It seems Auckland is set to hold onto its historic and much loved sheds at Queens Wharf after the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) voted to try and save the sheds.
The ARC is commissioning its architects to undertake urgent work on options to retain and refurbish Shed 10 as a cruise ship terminal on Queens Wharf, alongside a temporary "party central" structure for Rugby World Cup 2011.
The Government and ARC were singing a slightly different tune in April this year when the two agreed to remove Sheds 10 and 11, and in their place build a temporary structure named the “cloud” at a cost of $9.6 million.
The Government has told the ARC that it will support a move to restore Shed 10, if it can be accommodated alongside the "cloud".
"Retaining Shed 10 alongside the temporary Rugby World Cup structure is a feasible and a very positive option for Aucklanders," says ARC Chairman Mike Lee.
"It means we keep our options open on the future redevelopment of the wharf, while enabling the region to capitalise on the $234 million economic windfall from the cruise industry over the next two years. Plans for Rugby World Cup can also proceed with certainty."
Lee says the council has worked hard over the past six weeks to convince its joint venture partner of the extra value offered by its $17.8 million proposal to renovate Shed 10, which was developed in consultation with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully says he is comfortable with the Auckland Regional Council exploring options that involve moving and protecting Shed 10 at their cost, so long as they do not risk the Government's plans for an appropriate entertainment venue during the Rugby World Cup.
"It is frustrating that the sheds that the ARC regarded as 'old and cheap and nasty' are now the subject of last-ditch attempts to change course," says McCully.