Waterfront plan must be scrutinised by city group before public get their say.

A development plan for Queens Wharf has been approved by Waterfront Auckland, but must go through a new bureaucratic hoop before being opened for public consultation.

Returning Shed 11 to the wharf and removing the Cloud to free the western side for public use are among options the council's waterfront development agency is keen to discuss with Aucklanders.

Shed 11 was removed from Queens Wharf to make way for the $9.8 million Cloud, built for for the Rugby World Cup.

Shed 10 stayed and was refurbished as a cruise ship terminal and events space.

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Waterfront Auckland's draft plan also includes a new shed, respecting the traditional shed form, for the servicing components of the cruise ship terminal at Shed 10.

It is understood a $1 million-plus sculpture of a state house with an oversized Venetian glass chandelier, initiated by a $1 million gift from real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson, is a non-negotiable item in the plan.

Last night, Waterfront Auckland chairman Sir Bob Harvey said the plan was a superb blueprint for the future.

But he was was surprised a group "we haven't met is running the ruler over and deciding priorities that we have clearly identified as priorities".

He was referring to the City Centre Integration Group, a new bureaucracy whose role is to co-ordinate and focus activities in downtown Auckland and the waterfront among the different arms of the council.

The CCIG is supported by chief executives of council-controlled organisations and has its own chief executive, Rick Walden, who had a role delivering big projects for Auckland Transport.

A council spokesman said the CCIG was preparing a downtown precinct development framework made up of several initiatives in the downtown area, including Queens Wharf. Consultation was likely in the second half of this year.

Waitemata councillor Mike Lee, who has been involved with Queens Wharf since it was purchased for public use in 2009, said the CCIG was a bizarre invention of the CCOs and was not accountable to councillors.

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Mr Lee said Waterfront Auckland was doing a good job as the waterfront development agency and should be allowed to get on with it "without this team of people with their fingers in the pie".

Former Auckland regional councillor and planner Dr Joel Cayford said that Queens Wharf deserved better than it has had in terms of planning and public involvement.