Concerns about the need to build seven syndicate bases for the America's Cup when only Team New Zealand and three challenges are firmly lined up have been dismissed by the Environment Court.

The court has granted resource consent for the bases and associated infrastructure to host the America's Cup in Auckland.

Work is due to start shortly, 24 hours a day, six of seven days a week building the syndicate bases, four breakwaters and the waterfront village that will host the 2021 regatta.

A small number of submitters questioned the environmental damage from pouring more concrete into the harbour and the cost to taxpayers and ratepayers when there are currently only three confirmed challenges.

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Auckland Council and the Government are spending $212 million on the cup - $114m from taxpayers and $98.5m from council. The council is spending a further $108m on a raft of projects to spruce up the waterfront.

One submitter, Coralie van Camp, said extending Hobson Wharf 74m into the harbour to accommodate the Luna Rossa syndicate should only occur once five challenger bases being built on existing land at Wynyard Wharf are spoken for.

Team New Zealand's legal and rules adviser Russell Green saw things differently at the Environment Court, saying no defender can be sure how many entries there will be for an America's Cup and there are five other prospective challengers.

Green did not expect all five to proceed, but believed the worst thing would be to remove the opportunity for those teams to enter by not providing a sufficient number of bases.

The layout of the America's Cup bases in Auckland approved by the Environment Court.
The layout of the America's Cup bases in Auckland approved by the Environment Court.

With formal challenges already received from Luna Rossa, the New York Yacht Club and INEOS Team UK, Team New Zealand yesterday announced a second Italian Team, Columbus 21, awaits on the horizon.

Team New Zealand today welcomed a swift resolution to the consent process, with America's Cup Event Ltd spokesman Tom Mayo saying it came about from an efficient collaborative approach by stakeholders.

He said the resource consent sets the foundation to begin the "exciting transformation" of Auckland's waterfront for the America's Cup and Apec leaders' conference in 2021.

Team New Zealand is due to move into a new base at the Viaduct Events Centre on the Halsey Wharf extension in the next few weeks.

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The consent is valid for 10 years. If Team New Zealand lose the cup, the challengers' syndicate bases have to removed within six months. If Team New Zealand win back the cup, new bases can be built in the same locations within the 10-year timeframe.

Auckland Council is spending $108m to spruce up the waterfornt for the America's Cup.
Auckland Council is spending $108m to spruce up the waterfornt for the America's Cup.

Main points from the resource consent

Team New Zealand will be housed in the Viaduct Events Centre on Halsey St wharf extension. The public access ramp on the east will be removed and a lift installed on the western side to access a public viewing deck. Large doors will be installed on the eastern facade for vessel and equipment access. A mezzanine floor will be built towards the northern end for a sail loft. The base will accommodate 110 staff and about 500 guests.

74m extension to Hobson Wharf to create a syndicate base for Luna Rossa about 15m high to accommodate 110 staff and 300 guests.

Provision for five syndicate bases on the eastern side of Wynyard Wharf, including deck infills over the water space between the wharf and Brigham St and closing a section of Brigham St. There will be two double bases and three single bases, each 15m high. During events the double bases will accommodate up to 300 guests and the single bases up to 100.

Four breakwaters to calm water conditions for race boats. An 81m breakwater east of Wynyard Wharf, a breakwater 39m to the north and 84m to the northwest of Halsey Wharf, a 35m breakwater east of Hobson Wharf, and a 42m breakwater to the south of Hobson Wharf.