Court case throws new twist into America’s Cup base row

By | January 23, 2018

The discussion over where the America’s Cup base will go has hit a new snag. (Photo / Supplied)

The America’s Cup base row has taken a new twist with a claim that a court case could trip up a plan by Economic Development Minister David Parker to house the syndicates on Wynyard Point.

Sail-Word.com reported yesterday that Parker’s claim of saving several million dollars from the Wynyard Point option appeared to fly in the face of a Supreme Court decision.

The 2016 decision found that Panuku Development Auckland was responsible for remediation costs of $50 million on a Mobil site at Wynyard Point, said Sail-Word.com.

“The decision covered only the Mobil NZ leased site but is clearly relevant to all other leaseholders in the Tank Farm area now known as Wynyard Point.

“It is hard to believe that Parker, who is also Attorney General, would be unaware of an 18-month-old decision handed down by the Supreme Court,” the article said.

In a statement, Parker said the Government has always had a good understanding of the law and contractual issues at Wynyard Point and was aware of these before commenting on his plan in yesterday’s Herald.

Parker told the Herald he had received an in-principle letter from Stolthaven to move its hazardous facilities off the southern tank farm by the end of the year, it would save tens of millions of dollars and could be achieved within the tight time frame to build the bases by the end of next year.
Sail-World.com has questioned the Government’s plan to base the America’s Cup syndicates at Wynyard Point.

A Panuku spokeswoman said the minister is aware of the commercial and contractual issues/challenges relating to certain sites. Panuku had not spoken to the author of the article, she said.

Meanwhile, the Herald understands that officers from Panuku and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment(MBIE) met with representatives from Stolthaven today. It is not known what the outcome of the talks was.

Parker believes there is a good chance a deal can be reached with Stolthaven to move its hazardous facilities for the Wynyard Point option – a cluster of bases on the western and eastern side of Wynyard Wharf.

This is at odds with the council and Team New Zealand, which agreed last month to go with the Wynyard Basin option for a cluster of bases on a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf, a 75m extension to Hobson wharf, and on the existing Wynyard Point wharf.

Last Monday, a resource consent application for Wynyard Basin was lodged with Auckland Council. The consent, a huge document with more than 50 supporting reports, is due to be publicly notified on January 30.