Special legislation is likely to be pushed through to ensure Auckland can host the America's Cup.
Documents obtained by the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act reveal the Auckland Council raised concerns with the previous government over the condensed timeline to deliver infrastructure for the event.
With the first syndicates expected to set up camp in Auckland in mid-2019, construction on the team bases needs to start by the middle of next year. Council officials say that to meet event timeframes the planning process will have to be accelerated.
In a letter to then-minister for economic development Simon Bridges, Auckland mayor Phil Goff raised the possibility of creating special legislation for the event.
"A business as usual approach to construction is unlikely to deliver the infrastructure on time," Goff wrote.
"Advice provided to me indicates that the best possible mechanism for delivering the America's Cup infrastructure [redacted] would have to be in the form of enabling legislation ... should the government consider enabling special legislation, I would be interested in exploring the best options with you."
It will now be up to the incoming Labour-led Government to consider once ministerial jobs are settled.
Emirates Team New Zealand last month publicly outlined their plans for the 36th America's Cup, which is slated to run from January to March, 2021.
One of the key details missing was the absence of a confirmed host city. Team NZ boss Grant Dalton was forced to include Italy as a contingency option should Auckland be unable to meet the infrastructure needs for the event. The new Cup protocol included a "drop dead" date of August 31, 2018 to determine whether Auckland can host the event.
Auckland Council and waterfront agencies are doing studies on a number of sites for housing the team bases and an event village for the 2021 regatta.
A joint briefing document distributed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) - the lead government agency - in late July outlined the council's plans around the infrastructure required to support the event, which is forecast to deliver billions of dollars into the economy.
The document provided to the Herald was heavily redacted, with possible sites and associated costs of the development not disclosed.
Analysis provided to MBIE by Panuku Development Auckland estimated up to 30,000 sq m will be required to host up to 10 syndicates, although officials noted the number is more likely to be around six to eight.
"On advice from ETNZ, it has been deemed preferable that syndicates would be required to co-locate. Dalton believes it is vital to the event to be a success as it creates a village, which will bring the associated people, energy and atmosphere."
The Herald understands Team NZ's preference is the Halsey Street extension option, which will leave a legacy for the event.
There is precedent for special legislation for major events. The Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010 was invoked to fast-track applications "for activities or facilities reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of the Rugby World Cup 2011".