Submissions on America’s Cup bases

The controversy over where to site bases for teams challenging for the America’s Cup in 2021 (in Wynyard Basin or Wynyard Point) is attracting a lot of media attention. The number of possible permutations has now risen to five.

What may be less-well known though is that Council applied in January for a resource consent for one of the earlier plans, and that the time for submissions on that application closes this coming Wednesday, 28 February.  If you wish to have a say on this, you need to act now despite “the changing goalposts”.

It was known prior to the end of last year that Council was supporting the plan for which it has sought resource consent, in preference to a plan favoured by the Hon David Parker, Minister for Economic Development.  The Association (as one of the key stakeholders) was consulted on this just before Christmas.

As it was likely that members could have a range of opinions on the competing plans, the Association was considering its position when we learned that the Mayor was now preferring a “hybrid” plan favoured by the Minister.  We have since been informed by Council’s CEO, Stephen Town, that Council’s governing body had still to make a formal decision on the hybrid plan.  The position has   been complicated even further by the emergence last week of two further plans (although as at 25 February there is no indication of Council’s position on them).

Mr Town has informed us that if Council formally supports the hybrid plan, its application will be varied, and the public notified of a change to the closing date to allow for additional submissions or modification of an existing submission.

Although Mr Town said (on 18 February) that any changes to the application would be carried out over the next two weeks, and that the closing date for submissions would be extended appropriately, it is not clear what will happen if the Council’s decision is not made or made known, and the closing date is not extended, before 28 February.  It would be wise to make any submission on the original plan by 28 February, and modify it if the application changes.

Alternative preferred

The Association’s executive committee is lodging a submission opposing the extension of wharves and the height of buildings under the present plan, and noting that a further plan has been put forward, which in the Association’s view is preferable.  We believe this will meet all possible outcomes to the present uncertainty.