Some say sport and politics should never mix, but they inevitably will when it comes to Auckland's hosting of both the America's Cup and Apec in 2021.

The two events will require development, particularly of Auckland's waterfront areas, to cater for yachting fans and political aficionados alike as they descend upon Auckland over the course of the year.

After Emirates Team New Zealand's (ETNZ) America's Cup win earlier this year, attention almost immediately turned to the question of how and where New Zealand would carry out its hosting rights four years later.

Auckland being the obvious choice - as it was previously in 2000 and 2003 - other options mooted included Tauranga and Queenstown.


A shortlist of five potential base options for the event was decided upon by Auckland Council in collaboration with central government and ETNZ in mid-November, which was then narrowed down to two approved locations by council on November 23.

These included a cluster of bases on Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf and Wynyard Wharf East, and a cluster of bases on the Western and Eastern side of Wynyard Wharf and Site 18.

"The council has agreed on a preference for the Wynyard Basin option which clusters bases around Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf and Wynyard Wharf East to take into further negotiations," said mayor Phil Goff at the time.

"This option will allow a great village atmosphere, is less intrusive on our harbour, around $40 million cheaper and eight months quicker to construct."

This came after ETNZ announced their original preference of extending Halsey Wharf was flexible, and that they were prepared to support the decision made by council.

A report by Market Economics (ME), prepared for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), last month said the expected added value to the New Zealand economy would range between $555m and $977m over the 2018-2021 period.

The benefits beyond the hosting of the event itself were also said to be significant.

"The long-term impacts of the event and the infrastructure spend relate mostly to lifting Auckland and NZ's marine industry's profile," said the report.

"The gain is estimated to lift the size of the economy by $123m (GDP) each year by 2055."

"This increase reflects a permanent, step change in the size of the economy and is driven by an increase in the super yacht market (and receiving export receipts)."

When all of these benefits up to 2055 were taken into account, the modelling suggested that every $1 invested would generate approximately $7.50 of economic activity.

Aucklanders will rightly ask what that investment will look like. Much of the detail will depend on the decision made between the two options currently available.

At the time of writing, this decision had not yet been released but was due to be made by council on Thursday, December 14.

In any case, the indicative costs for the original five options were said to range from $140m to $190m.

Meanwhile, much of the economic benefit will come from increased super yacht activity as a result of the upgraded wharf berths available.

Another ME study, commissioned by Ateed, stated that on average a 30m to 50m yacht will spend around $1.8m while in New Zealand, while 50m to 70m yachts spend around $3.5m, and those above 70m spend up to $6.3m.

This spending occurs in the form of refit work, spending of high net worth guests, and day-to-day crew expenditure and accommodation in the city.

A variety of other infrastructure items have been proposed to facilitate the hosting of the event, including a centralised village spanning 700 metres across the Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Wharf and a "concert and performance stage and grandstand in the heart of the Wynyard Quarter to showcase New Zealand's musical and cultural performers".

It is planned that there will be public access to view the daily operations of team bases and the launching and retrieving of the AC75 race yachts.

A variety of bars and restaurants are also expected to spring up to accommodate the many visitors expected to arrive.

Those bars and restaurants will also benefit from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum to be held over the course of the entire year, beginning in December 2020 and featuring 12 different events.

The most significant of those is the Apec Leaders' Week, when the leaders of major economies including the United States, Canada, and South Korea are expected to arrive in Auckland for negotiations.

"Apec 2021 will be the largest event ever hosted by the New Zealand Government and is a wonderful opportunity for New Zealand to shine on the international stage," said then-Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee in a press release earlier this year.

Around 22,000 attendees are expected to be brought to Auckland by the events, including 10,000 attendees expected for Leaders' Week, which will be held in November 2021.

Hospitality providers will fortunately have had some time to recover from the surge of activity driven by the America's Cup by that point, with the Cup to be held some time in March.