It’s an inconceivable blunder for David Parker to have blindsided Auckland iwi Ngāti Whātua with the latest America’s Cup base proposal, National’s America’s Cup spokesperson Gerry Brownlee and Crown-Maori Relations spokesperson Chris Finlayson say.
“It defies belief that when Mr Parker and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff agreed last weekend that the latest of their many iterations of potential America’s Cup bases was to be progressed they hadn’t consulted Ngāti Whātua,” Mr Brownlee says.
“But given the Council and Government’s track record of not informing important stakeholders of their proposals – most recently America’s Cup holders Team New Zealand two weeks ago – it could be true. However, we would have expected that the iwi be included.”
Mr Finlayson says the Crown is obligated to negotiate redress of the Waitemata Harbour with local iwi, which means Ngāti Whātua should have been one of Mr Parker’s first ports of call when dreaming up alternative America’s Cup base options, but he seems to have forgotten to include them or been unaware.
“For Ngāti Whātua to be surprised to discover two 110 metre concrete structures on Wynyard Wharf in the latest proposal suggests Mr Parker isn’t across his brief and hasn’t been communicating well at all,” Mr Finlayson says.
Mr Brownlee says the America’s Cup is an extremely important opportunity for New Zealand to market itself to the world.
“Mr Parker needs to get a better grasp on the details of the project to ensure that this event is a success and lives up to its full potential.”