America’s Cup faces cost blowout, says Auckland councillor

A senior politician says the $178.5 million cost to provide the America’s Cup in Auckland is a “crude estimate” and could rise significantly.

Chris Darby, chair of Auckland Council’s planning committee, is concerned about the cost of building the bases in Auckland, which will involve contractors working 24 hours a day to meet a tight timeframe.

“There is not a lot of accuracy in the costings to date. They are a very crude estimate and don’t be surprised if there are significant upsides on those costs,” he said.

The council has estimated it will cost $160.5m to build the infrastructure for eight cup bases and superyachts, plus $18m to relocate the local fishing fleet and Sealink ferry.

A resource consent application to build the bases says the work covers a large area over deep water and will require working round the clock six or seven days a week. It warns about the need to obtain price certainty for the Government and council, saying the financial risk is unlikely to be accepted by the contractor.

The council is also planning to spend $260m on projects around the waterfront for the Cup and Apec meeting of world leaders in 2021, of which about $80m is currently funded. The projects include new public open spaces, upgrading Quay St and ferry terminal improvements.

Article by Bernard Orsman in the New Zealand Herald

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