16 May 2019

Mooring dolphin on Queens Wharf

Mooring dolphin on Queens Wharf

As the city’s regeneration agency, Panuku – on behalf of Auckland Council – has been granted consent for a mooring dolphin on Queens Wharf to enable the future growth of the cruise industry in Auckland. The consent has been appealed to the Environment Court.

A dolphin is a marine structure that extends into the sea above the water level. In the context of this proposal, two concrete structures would sit in the sea bed and connect back to Queens Wharf with a walkway. These would sit at 49m and 82m north of the northern end of the wharf.

Current cruise ship facilities do not adequately provide for the requirements of the cruise industry to operate a quality, efficient and safe service when visiting Auckland. This means the potential benefits associated with the cruise industry including those arising from economic gain to Auckland are compromised. Right now, our primary cruise berth – Queens Wharf – can only allow cruise ships up to 295m long to berth. Larger ships such as Ovation of the Seas, which is 350m long, can’t fit.

The story so far

In July 2018, Panuku lodged an application for a mooring dolphin on Queens Wharf.

On 10 September 2018, the application was notified for the public to have their say. Submissions closed on 10 November 2018 and a hearing was held by independent Commissioners in February 2019.

The consent was granted on 23 April for a period of 15 years with a condition that requires the dolphins to be removed once alternate mooring facilities are available. Two appeals have since been lodged with the Environment Court and these are expected to be heard later this year.

What happens next?

The application for a mooring dolphin was been lodged with the intention of delivering the structure in time for the 2019/20 cruise season, providing a boost to the $185 million and 3,000 local jobs the cruise industry adds to the region’s economy.

If approved, the project will build on the vision for Queens Wharf as a public waterfront space, a hub for major events and infrastructure for the cruise industry.

Our growing cruise ship industry provides significant economic benefits to Auckland businesses; last year cruise ships transported nearly 270,000 passengers directly to the heart of our city. The $185 million that passengers and the cruise industry are expected to spend will range across the retail, food and beverage, and accommodation sectors, on tour and attraction operators, and on provisioned goods and services.

As Auckland gears up to host the 36th America’s Cup, the dolphin will help make the most of the upgraded Shed 10 cruise terminal to welcome more international cruise ship visitors.

Below you can find links to listen to podcasts with John Smith about the mooring dolphin and cruise industry, and Rachel de Lambert from Boffa Miskell who worked on research around the public use of Queens Wharf as part of this project.

Background summary of proposed Queens Wharf mooring dolphin

Podcast with John Smith

Podcast with Rachel de Lambert

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