New 'world class' America's Cup Village proposed for Auckland waterfront

The Government and Auckland Council have released plans for what they're calling a "world class" America’s Cup village on Auckland’s waterfront to host the 2020-21 cup defence.

The new village would be located in the Wynyard waterfront area and provide at least seven syndicate bases around two basins with provision for restaurants and bars, public viewing, and hospitality areas.

The new proposal is being called a "hybrid" option as it incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government.

"I believe the proposal will create a legacy for Auckland and all of New Zealand – our main aim alongside creating a top class venue for Team New Zealand and the Cup defence in 2021 and, hopefully, beyond," Economic Development Minister David Parker says.

As part of the plan Team New Zealand will be granted what the Government says is "the prime spot" at the end of Hobson Wharf in a development worth $30 million. 

Sketch of proposed new America's Cup village.
Sketch of proposed new America's Cup village. Source: Auckland City Council

Full List of sewage-affected Auckland beaches: Mission Bay is good but St Heliers, Herne Bay and others are a no-go

Half-a-dozen popular beaches across Auckland remain contaminated by sewage leaks, and unfit to swim, after heavy rain overloaded wastewater systems early this week.

The popular St Heliers Beach in Auckland's east is one of six with an active water quality alert on council's Safeswim online monitoring system.

Most of the prohibited beaches are along the south coast of Waitemata Harbour, directly east and west of Auckland's CBD.

On Monday this week, an unusually high 12 beaches in Auckland had water quality alerts on Safeswim's website including the very busy Mission Bay, and Mairangi Bay beaches.

However, these two popular Auckland beaches have now been cleared as safe to swim.

The description of the conditions on the Safeswim website is: "Real time sensors or manual inspections of the wastewater (sewage) network have detected wastewater overflows affecting swimming spots – swimming is not advised."

Contamination of Auckland's beaches does regularly occur following large storms when overflowing storm water seeps into the city's sewerage system.

Auckland Council typically discourages people from swimming in the city's beaches for 48 hours following a major storm event.

The six Auckland beaches with water quality alerts are:

- Herne Bay
- Home Bay
- Okahu Bay
- Point England
- St Heliers
- St Mary's Bay

To keep up to date with the water quality of Auckland beaches visit Auckland Council's Safeswim website.

Water quality forecast - arrow in alert zone Source: Te Karere


Crown says man accused of kidnapping, assaulting young woman in Auckland quarry has 'dark, sinister side'

A man who attacked a woman wearing a white mask and holding a baseball bat was usually a law abiding citizen, but in the black of night he lets his dark side loose, a prosecutor has told an Auckland court.

Colin Jack Mitchell, 59, has denied any involvement in the attack, which allegedly took place in February last year at a quarry in Riverhead, on Auckland's outskirts.

He pleaded not guilty to three charges, including abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

Today, prosecutor Kirsten Lummis told a High Court at Auckland jury how Mitchell lived alone in Onehunga and had been a truck driver with the same company for 20 years.

He was also a keen helper at his local Returned Services Association for ex-soldiers.

But he also has "a dark sinister side that only comes out in the black of night", she said.

He turns into a prowler, attacked the woman "to exert control, to overpower and to dominate" her, she said.

The ordeal began along Great North Road.

Having been drinking with friends in Ponsonby and Karangahape Road, the woman had afterwards been turned away from a bar because she was too drunk.

Security camera footage obtained by police showed her then walking home along Great North Road.

At the same time a silver Ford Mondeo belonging to Mitchell passed her on Great North Road before circling back, Ms Lummis said.

She said while there was no footage showing the moment the woman got into the car, Mitchell either offered her a ride or pulled her inside, before driving to a quarry in Riverhead.

Possibly sleeping, the woman had no memory of the journey and instead recalls a sudden jolting hit on her head and waking to see a man in a white mask standing over her, telling her to turn around, Ms Lummis said.

Her clothes had already been removed.

Refusing to turn around, the woman tried to talk Mitchell out of the attack, saying "you don't have to be this person", Ms Lummis said.

He continued to threaten her and called her a "stupid bitch", before she scrambled free, calling 111.

At the same time, Mitchell's car can be on security camera footage fleeing the quarry, Ms Lummis said.

With the woman not knowing where she was or who had attacked her, what followed was an hour of panic before the police could come to her aid, Ms Lummis said.

She said Mitchell was arrested about three weeks later, having been linked to the crime by his car and DNA evidence found on a glove at the crime scene.

Defence lawyer said Mark Ryan said Mitchell did not commit the crime and urged the jury to reserve judgement until they had heard all the evidence.

The trial continues.

Colin Mitchell was described as a prowler as the Crown laid out its case against him. Source: 1 NEWS