Auckland’s Rugby World Cup party zone on Queen’s Wharf will end up as a $NZ9 million ($A6.9 million) prefabricated and moveable structure, the government and Auckland Regional Council said today.
What to do with Queens Wharf, currently used for storage of imported used cars and bananas, has been controversial from 2006 when then World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard proposed a $500 million stadium.
Prime Minister John Key initially touted a $100 million mixed cruise ship terminal and party centre, and instead Auckland will get a “modern, multipurpose structure…
“The structure – though temporary – will be made of durable material: steel and glass, covered by architectural grade PVC similar to that used in stadiums around the world and in the Eden Park upgrade,” Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee says
“The structure will be able to be dismantled and re-sited for use elsewhere, once it has served its purpose on Queens Wharf.”
RWC Minister Murray McCully said the government had agreed to support and take responsibility for funding a temporary entertainment facility and cruise ship terminal.
He called the resulting centre a “high-quality but cost-effective temporary facility”.
He said a permanent cruise terminal was on hold, but the government had listened to the criticisms of earlier temporary proposals.
“The building is capable of meeting temporary cruise terminal requirements; being part of the fan zone activity, and providing a public entertainment space,” Mr McCully said.
“It also features a media lounge, which will provide international media with an opportunity to be part of the waterfront festivities and to use the waterfront as an impressive backdrop for their international reports.
“Earlier temporary options involving the sheds were prohibitively expensive. This building will cost approximately $9 million.”
Mr Lee said the temporary structure will be a place for people to meet, watch games and get visitor information.
“It will also service two cruise ships of rugby supporters berthed alongside Queens Wharf.”
Although it was temporary it would be made of steel and glass, covered by architectural grade PVC similar to that used in stadiums around the world and in the Eden Park upgrade. “The structure will be able to be dismantled and re-sited for use elsewhere, once it has served its purpose on Queens Wharf.”
The ARC and Government have agreed that the Government pays for the temporary structure while the ARC pays for the upgrade of the wharf.
Mr Lee said the ARC and Government would consult with the Historic Places Trust over the two wharf sheds.
“We want to ensure the public can appreciate the role the wharf played in Auckland’s past.
“The sheds are just one aspect of the wharf’s history. Other historic features include the bollards, rail tracks, fendering and of course, the red fence.
“The middle section at the northern end of the wharf is effectively the oldest unmodified part of Queen Street.
“We want to respect the wharf’s history, while ensuring we meet the requirements of the thriving cruise ship industry.”