Auckland’s reputation as a cruise ship capital has received a boost with the start of the process of improving cruise facilities on Queen’s Wharf.
Mayor Len Brown has highlighted the need to better accommodate the cruise industry as a key priority in making the city a true visitor destination and in June announced his preference for Queens Wharf to become the primary Auckland cruise terminal location by the 2012-13 cruise season.
In order to meet that deadline, Waterfront Auckland is now seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from architectural companies toward progressing a preferred design to meet the cruise strategy component of the Waterfront Plan, which is, enhancing Shed 10 to better cater for cruise ships.
Expressions of Interest close on 15 November. Four consultants will then be short-listed and asked to provide Waterfront Auckland with a detailed tender proposal to provide architectural services. The tenders will then be considered by a Technical Advisory Group and Design Panel before going through the usual approval process.
Waterfront Auckland Chief Executive John Dalzell says transforming Shed 10 into both a cruise facility and multi-purpose event space makes sense as it leverages off the Queens Wharf redevelopment rugby world cup legacy spend.
“Waterfront Auckland has been working closely with the cruise and tourism industry and the joint owner of Queens Wharf, the Government, to consider options for a functional facility that will respond to the growing needs of the cruise industry over time,” he said.
“The great thing about the wharf is that it is big enough for both a terminal and public open space, it can accommodate larger vessels, is publicly owned and has the advantage of being close to major transport hubs (ferry and bus) and unlike many cities internationally, it’s in the heart of downtown Auckland – which passengers love.”
Waterfront Auckland Chairman Bob Harvey says the delivery of a cruise terminal on Queens Wharf with optimum infrastructure is an important way of harnessing the potential returns to the region of the cruise ship industry.
“For Auckland to gain maximum economic benefits from cruise it needs to also become more ‘cruise friendly’ and invest in both port-side and land-side infrastructure. A cruise terminal is only the beginning.”
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) is a key party involved in this project and will work to enhance the visitor experience for cruise passengers.
Auckland is the hub port for visiting international cruise ships to New Zealand, generating over NZ$105m in total added value and sustaining an equivalent of 1575 jobs. In 2009-10 the cruise industry contributed nearly NZ$300m to the New Zealand economy. (Source: NZ Cruise Industry Study: Prepared for Ministry of Economic Development: Cruise New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, by Market Economics. September 2010, page 32.)