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Queens Wharf plans back on

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, July 16 NZPA - Plans for party central for the Rugby World Cup in 2011 at Queens Wharf in Auckland are back on.

The Government and Auckland Regional Council (ARC) reached an agreement on Queen's Wharf, Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully said today.

The Government had threatened to move the venue elsewhere with some events possibly moving to other centres after ARC pulled out of a plan to demolish two century-old sheds on Queen's Wharf (Sheds 10 and 11) and put up a temporary glass and steel party venue. Instead the council wanted to renovate one shed, possibly move the other, and build a temporary structure that was yet to be designed.

Mr McCully today said Shed 11 would be dismantled and removed, while the ARC would repair Shed 10 to a sufficient standard to ensure it was safe and looked nice.

"ARC's share of Queens Wharf transfers to the new Waterfront Development Agency (WDA) on 1 November 2010, and it will then be up to the WDA to determine the shed's long-term future," Mr McCully said.

"The Government will proceed with building the temporary 'Cloud' structure at the harbour end of the wharf for fan zone activities, festival events, industry showcasing, and international media and VIP hosting."

ARC chairman Mike Lee said the solution was "pragmatic and creative" and would ensure the wharf's heritage was protected while preserving the broad options for future use.

Mr McCully said the Government bought a half share of Queens Wharf because of its potential for the World Cup and potential value to Auckland.

"At times in the last few weeks our ambitions for Queens Wharf appeared under threat, but we remained determined to make the most of the opportunities presented by the tournament.

"The solution announced today ensures that we can deliver an outstanding facility for Rugby World Cup celebrations, while leaving decisions relating to the wharf's long-term development, as well as the future of Shed 10, in the appropriate hands of the Waterfront Development Agency."

Mr Lee also said the debate had been difficult and said Aucklanders were passionate about development of the city which could sometimes be bewildering and exasperating; "especially for the rest of the country".

He said the ARC purchased Queens Wharf to provide a permanent cruise ship terminal and public open space in the heart of Auckland's waterfront.

"This agreement means that after the Rugby World Cup the new Auckland Council and its Waterfront Development Agency will be able to make considered decisions on how to achieve these long term objectives within a vision for Auckland and the whole of the waterfront."

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