The America's Cup base row appears to be heading back to the drawing board after a series of meetings between the Government, Auckland Council and Team New Zealand.
Economic Development Minister David Parker spent four hours visiting the proposed sites on the waterfront before holding two meetings yesterday with Auckland mayor Phil Goff and Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton, among others.
"I don't want to sound dictatorial but I am expecting to see some revised plans," said Parker, the minister responsible for the Cup.
He said he had spoken of the need to value environmental services and not assume water space will be taken up with more piers.
He expects to see some variations on the current themes within the next week, which, he said, could include using some waterfront land on Beaumont St, just south of Silo Park at Wynyard Quarter.
The site, known as Lot 18, has been promoted by Stop Stealing Our Harbour and Urban Auckland, whose representatives were among the people to tour the sites with Parker.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town, Panuku Development Auckland staff and staff from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) also toured the site and met afterwards to discuss the pros and cons of the different options.
This was followed by a meeting between Parker and Team NZ representatives, including Dalton.
"Team New Zealand provided us America's Cup plans face rethink with information regarding practicalities. They are at the point of finalising design of the regatta yachts and that has an effect on the practicality of various sites," Parker said.
The parties' visions for the event - and the future of Auckland waterfront - differ greatly, with Goff favouring the cheaper $137 million option that disperses the bases across three city wharves, while Team New Zealand's preference is to centralise the bases on a 220m extension to Halsey Wharf covering 3ha of water space at a cost of $190m.
Parker said a deal must meet Team NZ's needs and be acceptable to central Government and Auckland Council and have a reasonable prospect of getting resource consent.
"We are not there yet. There is goodwill and some constructive suggestions made today by all the parties. We haven't struck a deal with Auckland Council and Team New Zealand but we are getting closer."
Parker said the effective date for a decision is early January so documents can be prepared to start the planning process.
Parker said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - a critic of further harbour expansion for port use - was very supportive of what he was doing.