Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Cruise-ship berth promoted at the expense of ferries

The document puts emphasis on a cruise-ship terminal on Queens Wharf. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The document puts emphasis on a cruise-ship terminal on Queens Wharf. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Ferry services play second fiddle to a cruise-ship terminal in the draft waterfront plan, which Waterfront Auckland chairman Bob Harvey says is a key step to helping Auckland and Wellington to develop its economic potential.

The glossy, 56-page document puts emphasis on a cruise-ship terminal on Queens Wharf.

Mayor Len Brown has broken a promise to consult Aucklanders on options for a terminal by unilaterally announcing the city will go with Queens Wharf, angering Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney, who argues it should go on the edge of the waterfront to free up the central wharves for people.

The waterfront plan says the cruise-ship industry was worth $163 million to Auckland in the 2009-2010 season and on track to become New Zealand's third-largest inbound tourism market in the coming season, creating 5600 jobs.

For this, Aucklanders are being asked to invest $40.3 million to build an international cruise-ship terminal on Queens Wharf by refurbishing and extending Shed 10 and creating a dolphin extension to the wharf to cater for larger vessels. Wynyard Wharf could be used at a later date.

In contrast, there is little detail in the 30-year life of the plan about expanding the downtown ferry terminal and just $5.5 million to expand freight and vehicle ferry services to Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands at North Wharf.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby questioned if Waterfront Auckland understood the enormity of the problem of having the cruise-ship terminal alongside the ferry terminal.

- NZ Herald

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