Govt and ARC buy Queens Wharf

June 15th, 2009 at 5:21 pm by David Farrar

That was quick – the Government and the ARC have put in $20 million each to buy Queens Wharf off Ports of (owned by ARC). This means it will be available not just for the , but be the cornerstone of future waterfront development.

Ports of Auckland will vacate the wharf by April 2010.

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47 Responses to “Govt and ARC buy Queens Wharf”

  1. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I wonder where the ferry terminal will be re-located to?

    Bottom end of Queen Street right by Britomart buses was the best possible location IMO…

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  2. goonix (140 comments) says:

    Nationalise everything.

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    Who says it is to be relocated? Perhaps it might stay pretty close to where it is now.

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  4. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Maybe. There’s not much room for a Party Central at the moment tho.

    If the new development is capable of being a working ferry terminal AND World Cup Party Central all at the same time, I would be **very** impressed with the Architect….

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  5. Grant Michael McKenna (1,110 comments) says:

    I agree- the physical constraints appear to be against a working ferry terminal AND World Cup Party Central- but it could be one and then the other ie ferries elsewhere until the World Cup is over.

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  6. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    They should vacate the whole of the CBD and move to Onehanga and Mount Maunganui.

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  7. Viking2 (11,673 comments) says:

    Hear, hear. I overheard Mark Cairns predicting this last week. Obviously no secret. Ap is just about broke. Smart arses thought they could outbid Tga and did. No profit left so serves them right. Maresk stuffed them.

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  8. billyborker (1,101 comments) says:

    Just what we need – a government that thinks it can be a landlord and property developer.

    And is this what Rodney had in mind when he wanted councils restricted to their “core services”?

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  9. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Will we need to have a referendum to approve it?

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  10. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    Would it not be better to see if the AB’s can actually win a came first. Will be stuff all parting going on if they can’t get their shit together.

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  11. paradigm (452 comments) says:

    Actually there is a fair bit of room on that wharf, which could be used for both the ferry terminal, and the “party”. At the moment there is a large coolstore on the end of the pier, and the majority of the other space is just used to park jap import cars. The actual ferry terminal takes a rather small sliver of one side, and goes only about 1/3 the way up the pier.

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  12. Whafe (650 comments) says:

    Agree, can we get up for the weekend? No way…… We need some hard men, not pussy’s…..

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  13. Andrew W (882 comments) says:

    labour-lite

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  14. Jack5 (5,278 comments) says:

    New Zealand’s ports are a mess, with duplication, and generally low profitability, largely under regional ownership either in total or through controlling stakes. Shouldn’t the Government put money and effort into sorting out this export infrastructure rather than providing drinkies venues for Aucklanders.

    On cruise ships people generally want to get as far away from the ship as time allows when they dock, so the facilties will be largely for Aucklanders and special visitors such as for the World Cup Rugby one-off.

    What is it with Auckland? It seems obsessed with the trivia of life. No wonder it consumes most of our imports and contributes only a smattering of our exports. Misdirected energy. Perhaps harder times will change this.

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  15. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    Why don’t we build a place where they could play rugby down there as well? It would be a lot more convenient than Mt Eden/Sandringham.

    More seriously, who is going to pay for the development work to make it into something usable?

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  16. Father Ted (85 comments) says:

    The party at Queens Wharf will be like that silly boat race, yank cup. Any jobs for real blokes in the rugby team?

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  17. thehawkreturns (124 comments) says:

    I agree with the general sentiment.
    This is an expensive mistake by National.

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  18. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    # Tom Mathews (5) Vote: Add rating 4 Subtract rating 1 Says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Why is public ownership of a wharf better than public ownership of a railway?

    Isn’t ownership by the ARC public ownership? Whats changed?
    I only hope the government leases space to private business to run Party Central and doesn’t think it knows how best to run a party. Then we will see again that governments do not know how to run a piss-up in a brewery.

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  19. kevin_mcm (141 comments) says:

    small point of correction david – the government and ARC did not buy anything – the taxpayers of NZ bought half, and the taxpayers of Auckland got to buy the second half (yah for us). The sooner we all stop talking about Government expenditure and replace it with taxpayer expenditure the better.

    On the purchase, will be interesting to see who is going to pay for the development. When the last Government committed to the IRB to develop suitable facilities, the Auckland councils stood up and said we are not paying – will be interesting to see if their attitudes have changed with a change in Government (super-mayor anyone?).

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  20. mike12 (183 comments) says:

    “More seriously, who is going to pay for the development work to make it into something usable?”

    If the ARFU can find 400k to buy one player (who won’t make a difference anyway cause their pack is shite) then there is obviously no shortage of cash floating around

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  21. Buggerlugs (1,241 comments) says:

    FFS…have any of these fuckers heard of something called the private sector? If it’s such a good idea, why wasn’t the private sector given a chance to buy it first, thus saving us all $40 million? Fucking politicians.

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  22. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    For fuck sake Neville Key!, no money for tax cuts but we can waste 20 million on a fucking wharf.

    Just go and join the bloody Labour party and be done with it.

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  23. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    So ARC and the govt bought something to ARC. Or, to look at it another way, the govt gave ARC $10 million, and the govt and ARC now own a loss making asset.

    If they make it into a decent waterfront like most of the major cities around the world now enjoy (Sydney with Darling Harbour, even Wellington), then it is probably worth it.

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  24. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    I hope there is not “stony silence” from the National party supporters about this extraordinary waste of public money, after all, those of us on the right got stuck into Kullen for buying a train set, I cannot see how buying a fucking wharf is any better.

    [DPF: Ports of Auckland is owned by the ARC – so the wharf was merely sold from one public body to another]

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  25. Darren (12 comments) says:

    Fully sick of public money being spent on fucking rugby!

    How about leaving it to the private sector to fund the Rugby world cup, seeing as they are the ONLY ones who will benefit.

    Off to watch the league now.

    Remember: It only takes thirteen REAL men to play a game of rugby!

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  26. Michaels (1,233 comments) says:

    Well I think it’s a fantastic plan!!!
    Fuck the world cup, it’s gotta be bigger than that.
    Hot and sexy is how it should be planned not like the Viaduct.
    Somewhere where hot sexy chicks can ride in on there Vespa’s for a short black.
    Something romantic, not sterile.
    It has much potential.
    And for all you bleeding hearts with the Government owning it…. Well one would think it will be rented out and WE will receive good rent from it.
    I don’t think we will see John Key pouring a beer regularly or making us coffee, so get over it.
    I doubt very much we will own the businesses :-)

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  27. lilman (973 comments) says:

    Yes to recession spending.
    Yes to putting on a good show for our guests.
    But like the bullshit 30 plus Millon spent on a bunch of overpaid dingyboys by aunty, I dont like this sort of spending ,when its about what we arent, we are New Zealand ,what you see is what you get,if you cant behave and have saftey for visitors ,then I think its somewhat misspent.
    Dont want the best of what we are lost in party town for our white trash,overstaying and genneral scum to meet,greet and then stomp on the heads of lawabiding NZ and guests.

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  28. Viking2 (11,673 comments) says:

    Now the Govt. owns it guess who will ultimately own it. No not us the taxpayers at all. The Treaty Beneficiaries will get it. Watch and see.
    Would someone tell Key that Tauranga has a down town waterfront that is languishing because the council (like Auckland) have managed to stuff downtown business and nobody goes there but it would make a nice ferry terminal, if only we had ferries and the bridge didn’t get in the way of cruise liners.
    It wouldn’t even cost him as much, I mean we could do a deal for say 7.5 so he would save a bundle and still have a party space, which it is most nights anyway.
    It would help us rate payers out though seeing as we have paid for our own bridge and our own motorway. Not like any other city in NZ.

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  29. Owen McShane (1,182 comments) says:

    I repeat:
    Why should taxpayers and ratepayers be funding a commercial development?
    A wharf is just like an airport.

    We have a company which runs the Auckland Airport – why not have a listed public company which leases the wharf and runs the commercial development and operation. If no one subscribes then maybe it is not such a good idea.

    Then ratepayers don ‘t risk losing their money and it doesn’t matter whether people in Warkworth or Cleveland use it or not.

    If they want to benefit they can buy shares but don’t have to visit it.

    And whatever happened to the LGA requirement that councils consult before making any significant decision – the tradeoff for having the power of general (in)competence?

    One rule for some? Who is this new Lord of the Rings?

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  30. Michaels (1,233 comments) says:

    Who owns the area that the Viaduct sits on Owen?

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  31. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    Just when you thought National couldn’t BE any more Labour lite…..

    I guess lacking any coherent philosophical underpinnings means that expediency is ALWAYS the order of the day.

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  32. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    National will be paying TollTransitNZ 10x value for their trucks soon!

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  33. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    FFS, why not buy all the hotels and golf courses next. Take us right back to 1953 in the blink of an eye.

    Whilst they are at it buy all the campervan companies so that the rugby blokes get the best deals.

    You could get National to start out at at 10x value, and get Winston back in to double it! For a huge earner of course.

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  34. Michaels (1,233 comments) says:

    Lets not be silly now Glutaemus.

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  35. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Remember: It only takes thirteen REAL men to play a game of rugby!

    ‘five-tackles-and-a-kick’

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  36. goonix (140 comments) says:

    ‘five-tackles-and-a-kick’

    Much more entertaining than 5 minutes to pack a scrum though. :P

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  37. Buggerlugs (1,241 comments) says:

    Well I think it’s a fantastic plan!!!
    Fuck the world cup, it’s gotta be bigger than that.
    Hot and sexy is how it should be planned not like the Viaduct.
    Somewhere where hot sexy chicks can ride in on there Vespa’s for a short black.
    Something romantic, not sterile.
    It has much potential.

    Yeah, if it were being done by the private sector. Governments, and especially local government, have a fantastic track record in fucking this sort of thing up in Godzone. The Viaduct has been such a huge success (not) that one might have thought they learnt from that. Dickheads.

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  38. Buggerlugs (1,241 comments) says:

    Somewhere where hot sexy chicks can ride in on there Vespa’s for a short black

    PS Some older readers in the provinces may take this the wrong way.

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  39. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    Jesus …

    Why don’t they just duck tape a hoover to their heads, that way they can suck out all the money from the back of the couch as well as our pockets.

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  40. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    What a bunch of dim witted losers are these commenters.

    The ‘gummint’ has NOT spent a penny. The bloody wharf simply has been transferred from one gummint department (ARC owned Ports of Auckland) to another gummint department – ARC itself and central gummint. You $20 mil you are grizzling about is sitting there in the bank account of the ARC, ready to be absorbed by Banksies super city.

    That means $20 mil less rates for me and Whaleoil to pay.,

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  41. david (2,194 comments) says:

    One should have expected the appropriately named “PORTS OF AUCKLAND” to be leading the way with developing an international class cruise ship terminal. But then as it is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARC, perhaps innovative management shouldn’t be something we should look for. As an organisation it has been raped and pillaged for cash by the stupid little social democrats on the ARC led by ex trade-unionist Mike Lee for far too long. This move has effectively thrown a financial lifeline to POA funded partly by taxpayers and partly by a money-go-round between ARH, ARC and POA.

    Ear to the ground suggests that the word “legacy” has gained new currency around the ARC as its existence grinds slowly into oblivion with the SuperCity proposal. Watch out for the Mike Lee Regional Park to be announced and a big spendup or concessions granted in areas where votes for the “Super Mayor” can be garnered.

    What a clusterfuck. But then I suppose that it is lefty pollies doing what lefty pollies do.

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  42. Jeff83 (747 comments) says:

    Isn’t the wharf just owned by the ARC at the moment, so its hardly a massive dive into state government owning everything, just a relocation of crown resources from ripening banana’s into perhaps something like the Viaduct.

    The real waste is upgrading that useless Eden Park – a park which has to be closed by some redicolous hour, can only house limited games a year etc cause of its license restrictions and finally is nowhere near decent facilities / parking / sufficient public transport.

    Edit: I note some other people have observed the above already (inc DPF). Think some of this goes to show just exactly how informed some are.

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  43. Sam (421 comments) says:

    Auckland hospitality businesses should be fuming – not only do they have to pay for this folly twice (tax and rates), but concentrating the focus of activity in one place (on the fringe of the CBD) means that there will be a lot less spreading around of the entertainment dollar. A Rugby World Cup brought to you by the public of NZ for the benefit of very few indeed…

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  44. david (2,194 comments) says:

    Sam, ACC have already made the CBD a most unfriendly place by stuffing up Queen St and making access to (and moving around) the city by private transport a nightmare. Where else would you put “world cup central” and expect to have something that lasts beyond 2011?

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  45. Sam (421 comments) says:

    How ’bout that awful Aotea Centre – activity spreading out into the square and permeating into the already established bars and restaurants of Auckland… Actually – you’re right, Auckland sux – give it to a real city like Wellington ;)

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  46. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    Well, nice to see someone pointing out the ‘do what I say, don’t say what I do’ hypocrisy in play here:

    “The speed of the Government’s purchase of Queens Wharf in Auckland has raised the eyebrows of our council members, given the recent discussion on the role of local government,” Kerry Prendergast, Vice-President of Local Government New Zealand said today.

    “There is a certain irony in the Minister of Local Government promoting more transparency for councils while the Prime Minister is busy purchasing land with the Auckland Regional Council for a party for the Rugby World Cup, without any consultation with the community”.

    “Of course, our members support having resources to ensure a successful World Cup and many of us hope to be there in 2011 when we hopefully win the Rugby World Cup. We also acknowledge the work of Auckland Regional Council in making this happen.

    “Our concern is that the Government seems to be saying to our councils: ‘do as I say, not as I do’ or perhaps getting in quickly with these decisions before the Minister of Local Government introduces his new processes for these big-ticket items.

    “According to the proposals before Cabinet, future decisions of this sort would have to be consulted on with the community via referenda, firstly to establish if this qualifies as a core service, and secondly, whether ratepayers want the council to spend their money on it”.

    “The Prime Minister also says the challenge now, ‘is to Auckland city leaders who must move swiftly to begin the infrastructure programme that will transform this now publicly-owned space into a world-class waterfront attraction.’

    “In fact, these decisions ultimately will have to be ratified by the Government-appointed Auckland Transition Agency as these funding decisions will have ongoing impacts for the new Auckland Council,” says Ms Prendergast.

    Source: http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/quotfan-sitesquot-now-core-services-councils/5/16312

    You can’t credibly preach fiscal restraint and accountability out of one side of your mouth, and doing this shit.

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