A controversial wharf extension to tie up large cruise ships in Auckland is unlikely to proceed after the warring factions agreed to work together to find an alternative solution.
Auckland Council and its development arm Panuku have been pushing to build a 90m fixed gangway and two concrete mooring structures fixed to the seabed - known as dolphins - at Queens Wharf.
The dolphins, measuring 15m by 15m, will allow a handful of cruise ships a year that currently anchor in the harbour to berth at Queens Wharf.
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Last week, legal action brought by Urban Auckland to stop the dolphins being built was deferred to allow the group of architects and urban designers to continue informal talks with council, Ports of Auckland and other interested parties to find an alternative solution.
The Environment Court has suspended any further court action until March next year.
Urban Auckland spokeswoman Julie Stout acknowledged the positive response by Panuku, Mayor Phil Goff, Ports of Auckland and council officers to find a solution that works for everyone, including the cruise industry.
One of the options being looked at is using Bledisloe Wharf, operated by the ports company, to tie up large cruise ships.
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"We look forward to working together to resolve this and other waterfront issues," said Stout, who is confident an alternative solution will be found.
"With the recent developments with the Upper North Island Chain Study it is clearly time for a fresh approach to planning our waterfront," she said.
She was speaking on behalf of Urban Auckland, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and representatives of the cruise industry, boating and community groups.
The cost of the project has blown out by 75 per cent from $9.4 million to $16.9m with suggestions it could rise further.
On top of that, $1.7m has been spent on professional fees for the mooring dolphins.