Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: So, what do you think of New Zealand so far?

34 Responses

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  • George Darroch,

    Let's get on with it. We need a decent cruise ship facility and public open space on Queens Wharf.

    Hang on, there are three different things there. We need a decent cruise ship facility. We need quality public open (and, I would argue covered) space on the waterfront. And we have Queens wharf.

    Obviously ships need to tie up somewhere, but it isn't a given for me that we rush into throwing all those needs together into one design. It is my experience that the more objectives you try to make a project fulfill, the less likely it is to fulfill any of those to a high level.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    How about we just give the 97m to National Radio? It is all about priorities you know, and a bunch of well healed foreigners will just have to back a back seat to pressing domestic issues.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    I don't really have a horse in this race, but a fancy cruise terminal seems a bit over the top. The photos here don't seem out of line with what you see in other places. Some quite simple changes could spiff it up substantially, though, so they should do that. Solid dividers. Paint. Enough immigration staff.

    Seriously, though, it seems like a mistake to pour a predicted fifty million dollars (which means probably well into 9 figures before it's over) into impressing wealthy foreign cruise passengers who are just passing through the terminal in order to jump into a Rotorua-bound bus. They are not coming to NZ for its cosmopolitan urban scene (I'm sorry, but they're just not), and there's no point in trying to compete on that basis.

    Some of the figures and comparisons made in this post are just weird, though.

    More international visitors to New Zealand arrive on cruise ships than fly directly into Queenstown.

    I am shocked, shocked that an airport whose only international connection is to Australia (and not every day, either) does not produce a high proportion of international visitors.

    Next season we are expecting around 133,000 passengers on 70 voyages. What will they find when they get here?

    Another adorable Pacific nation, is my guess. A fifty million dollar cruise terminal won't trick these passengers into thinking Auckland is like New York or London or Tokyo. A fifty billion dollar cruise terminal couldn't do that.

    For 70 percent of international arrivals to New Zealand, their first impressions of New Zealand are based in Auckland.

    Sure. Usually Auckland Airport, right?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    you think thats bad? when i used to work at a cbd hotel we would have competitions to see how many bags we could fit on one trolley and deliver to rooms.

    The record 27.

    anything above that and the whole trolley would keel over into walls

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    "We need to make a bigger priority of providing cruise ships and their passengers with a profound sense of arrival"

    That's why Queen St is filled with confused passengers asking each other "are we still on the boat, dear?" And the ships are all anxious and unhappy not knowing whether they've done the job or not, their rivet-studded faces all dismayed like unhappy marine versions of Thomas the Tank Engine.

    *ahem*

    Are people reluctant to come to NZ because the port facilities are inadequate? I'd actually like to know that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    For 70 percent of international arrivals to New Zealand, their first impressions of New Zealand are based in Auckland.

    "Oh sweet, they have Dunkin' Donuts here!".

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Firstly, I'd suggest that we could process passengers a lot more quickly (and at *less* cost) if we chilled out a bit and stopped assuming they were Evil Foreign Terrorists.

    I've been to many countries, and in the sensible ones (mostly non-English speaking) they just check the passport and picture, perhaps stamp it and you're done. Unfortunately NZ (like Britain and the US) has its customs staff trying to be Sherlock Holmes and trap some backpacker into admitting that they might be going to work illegally in a bar, smuggle a quarter of weed, or otherwise destroy the fabric of NZ society.

    Secondly, I don't see why, if the cruise ship industry feels better facilities are needed, it can't build and pay for them itself. Why does it need a public subsidy? Some NZ industries, like IT, manage fine without public handouts. Tourism (in particular) seems to be different.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    What George Darroch said. And I've definitely seen worse immigration points/border crossings than that.

    Also, didn't someone somewhere recently say that the bulk of cruise ship passengers are processed by NZ immigration on board the ship?

    The haste of all this is not justified, and the half arsed-ness of it is inevitably going to produce poor decisions. What's more, I simply don't see this as a decision in which the people of Auckland have been allowed to properly participate, what with the aborted competition, the surprise "winners" and "options" that emerged a couple of weeks ago, and the heavy leaning that's being done by the Government and the RWC Minister.

    I could go on.. .after fence sitting on this issue I now find myself firmly in the "taihoa!" camp.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Secondly, I don't see why, if the cruise ship industry feels better facilities are needed, it can't build and pay for them itself. Why does it need a public subsidy? Some NZ industries, like IT, manage fine without public handouts. Tourism (in particular) seems to be different.

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm of the understanding that Queens Wharf is currently owned by ARC through Ports of Auckland. Ultimately it's a taxpayer concern. If Hide gets his way all of the waterfront will be sold and then it will be a private business decision.

    There might be cause to recoup some of the costs from cruise ship owners in the way Auckland Airport pays for improvements, but unlike the airline business cruise ships tend to be highly mobile - they're likely to balk at any great costs and berth in Lyttleton or Wellington instead, or avoid NZ for other Pacific destinations.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    Following up on Rich of Observations on a public subsidy, I would like the ask the cruise industry/council/who ever is pushing this a few questions.

    1) What do arriving cruise passengers pay per head to use the current terminal in a service charge? (excluding the costs for NZ customs/MAF/immigrations which would remain no matter which building they arrive at)

    2) what is the proposed charge per head when they are using the proposed $49.2 million terminal?

    3) How long would these usage charges take to pay back the $49.2 million if it was structured as a loan?

    If these passengers arrived by air they would pay a facilities charge at whatever airport they arrived at, is the cruise industry expecting to be treated differently from the Airlines?

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I think we should choose the cheapest and quickest option possible. Don't waste time and effort on planning or design, nobody bothers looking at any of the other things we've built so why bother making this thing look good anyway. So what if there aren't enough toilets, it's a harbour after all. Who cares if it's a bit rough around the edges, it's part of the charm of being in a south pacific island and it's only for Rugby watchers and they'll be too pissed to notice.

    Cheap No8 wire options are what we are famous for in NZ and in Auckland in particular. Who cares if it only lasts a few months after the world cup no-one will want to hang out down there after that anyway so spending more on the building isn't worth it.

    Besides every dollar we spend on this thing is another hip replacement we can't afford right?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    All over anyway: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3349386/Auckland-mayors-dump-cruise-ship-terminal-plan

    "Party Central" ain't happening in any way, shape of form on Queens Wharf...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Besides every dollar we spend on this thing is another hip replacement we can't afford right?

    I thought we were after a hip replacement for the current mess?

    </groan></wrongthread>

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I have just looked at my watch and it is now almost March, 2010. The ninety-seven million dollar solution is not going to happen, not by 9 September 2011.

    In any case, it is not much of an option. The project started with that nice Mr Key wittering about Party Central. Then the previously-unnoticed need for a cruise-ship terminal suddenly appeared. Then people got upset about the sheds, ugly bits of wood held together with tin. Then there was a bizarre competition, in which drawings in crayon by primary school children competed against ArchiCAD renditions by leading architects. Then the competition was ignored, and Jasmax and Architectus were invited to do another design.

    The original muddled brief was forgotten. We have never been given the opportunity for a proper competition, because nobody really knows what is required. We have no way of knowing whether a terminal/central combo will cost 97kk.

    All the while, the requirement to strengthen the wharf, which itself costs time and money, was being ignored.

    Now it seems that Auckland cannot cope with the accommodation needs, so we will need to have prison hulks tied up against the wharf.

    When will it end?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Didn't the Cruise Ship angle come from the failure of Princes Wharf to do the job.
    Princes Wharf (anyone else thinking Kingons as Princess Bride?) was to be:
    public space,
    Cruise Ship terminal,
    Hotel.

    Well they built a hotel with little public space and no reason to go there. The Cruise Ship Terminal functions for docking, but fail because of a lack of space. The Hotel seems to work, as long as you can rent it out as apartments.

    A clear purpose for Queens Wharf (Gay Klingons?) is needed for it to succeed, not a six week concept.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    A challenger appears?

    We've got not much more than a year, true. But the Sohole is on dry ground which won't need reinforcing (and nobody will be able to drown there, at least not once the rain water is pumped out); it's in the middle of what is already a party district; it's not too far at all from Kingsland, Eden Park, or the city... what kind of interesting, partly landscaped space could you build from a big hole in the middle of Ponsonby?

    Or have I been huffing too much of what Rodney's on?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Are people reluctant to come to NZ because the port facilities are inadequate? I'd actually like to know that.

    I dunno. But I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that less boats come if you don't provide them with decent facilities.

    That being said, there's a constant stream of cruise ships arriving at Port Chalmers at this time of year, and I don't think we provide them with anything at all. But then we're probably the final stop, not the immigration one.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • cad,

    When will it end?

    It will end when the first Eden Park RWC game is played, and all the punters without tickets get pissed withtheir mates at home or at their local, and those with tickets head to Kingsland after the game because they're already drunk and can't figure out how to get anywhere else or be bothered making the trek. Oh, to be a business owner in Kingsland!

    Although the Sohole idea is a good one, if it is done right...

    And while we do seem to need to improve the cruise ship terminal, it really doesn't need to be anything elaborate, does it? Something elegant, efficient and providing easy access to the CBD should do it. I must be missing something, but it appears to me like we are making a bigger deal of it than is necessary. (And it should definitely be a separate issue to the RWC!)

    Eden • Since Feb 2010 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    On mature reflection, I am all for making a nicer cruise ship terminal. But: I also think about New York. JFK is a shithole. La Guardia is a pain in the butt. The ferry terminals are shitholes. Every transport option into Manhattan is scary for the uninitiated. But who cares? New York! You don't go there for the disembarkation experience.

    On the whole, I feel we get the best value by spending money in ways that make our cities nice to be in (which, note, might include facilities that would be handy for the RWC). That automatically makes them nicer for the inhabitants as well as the visitors. Dedicated facilities just for tourists need a very solid justification, I think.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    On mature reflection, I am all for making a nicer cruise ship terminal. But: I also think about New York. JFK is a shithole. La Guardia is a pain in the butt. The ferry terminals are shitholes. Every transport option into Manhattan is scary for the uninitiated. But who cares? New York! You don't go there for the disembarkation experience.

    Or for that matter Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow with their respective cities.

    Anyway, if there are lots of people waiting in long lines isn't the cheaper solution is to hire more people to process them, so that they can wander up Queen St past tacky tourist shops, beggars and buskers, reach Aotea Square and then turn round again?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Stephen, you just reached the 2000 post mark, and I broke 1000. High five!

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    Just what we need , another piece of infrastructure unused for 9 months of the year.
    Unlike the airport.
    My guess is that the pictures are not of the Princes Wharf cruise ship terminal but the temp one when more than one ship arrives at once.
    Gee I have seen Napier with 3 ships in at once. Would they spend even $2 mill for some fancy steps ?

    We have stadiums galore, mostly empty , dont add to the the waste.

    Considering that Ports of Auckland isnt adding one cent to the cost of this proposed feature its about time some one said NO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Stephen, you just reached the 2000 post mark, and I broke 1000. High five!

    As was discussed some time back, you deserve some kind of award. Maybe a Brownie badge?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • jb,

    Auckland's going to look like the 3rd (or at least 2nd) world city that it really is.

    a.small.town.in.germany • Since Jan 2007 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I have just looked at my watch and it is now almost March, 2010

    why am I not surprised yours tells time in months and years :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

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