Your View: $9m Party Central


At last, RWC 2011″s Queens Wharf Party central - and word on the old sheds.
RWC Minister Murray McCully calls what had earlier been dubbed a tent… “a high-quality but cost-effective temporary facility which will meet the diverse needs of Auckland city during the Rugby World Cup celebrations next year.”
It will cost $9 milion.
The minister says the building” is capable of meeting temporary cruise terminal requirements; being part of the fan zone activity, and providing a public entertainment space.

“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.”

On the question of the sheds, he says:” Now that the Government and the ARC, as owners, have made the decision, we will work with other parties to put these plans in place. That includes taking appropriate steps to ensure that historic values related to the wharf, including the sheds, are properly addressed.”

ARC Chair Mike Lee who has was instrumental in making it happen says the ARC and Government would consult with the Historic Places Trust over the two wharf sheds.

“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.
“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.
“Part of that upgrade sees the surface of the wharf tidied up and resealed where necessary,” said Mr Lee.

“This is so the wharf can be better used for events, and as a space for the public to enjoy the harbour and relax with family and friends.
“The wharf upgrade will also pave the way for building the permanent, international cruise ship terminal. The upgrade will be in keeping with Queens Wharf as a working wharf – with more than a hundred years of maritime history – and as an extension of Queen Street.”

On the sheds, Mr Lee said he wanted 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.
“The options here are many. ”
Mayor John Banks says: ““I have given the Prime Minister an assurance that I will work with him and his Government to ensure the Rugby World Cup is a successful showcase for our great city.

“While the removal of the heritage sheds was not my preferred option, a temporary structure means the new Auckland Council will have the opportunity to plan for the long term development of our waterfront.

“It is my hope that the materials from the historic sheds should be set aside and re-used for another heritage project, possibly on the waterfront.”

Manukau mayor and Auckland supercouncil mayoral candidate Len Brown says he considers the new proposal is” fit for purpose and will provide the facilities we need without being over the top.”

Facts on the temporary structure:

  • Length 160m
  • Width 30m
  • Height at highest point 12m
  • Total crowd space 6000m2, including open canopies
  • 5000m2 internal space, including 500m2 mezzanine




  1. ingolfson says:

    Okay, Mr Key - call me one of those “too many Auckland voices” - but I feel $9 million is too much for a temporary building. Especially when Auckland has already taken over lots of debt for the Rugby organisation because no bank would back one of their loans. Hope it at least comes from Crown funds.

  2. rtc says:

    Looks ugly and cheap - this is my issue with these temporary options. We will end up with a characterless building like the devonport ferry terminal - and you can be sure that like the cheap America’s Cup sheds it will be there for years to come. Spend 9 million renovating the sheds, they have a lot of character and history and will make amazing spaces with all the old wood and framing.

  3. ab01 says:

    Meh, we’ve seen it before - it’s a blown up Telecom Shed a la America’s Cup at the Viaduct in 2002… didn’t that end up as the roof for a minigolf course out in East Tamaki?

  4. Matt L says:

    $9 mil is a lot of money, my big concern is that it will end up being there for the next 20+ years.

  5. ingolfson says:

    I read somewhere that TWO cruise ships are going to be berthed at Queen’s Wharf during the RWC. How is THAT going to affect the party central? Could work (after all, the occupants will presumably be rugby fans out for a good party), but it could also make the place pretty cramped-feeling.

  6. Matt L says:

    Ingolfson - It shouldn’t be to cramped as the wharf is pretty wide (just under 90m). If the cruise business is going to get as big as claimed I really think we should be putting the terminal on Captain Cook wharf so we can have it process two ships at the same time. We could also incorporate a good conference facility into the building to get good all year use from it.

    This leaves Queens Wharf free for us to turn in to an excellent public park along with an expanded ferry terminal.

  7. Anthony says:

    Stop moaning Auckland. It’s going to be a great faculty for us.

  8. joust says:

    dunno about the building (whatever it is we’re calling it), I’m sure it will be fine… I’m just looking forward to the wharf being a shared open space on the waterfront, the location is really its best feature. Plus I’m sure the RWC will have an impact on how it works on the day.

  9. Marwan says:

    Im cool with it, its get on with it. $9 maybe too much but lets spend the real money on a fantastic, well thoughtout, permanent structure. Hopefully build within the next 3 - 5 years.

  10. Jeremy Harris says:

    @Anthony, a great faculty for us..?

    I think a university is about the only thing they haven’t thought about building on there…

  11. Kel says:

    As far as the world cup party goes, it’ll be the atmosphere that makes it or breaks it. Not the building.

  12. Joshua says:

    At least they have come to their senses and getting rid of the cheap ugly sheds, who’s stupid idea was it to keep them. The only thing significant about them is it shows Auckland’s history of going for the cheap option, which is still what we are doing.

  13. Cambennett says:

    Well what did people expect? Every idea that has been proposed has been knocked back for either being a waste of money or (my personal favourite) “not iconic enough”. The government and ARC have done the best they could given the situation. This very simply should be a cruise ship terminal with some nice public open space, but no Auckland wants the Taj Mahal down there and nobody wants to pay for it.

  14. Cambennett says:

    “who’s stupid idea was it to keep them” - John Banks and the Auckland City Council.

  15. Anthony says:

    A great facility for us..

    Spend extra on a under Habour Crossing.

  16. ingolfson says:

    “who’s stupid idea was it to keep them”

    Yeah, ACC / Banks - as well as the Heritage Protection Trust, and people like me who feel that such glass boxes as are now proposed to replace them with are the same rubbish that architects have been dumping into our public spaces for decades.

  17. Joshua says:

    “and people like me who feel that such glass boxes as are now proposed to replace them with are the same rubbish that architects have been dumping into our public spaces for decades.” - So you want the entrance to our country a rusty old shed that we did on the cheap…welcome to our country, this is what we think of you. If you want to save the ugly things, then buy them off the council and put them on your property.

    Very professional.

  18. ingolfson says:

    “So you want the entrance to our country a rusty old shed that we did on the cheap…welcome to our country, this is what we think of you”

    Joshua, keep calling me names and misrepresent what I said. I will respect you for it. I really will.

  19. ingolfson says:

    And for everyone else: Of course they don’t look great right now. They are rundown, and don’t have enough windows to let in light and work as public spaces.

    But windows can be cut into the sides and roof easily enough. Wood can be planed and polished, metal can be patched and painted. In the end, we would have a building that would be large and open and airy, yet breathe a feeling of “this was Auckland’s port in times past”.

    Instead, and it seems the call is made, despite some talk of saving the remains of the sheds, we will get a glass and steel box (no matter whether we are talking of this 9million thing or whatever comes after) and which will look like every pre-fabricated piece of conference / trade fair stock architecture we have seen in the last twenty to fourty years. It will be about as iconic as your average office building.

  20. ingolfson says:

    Today’s Herald has FOUR letters to the editor sharing my opinion, sometimes right down to the arguments I have used above.

  21. Dino says:

    You forget ingolfson ..its radical leaning people like yourself that write into the granny herald in the first place

    I like the tents….I cant stand the sheds…
    But at the end of the day..tents….tin sheds….after a few beers…punters wont care what there in

  22. ingolfson says:

    Funny for you calling me radical when all I do is share the Heritage Protection Trusts position.

    The pre-”the government leaned on us and hinted heavily that they are looking at our organisation’s future” HPT, that is.

    It is also rather ridiculous to call writing to the Herald as radical. That is the view of a “lets not speak up - lets leave politics to the politicians, because they know better” attitude.

  23. Dino says:

    OK Apologies ingolson,
    But the sheds really are shite!
    Keep the wood but burn the rest
    Put them into some funky design thats a statement.That the world will say….wow!!to
    Not…hay!look at those crappy old tarted up sheds…how underwelming for a vision!!


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