Oracle Team USA owner Larry Ellison, middle, might be waving goodbye to the America’s Cup. Photo / Photosport
Oracle boss Larry Ellison may have had enough of the America’s Cup.
Leading US sailing journalist Bob Fisher, writing for Yachts & Yachting, says former Oracle syndicate leader Kiwi Sir Russell Coutts had confirmed Ellison might not be at the next Cup in Auckland in 2021.
In an email to Fisher, Coutts said: “My understanding is that Oracle/Larry will not be entering.”
Fisher said it appeared “one Rich American Called Larry Ellison has had enough – the cost of the Cup has proved too high even for him. Which leaves one to wonder just who will show up?
“Maybe there will be several challenges from Europe too – another Italian one is on the cards, and possibly one from France.
“The presence of Bruno Trouble is needed to return some semblance of the grandeur of earlier days and then the Cup is up and running once more. Thank you Kiwis for winning.”
Writing on the sailingillustrated.com website former Cup legend Tom Ehman said he didn’t think the cost of the Cup was an issue for Ellison.
“As I said earlier this week with my take on the number of teams/countries for AC36, never count Larry out.
“That doesn’t mean that I think he will muster Another challenge, but it is too early to tell.
“Everyone, including Larry, is waiting for the protocol to be issued by RNZYS and CNDS, promised later this month.”
Billionaire Ellison, founded BMW Oracle Racing in 2003 to compete in his first America’s Cup. In 2010 Cup in Valencia, Ellison’s yacht USA 17 beat Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi to return the Cup to America for the first time since 1995.
In 2013 Oracle beat Team New Zealand in San Francisco but this year Team NZ had revenge in Bermuda to return the Cup to New Zealand.
Four-time America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner has predicted Ellison would not attempt to regain the Cup in Auckland.
Conner believes “it’s the end of the Coutts era” and that would likely mean no further involvement from Ellison.
“Coutts looked like he’d had enough of the Cup to me,” Conner observed of the Kiwi legend’s organisational efforts in Bermuda.
“He has made more money from sailing than anyone in the entire world. He will return to his homeland and be well received as one of the greatest America’s Cup sailors ever.
“It will take a little while for them to forget that he was the one that took the Cup off them … but he has a lot of friends there.
“He will help bring the youth of New Zealand along even faster than we might have expected.”
Conner predicted such a move would impact on Ellison, who had employed Coutts as his right-hand man in yachting.
“Who will Larry trust to run his team if Russell Coutts has gone? I think we will see Larry retiring and moving on to other things that Larry does.”
Conner said the strong word he was hearing was that Richard DeVos, a co-founder of Amway and owner of the Orlando Magic NBA team, was set to challenge.
Source: NZ Herald
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Team New Zealand have confirmed reports that the America’s Cup is heading back to monohulls.
Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli, the Italian Challenger of Record, broke news of the move away from catamarans in an interview with La Stampa on Monday (NZT).
Bertelli said the return to monohulls, albeit radical foiling ones, was a condition of Luna Rossa helping Team New Zealand win the last America’s Cup in Bermuda.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Team New Zealand sent out confirmation of Bertelli’s comments on Monday evening.
“Currently there are a team of designers, lead by Emirates Team New Zealand design coordinator Dan Bernasconi working on various exciting monohull concepts which will eventually help shape the AC36 Class Rule,” they said in a statement.
“Emirates Team New Zealand have been consulting with a number of potential challengers and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race, but also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sail boat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsman around the race track.”
Team New Zealand were set to unveil the protocol for the 2021 America’s Cup in Auckland later this month, but when La Stampa asked Bertelli on Monday (NZT) if the Cup would still feature catamarans, he replied: “No, you’re back to monohulls.”
“It was the condition for Luna Rossa to help them with men and means in the last edition.”
He said the new monohulls “will be very powerful boats” without going into details of the foiling capabilities.
Bertelli confirmed there would also be tighter nationality rules, as indicated by Team New Zealand.
He said there would also be pre-America’s Cup racing held in Italy.
Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena, seen here with Patrizio Bertelli was a key figure in team New Zealand’s America’s Cup success in Bermuda.
Luna Rossa withdrew from the last America’s Cup early in the Bermuda cycle, unhappy at the constant rule changes implemented by then holders Oracle Team USA.
But they handed Team New Zealand a test boat and the services of several sailors and technical staff, including skipper Max Sirena who became Team New Zealand’s technical advisor and part of the syndicate’s management.
The move helped the cash-strapped Kiwis with their successful development programme and kept the Italians in the game. It also continued a strong partnership between the New Zealand and Italian syndicates that included the Kiwis handing them design data for the 2013 Cup in San Francisco.
Foiling catamarans have featured at the last two America’s Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton told Stuff last mont that the protocol for 2021 was “basically done” and they were only tweaking details.
A move to a foiling monohull was widely speculated in the aftermath to Bermuda.
The 20-19-20 Volvo Ocean Race will feature foiling monohulls with the revolutionary 60-foot boats the brainchild of Emirates Team New Zealand designer Guillaume Verdier.
It’s expected they will be able to foil at speeds of 35-40 knots in 20 knots of wind, hinting at the possibilities of an America’s Cup monohull.
The top speeds achieved by the catamarans at the last two Cup was 47.57 knots by Team New Zealand in their giant 72-footer in San Francisco.
Team New Zealand said further details of the protocol for the 36th America’s Cup will be announced at the end of the month.
Source: – Stuff
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Phil Goff said he is not interested in funding the event, but is interested in an infrastructure legacy as was left by the 2000 Defence. Photo / Greg Bowker
Auckland has less than two years to build facilities for the America’s Cup defence, it emerged today.
Auckland councillors heard the city needs to have facilities built by mid-2019 when the first challenger syndicates arrive in Auckland for the 2021 defence.
Urgent work is underway to consider the options for basing the syndicates on the Auckland waterfront, which include a 60m to 80m Halsey Wharf extension north of the Viaduct Harbour, an extension to Westhaven Marina and Captain Cook Wharf.
Panuku Waterfront chief operating officer David Rankin said there is not much time considering the complexity of the issues and involvement of different parties, including Auckland Council and central government.
“There is a lot to pull together,” he said.
Mayor Phil Goff said the decision to hold the defence of the cup had still not been made by Team New Zealand and would only be made if there was a suitable place for the syndicate bases.
He has instructed council chief executive Stephen Town to work with council bodies to look at all the options and come back to councillors with what works and achieves a legacy for Auckland.
“I’m not interested in funding the race. I am interested in an infrastructure legacy for Auckland in the same way the Viaduct Basin was (for the first America’s Cup defence in 2000),” Goff said.
Rankin said officials were meeting today to apply criteria to the list of options, saying recommendations are due to be presented to councillors by the end of this month.
The urgency surrounding a site for the America’s Cup syndicates, which requires 30,000sq m of space, was disclosed at council’s planning committee today.
It came when councillors were considering the latest plan for the city’s waterfront that includes reclaiming part of the Ferry Basin for more public space and making the downtown area more pedestrian-friendly.
There was a push by the Waitemata Local Board, City Centre Integration Group and some councillors to exclude the Halsey Wharf extension option, which has been on the radar since 2012 as an option for superyachts in the long term.
But Goff and a majority of councillors voted to keep Halsey Wharf on the table, with the mayor saying Town’s job would be near-impossible if options were ruled out before looking at the evidence.
“He has got to come back and give us evidence-based advice and then we have got to make a decision,” Goff said.
Councillors voted to include the latest plans for the waterfront and central city into the new 10-year budget where it will be “tested and interrogated” against other spending needs.
Goff has said the plan will have to compete with transport, housing and town centre upgrades for scarce funds during the budget process.
The plan bears similarities to a central wharves strategy in 2015 that came to a halt when Aucklanders went to war with council and Ports of Auckland over further reclamation of Waitemata Harbour for port use.
Removing imported cars off the port-owned Captain Cook Wharf and extend it at a cost of $50 million to $100m as the main cruise-ship terminal.
Turning most of Victoria St into a park between Albert and Victoria Parks and a new bus terminal on Wellesley St near the two universities.
Removing buses from the Britomart precinct and creating bus stops at the eastern end of Quay St as far as a roundabout near Commerce St. Quay St will be reduced to two lanes for general traffic and drivers will be encouraged to use Customs St.
A 20m reclamation at the Ferry Basin to create more open space as part of a compensation package for the sale of QEII Square to Precinct Properties for its commercial tower and shopping mall on the site of the old Downtown Shopping Centre.
Replacing the eight ferry berths with 12 to 15 berths along the western side of Queens Wharf.
Repairing the seawall along the waterfront at a cost of about $40m.
Removing about 40 carparks on the eastern viaduct by early next year.
Replacing the pedestrian lifting bridge from the Viaduct Harbour with a new $20m to $30m bridge.
Reconfiguring the 4.5ha park at the end of Wynyard Wharf to include parkland down the eastern side and freeing up land near the point on the western side for apartments.
Source: NZ Herald
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A dolphin in the Hauraki Gulf, playing with boats in the harbour. Photo/ Katja May
Footage of dolphins playing near boats in the Hauraki Gulf shot on Sunday is proof of the paradise we live in, the woman who filmed it says.
Katja May was out for a day on the water this weekend when a group of dolphins swam up to the 12m launch she was in.
“They were all around us, it was pretty awesome,” she said.
“They were coming up to the boats, communicating with us, turning their bellies upside down. It was amazing.”
About two other boats were in the Gulf harbour and May said her skipper made a point of cruising at a slow speed while the dolphins were in the area.
“They just came up to the boat – it was hard to leave them behind.”
May, who is originally from Germany but has lived in New Zealand for 11 years, said these kind of experiences were why she loved living here.
“I really think we live in paradise.”
May runs an eco-tour company, Blue Voluntours, which offers tourists the chance to sightsee as well as help look after the marine environment.
She saw the dolphins once more, cast against the light as the sun was setting and her boat was anchoring after returning from the day trip.
“I’ve seen them a few times but this was very special.”
– NZ Herald
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Owning the seabed, as Fairway Bay developer Top Harbour does at its marina, has allowed for innovative construction on floating pontoons.
A small boatshed, to be used as a marine education centre is already in place, with 27 tiny houses (around 35sqm each) also to be built on pontoons within the marina.
The plans for the boatshed houses, which provide an alternative to living on board a cruising boat, were made public at the end of 2015 and are now at the building consent stage.
The floating houses already have resource consent from Auckland Council, which required assessment under the NZ Coastal Policy Statement as well as under the Coastal Marina Zone provisions of the Unitary Plan and Gulf Harbour Marina precinct.
Resource consent natural resources and specialist input manager, Daniel Sansbury, says he has not had any similar proposals come across his desk.
“Aside from Fairway Bay, we have not received any other applications for floating accommodation/residential activities,” Mr Sansbury says. “This could be because the Auckland Unitary Plan includes a requirement to demonstrate a functional or operational need for such activities.”
The proposed dwellings have a ground floor and loft/mezzanine, with power, water and sewage services supplied.
Top Harbour development consultant Michael Webb Speight says that the boat sheds won’t be actively promoted or sold until building consent is issued, which he hopes will be within two months.
He says building consent approval is complicated by the fact that Top Harbour needs to show how it will comply with the Building Act – which isn’t written or intended for houses that float.
Source: Hibiscus Matters
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A historic boatshed sitting on Ngapipi Rd, Orakei, by the water’s edge is for sale with an asking price well above the nationwide average house price.
One of the seventeen heritage-protected boat sheds lining the water of Hobson Bay has a for sale sign with a price tag of $700,000.
This price is well above the nationwide average of $631,147 and the Home Start grant price cap of $650,000 for first home buyers in Auckland.
The No. 2 shed sits second along from the intersection with Tamaki Drive and has a short jetty that juts out onto the water.
It gives the impression of being quite spacious; but anyone hoping to turn it into a nice living space will be disappointed.
Auckland Council manager natural resources and specialist input, resource consents, Andrew Benson, said the sheds were for boats only.
“The resource consents for the sheds restrict their use to boat storage and maintenance of vessels, which is what the sheds were originally consented for and built for, and is consistent with their recognised heritage values.”
The person listing the boatshed for sale has been contacted for comment, but was unable to be reached today.
Without getting a glimpse inside it’s impossible to see what $700,000 is likely to get you and what, if any, extras the boatshed will come with.
However, for history buffs the price could be well worth paying for a piece of marine history.
According to Auckland Council documents the shed is one of 17 built by settlers in the bay in the early 1920s and 1930s.
“From the middle of the 1920s the Auckland Harbour Board started receiving applications for boatsheds on the seaward side of the sewer.
“However the first of these sheds was not built until 1930, following the development of rail and road connections linking the eastern bays with the city”.
Council documents said the cream and green colours of the picturesque sheds became the enforced standard design to help achieve a uniform look for the row of sheds.
These became a cultural heritage site, granting them protection, in 2008 and are seen as an example of a common building type from the 1930s.
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Considerable support for a weekend ferry service from Gulf Harbour to Auckland city has been voiced.
The Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Gulf Harbour developers Fairway Bay joined forces to survey residents on the topic after surprise at Auckland Transport’s view there was no demand for weekend ferry trips to the super-city’s CBD.
A total of 1200 people responded to the 10-day survey and, almost without exception, people living all over the Whangaparaoa Peninsula indicated enthusiasm for weekend ferries, Fairway Bay development consultant Michael Webb-Speight said.
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“There is obvious demand for weekend ferries for multiple reasons which include avoiding traffic, a safe option to get home after enjoying drinks in the city, the cost advantages over driving and simply that taking the ferry is a more enjoyable way to travel,” he said.
People also want to use a ferry for major sporting and entertainment events, shopping, family days out and ‘importantly’ to transfer to the airport, Webb-Speight said.
Aside from the benefit to Whangaparaoa residents, introducing a weekend service will also help address Auckland’s congested weekend roads, he said.
Some cited the ferry as a way to avoid congestion and expensive city park prices, others wanted to it to take their bikes and explore the central Auckland via its new cycleways.
On top of wanting to use the service as a stepping stone to events at Vector Arena, Mt Smart and Western Springs, some respondents want to see a service linking to Devonport, Pine Harbour, Half Moon Bay and West Harbour.
Others from the far side of the city said they’d use it for weekend getaways to the Hibiscus Coast and Gulf Harbour businesses see it as a way to improve tourism and help them thrive.
The survey also polled on sailing time preferences, with 73 per cent choosing 10am from Gulf Harbour on Saturdays, with the most popular return times between 4pm and 6pm. Sunday preferences were for a similar morning sailing time, with desired return times spread throughout the day.
Notably, just 21 per cent of survey respondents are regular weekday ferry commuters, Webb-Speight said.
“This shows there is much wider interest for weekend ferry services than just those who use it to get to work and back.”
Webb-Speight is hopeful the facts emerging from the survey will help Auckland Transport in forming a view on weekend ferries.
“Judging by the overwhelming number of respondents in favour, it appears there is clear demand.”
The results will be presented to AT by Fairway Bay and the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.
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A recent Off the Record in Hibiscus Matters’ March 1 paper about the need for weekend ferries from Gulf Harbour to the city caused a lot of comment on social media.
As a result, the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board requested the developers of Fairway Bay, Top Harbour, to conduct a survey, focused on weekend sailings.
Local board chair Julia Parfitt has an upcoming meeting with Auckland Transport (AT), and wants to use the opportunity to present the survey as evidence of the potential demand.
“Whilst it may seem obvious to us, AT needs to see some evidence of demand before they can build a business case around weekend sailings. It is really important for the local community to get engaged in these processes,” Mrs Parfitt says.
Until last year, Top Harbour subsidised the weekday ferry sailings and development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says the company is open to having a conversation with Auckland Transport about supporting weekend sailings in future.
However he says it is impossible to make a commitment until the company has those discussions and knows what any such financial contribution may look like.
To participate, fill out the survey on the Fairway Bay website, www.fairwaybay.co.nz
The survey went live on Monday, March 27 and closes on Wednesday, April 12.
A lack of demand for a weekend ferry service from Gulf Harbour to Auckland is being questioned by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Gulf Harbour developers Fairway Bay.
At a meeting of the local board, member Caitlin Watson and other board members challenged the view there is no demand for weekend ferry services – a statement made by an Auckland Transport (AT) representative.
The debate has led to a furore on social media, with many residents saying they would use a weekend service to the city and calling for a trial.
Albany Ward Councillors John Watson and Wayne Walker have also weighed in on the issue.
“We know from our own feedback that there is real demand for additional services,” Walker and Watson say.
Developers of Fairway Bay in Gulf Harbour played a significant role in the increased weekday ferry services to Gulf Harbour, and their development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says it is difficult to gauge demand until the service is provided.
“Our previous surveys showed considerable interest, but we didn’t really understand the strength of that demand.
“The assumption within AT was that it may take years to achieve the sort of growth in passenger numbers that was achieved within the first few months of introducing the new timetable.”
Increasing the weekday ferry services saw usage grow by 120 per cent.
Webb-Speight says the local board requested Fairway Bay to conduct another survey, this time focused on weekend sailings.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt has an upcoming meeting with Auckland Transport, and wants to use the opportunity to present evidence of the potential demand.
“We feel encouraged by the positive response from senior AT management to our request for a meeting to discuss this matter., She says.
Whilst it may seem obvious to us, AT needs to see some evidence of demand before they can build a business case around weekend sailings. It is really important for the local community to get engaged in these processes.”
As a regular ferry user herself, Caitlin Watson says: “The road trip in to town is becoming more and more congested, and by contrast the ferry ride can be a magical experience.
“On top of that there is now so much to do at the CBD waterfront on weekends.”
To participate, fill out the survey on the Fairway Bay website at fairwaybay.co.nz.
Hibiscus Coast residents are keen to see Penlink built as soon as possible to ease congestion on Whangaparāoa Peninsula, Hibiscus Coast Highway and the surrounding area.
Penlink is a 7km, four-lane toll road linking Whangaparāoa Peninsula with State Highway 1 at Redvale, scheduled for construction in the decade starting 2028.
It has the required route designations and resource consents so it’s ready to be built.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board is advocating strongly for an earlier start date. The local board is also working with the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to bring Penlink forward because of its regional importance.
Local board chair Julia Parfitt says the recent ‘live-zoning’ and more houses in Dairy Flat, Orewa and Wainui will have a big impact.
Albany Ward Councillor Wayne Walker says Penlink will be an important part of a new transport network for the growing areas of Silverdale, Wainui and Dairy Flat.
“Penlink will free up Hibiscus Coast Highway and the Silverdale interchange by attracting thousands of vehicles a day on the new link, which will be 6km shorter.
“The shorter route will reduce bus travel times from Whangaparāoa Town Centre to Auckland by 15 minutes and cycle facilities on the bridge will open up new connections between Stillwater and Whangaparāoa.”
Penlink will cost $380 million and with tolling estimated to cover only 25 per cent of the project, funding needs to be secured.
Visit the Auckland Transport website for more information.
After four years of planning and fundraising, Whangaparaoa Primary School’s bike track has opened.
The track, which circumnavigates the school field, has been in the pipeline since 2013, when a group of year 6 students got the ball rolling.
Initially suggested by a student survey, the track was picked up as part of the Futureintech scheme, and the school’s TravelWise team worked with an engineer to design and research the project.
Their efforts won the team a merit in the Transpower Neighbourhood Engineering Awards in 2013, with the prize money used to kickstart the project.
The team of students, now in year 10, returned to their old school on Wednesday afternoon to officially open the track.
Principal Kevin Cronin blessed the opening with a karakia, sprinkling water on the new asphalt, and pupils united to sing a waiata.
Kronin thanked parents, staff, sponsors and supporters, and spoke of the memories pupils will make on the new track, including the odd scraped knee.
After the ribbon was cut, the pupils got their chance to enjoy the track for the first time.
Heading off in single file, the pupils biked, scootered, and walked around the track.
Whangaparaoa Primary School has spent the last three years fundraising for the track, which cost around $85,000.
A Givealittle page allowed parents and supporters to contribute directly to the project, and fundraising nights proved successful.
The school’s latest quiz night run by school parents raised over $10,000 and the school Parents and Friends association raised $10,000.
The track has also received support from the Harcourts foundation, organised through the Manly and Orewa branches, the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, the Lion Foundation, Constellation Communities Trust, and Fulton Hogan.
Bike On Trust gave support through Bikes in Schools, sourcing a set of bikes and donating helmets.
The track will assist in educating pupils on road safety and bike confidence, as well as encouraging environmentally friendly transport and healthy lifestyle choices.
The bike track will be open for members of the public to use after school hours, and a pump track is to be added.
– Rodney Times
There’s something fishy going on at Pier Z…
The popular fish feeding spot at Gulf Harbour Marina has not disappointed this season, with hundreds of visitors flocking to hand feed snapper, kingfish, and of course, the famous resident rays, Brutus and Stumpy.
Lynette Smith, who owns charter boat Kiwi Angler with her husband Rex, has been feeding fish at Pier Z for 21 years.
It all started with sprats and kahawai, but as the years went by, the number – and size – of fish increased dramatically.
Now, on any given day during summer, visitors can enjoy the unique experience of hand feeding wild fish.
With hundreds of eager snapper and at times dozens of kingfish all competing for a feed, it’s a thrilling spot to visit, but the highlight for most is the giant stingrays.
Brutus, named for his huge size, has been well known in Gulf Harbour for years.
Around 1.5 metres from wingtip to wingtip, the ray has become famous for his feeding habits, which started around three years ago.
Lynette was on the pier feeding fish, when to her surprise, Brutus rose out of the water vertically, hungry for a pilchard.
It has since become his signature move, and incredibly, he has shown the tailless stingray Stumpy how to do it too.
“About two years ago, the oldest stingray we call Stumpy came around Brutus, and Brutus got under Stumpy and pushed him up where we do the hand feeding so I could hand feed him vertically as well,” Lynette says.
Both rays now delight crowds with their feeding antics, and give many tourists and visitors a once in a lifetime experience.
The best time to see fish and stingrays is between 3pm and 4pm, when Kiwi Angler returns to the dock.
If the pier receives too many visitors throughout the day, they can lose their appetite and be less abundant.
Be wary of fingers, as snapper and kingfish can draw blood if they bite, and don’t feed any of the fish bread.
Pilchard and squid are the best bait, and can be picked up locally in Gulf Harbour.
There is strictly no fishing allowed in the marina, and a full list of regulations can be found at the entrances to the pier.
- Rodney Times
Penlink development which will provide another route in and out of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Photo / Supplied
By Michael Barnett
The community is desperate for the Penlink Project to get underway on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
An acid test of new mayor Phil Goff’s leadership will be to ensure the ‘ready-to-go’ Penlink Project gets a construction start in his three-year term.
The project is all about congestion relief for the Silverdale-Whangaparaoa area by building a new 7km road direct from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula to the Northern Motorway, and bypass Silverdale, a rapidly expanding business centre which has its own growing congestion issues. Private sector commuters, freight and bus services stand to benefit hugely.
Penlink is ready to go. It is consented. Appeals have been dealt with. The land has been purchased.
There is a strong business case: Benefit cost ratio of 2.9 for four lane version — 5.7 for two lane version. The community desperately wants it — they are sick of 5km of morning peak period congestion everyday and a number of businesses on the peninsula are struggling.
So why isn’t the $380 million construction underway?
The answer that keeps coming back is that there are more deserving projects in south and west Auckland for the limited resources available.
But that excuse doesn’t stack up.
They aren’t ready to go. Besides Penlink’s business case provides for a toll — which the community has agreed to — giving a revenue stream that has potential to reduce the capital cost and cover operating costs long-term.
Penlink is in the central government-Auckland Council aligned project (Atap) programme for the second decade — starting 2028. But this decision was taken before the ‘live zoning’ of nearby Wainui which adds another 20,000 to the population growth of next the 10 years (already the size of a Hamilton).
Without Penlink this development and other potential urban developments in this area of Auckland will be hugely compromised.
In the total scheme of Auckland’s transport investment needs, Penlink is small-scale. A public-private partnership is an option and the private sector is interested, but it is a growing political weeping sore.
Common sense says let’s just do it. Both politically and doing something for North Shore it is win-win.
Surely, the private sector, central government and Auckland Council working together can find a way to build Penlink with minimal impact on Council’s debt levels. I say it could/should be first cab off the rank for the new council — a test case for Auckand Council showing it has a ‘can do’ culture.
A big welcome to Tania who has reopened the cafe at Hobb’s Wharf as Poppy’s Cafe. It will be opening Mon – Fri 9-5, and weekends 8-5, serving coffee, delicious home baking, sandwiches, pies and quiche. So come on down, grab a coffee and sit under the pohutukawa tree if you like or inside!
Six years of failed attempts to get a multimillion dollar sailing facility in Takapuna, Auckland, has finally led Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) to be “investigating” an alternative site in Gulf Harbour.
Both Minister for Sport Jonathan Coleman and Sport NZ chief executive officer Peter Miskimmin said that YNZ is “investigating a potential site” at Gulf Harbour on Auckland’s Hibiscus Coast.
The Gulf Harbour region is 20km north of YNZ’s ideal location on Takapuna Beach.
The statements from Coleman and Miskimmin come only four days after Auckland Council chief executive officer Dean Kimpton refused to provide detail over YNZ’s interest in Gulf Harbour on October 5.
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“Yachting New Zealand has advised the council it remains committed to a High Performance facility in the Auckland region, particularly on the North Shore. There is no formal council-led consultation at this stage with any Local Boards as a preferred site is still to be confirmed,” Kimpton said.
Huge community objection since 2010 has prevented the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board from granting landowner consent to YNZ for a lease of Takapuna Beach Reserve.
Unfortunately for YNZ, according to Auckland councillors for the Albany ward John Watson and Wayne Walker, the Gulf Harbour site is equally as contentious as Takapuna.
The Hammerhead grassy section of the Gulf Harbour marina area is considered a likely spot for YNZ’s “investigation”, because it has a secured 700 square meter commercial lease, yet to be taken up by businessman James Speedy of Harbour Investments Limited.
“The danger is that licensee could do a backroom deal with the High Performance yachting people that the council, the community, the yachties, people who launch boats here, aren’t party to, that cuts them out of their say as to what should happen here,” Walker says.
Another major issue with YNZ’s Gulf Harbour investigation is that $3 million of funds it has stashed away for the facility from Auckland Council in 2010 was obtained from land sales in Auckland’s old North Shore City.
The possible new Gulf harbour site is in the Rodney district, and Auckland Councillor for the North Shore Ward Chris Darby has issues with North Shore funds being spent on a sporting facility outside their district.
“This is national sporting facility and Auckland Council has got to be very careful about the use of its public money, and that $3 million came from the old North Shore City and it would be totally inappropriate to apply that outside the old North Shore area,” Darby says.
“We’ve got some huge core infrastructure demands and transport and I would be very surprised if the new council had an appetite for spending $3 million on a yachting facility.”
Yachting New Zealand chief executive office David Abercrombie was contacted for comment for this article.
Movie-star spotters hoping to catch a glimpse of Jason Statham and Ruby Rose didn’t get to see them today during filming on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula
But they were introduced to the actors’ co-star, a shark-savaged whale, which was spotted floating in the Hauraki Gult.
If the filming of movie Meg wasn’t already Auckland’s worst kept secret, seeing the whale hauled along the super-city’s motorways to Gulf Harbour would have been a dead giveaway.
Statham and Rose are in New Zealand to film sci-fi movie Meg, based on Steve Alten’s 1997 novel of the same name, and the filming is reportedly underway at an Auckland film studio.
The pair have been on location in Auckland, though Statham had a busy weekend holiday with his fiance in Queenstown.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, filming locations for Meg include New Zealand and China.