Team NZ fires back after executives slam wharf design

  • 22/02/2018

The process of choosing a design for the America's Cup team bases in Auckland has turned messy and more than a little nasty.

A group of wealthy business executives has revealed they'll oppose the current proposals, prompting a none-too-polite response from Team New Zealand 

Angela Bull from Viaduct Harbour Holdings says the wharf extensions are unnecessary.

"We don't see why we need to build into the harbour," she told Newshub. "We think we can do better with what we've already got in the city."

Viaduct Harbour Holdings owns a significant amount of land in the Auckland Harbour area and has major concerns about the current team base proposals. 

"What the council's proposing is 75m of structure into the harbour," says Ms Bull. "So that's like one of the huge cranes that you're seeing in the city laid flat onto the water." 

The group believes the bases would block access to the area, obscure the view and turn the precinct into an industrial hub.

"So all they will see are roller doors and cranes, and there will be very little activity other than that and the boats dropping into the water," says Ms Bull. 

Viaduct Harbour Holdings has come up with a proposal of its own that involves no extension of any wharves. 

It says it will have no choice but to oppose the council's preferred option when the application eventually goes before the Environment Court.

But Team New Zealand isn't having it. 

They said in a statement: "We haven't seen anything from Viaduct Harbour Holdings.

"They've not tried to contact us at any time… but one imagines anything they come up with will be laced with money-making self-interest." 

When Newshub asked Auckland Council for a response, it said it would continue to work with the Government and Team New Zealand to explore options.

Their statement made no mention of any other interested parties.