha of land at Wynyard Quarter and the Viaduct Harbour.

Viaduct Harbour Holdings has tweaked a plan agreed to last week between the Government and Auckland Council by moving the Team New Zealand base from Hobson Wharf to Halsey Wharf.

VHH chief executive Angela Bull said its plan is cheaper, requires less encroachment into the harbour and produces a better outcome for Auckland.

Viaduct Harbour Holdings chief executive Angela Bull. Photo / Dean Purcell
Viaduct Harbour Holdings chief executive Angela Bull. Photo / Dean Purcell

She said the company is deeply concerned about a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf with 15m high syndicate bases blocking public views to the Waitemata Harbour.


"The scale of the Halsey Wharf extension is the same as if Captain Cook wharf was put on its side," she said.

However, in a statement, Team New Zealand said: "We haven't seen anything from Viaduct Harbour Holdings and they have not tried to contact us at any time, but one imagines anything they come up with will be laced with money-making self interest."

Bull said the Team New Zealand base, currently planned on a 75m extension to Hobson Wharf, could be built as a smaller extension at the end of the Viaduct Events Centre on Halsey Wharf.

The VHH plan has five bases located on Wynyard Point and two bases further south on Beaumont St on what is known as Site 18 to create a base atmosphere around the Wynyard Basin and North Wharf.

It would also avoid the need to move the fishing fleet to the western side of Wynyard Point.

Bull said the Government's hybrid plan is a good step in the right direction, "but we can do better as a city".

"We have advised the Government and the Council of our concerns over the Wharf extensions, and we have provided them with a proposal to locate all of the team bases on Wynyard wharf and a smaller extension to Halsey Wharf in line with the Events Centre," she said.

The latest plan comes a week after a surprise announcement last week over an agreed plan between the Government and Auckland Council to deliver a world-class America's Cup village on the waterfront.

Their "hybrid" plan incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified in January, and the Wynyard Point option being explored by Economic Minister David Parker.

The plan clears the way for more land-based locations for bases on Wynyard Point and reduces the proposed extension to Halsey Wharf from 75m to 35m.

Last week, Team New Zealand also presented a plan it claimed would cost significantly less than the "hybrid" proposal. It is a variation on the Wynyard Basin option with syndicate bases on a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf and Hobson Wharf.

Parker said he had heard the VHH proposal had come through.

"I will consider all good ideas but I haven't seen it yet so I can't comment in detail."

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff would not say if he had seen the proposal.

"Auckland Council is continuing to work together with Government and Team New Zealand to explore options to host the America's Cup in Auckland," Goff said.

The directors of Viaduct Harbour Holdings are Dean Farmer, Ross Green, Justin Wyborn and Noel Lane who represents inventor Alan Gibbs, who between them own much of the land around the waterfront and big slices of Newmarket and surrounds.

Bull said VHH supports a world-class America's Cup village and believes a world-class America's Cup event can be delivered without compromising the Auckland waterfront.

"We want to keep working with Council and Government to leave a legacy that Auckland can be proud of," she said.