The Government appears to have abandoned its preferred land-based option for the America's Cup bases in Auckland and agreed to wharf extensions into the Waitemata Harbour.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff told the Herald today that negotiations are down to two options based around Wynyard Basin, both of which require extensions to Halsey Wharf and Hobson Wharf.
This is at odds with a plan outlined by Economic Development Minister David Parker on Monday which rendered the Halsey Wharf extension unnecessary.
"The whole thing is a bit of a movable feast," Goff said.
The first option is the council and Team New Zealand's agreed position last month at Wynyard Basin for a cluster of bases on a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf, a 75m extension to Hobson Wharf, and on the existing Wynyard Pt wharf.
The second option is for a cluster of bases on a 25m extension to Halsey Wharf, a 75m extension on Hobson Wharf, and on the existing Wynyard Pt wharf.
This option involves swapping the single boat bases on Wynyard Pt wharf with the larger double boat bases on Halsey Wharf to reduce the Halsey Wharf extension from 75m to 25m.
A spokesman for Parker would not confirm the latest plans, saying only that "we are working through potential design options for the Wynyard Pt option", the site of the old Tank Farm.
"This is part of our discussions and it is too early to speculate what extensions might be required, but it will be significantly shorter than that proposed under the Wynyard Basin option," the spokesman said.
Parker has been working hard on a cluster of bases on the western and eastern side of Wynyard Pt wharf to reduce costs and, wearing his hat as Minister for the Environment, for a land-based solution to prevent further incursions into the harbour.
He has an in-principle agreement from Stolthaven to move its hazardous facilities at the southern end of the Tank Farm to build more infrastructure on Wynyard Pt.
On Monday, Parker told the Herald that if the Stolthaven deal could be finalised "the Halsey St extension is then rendered unnecessary".
Goff said he was keeping an open mind on the latest option, which, he said, was worth looking at. He still planned to go ahead with publicly notifying a resource consent for the original Wynyard Basin option next Tuesday.
He said the revised option put the larger double bases on the eastern side of Wynyard Pt, which could bring back the extension to 25m on Halsey Wharf. It would come down to four factors - timing, cost, the environmental impact and the needs of Team NZ.
An urgent decision, he said, was needed when Parker returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week.