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Design plans have been revealed for the proposed conversion of a heritage building on Auckland’s waterfront into a world class multi use cruise and events facility.
Shed 10 on Queen’s Wharf, dates back to 1910 and was used for much of its life as a cargo shed for export and import goods. More recently it formed a key part of the festivities for the Rugby World Cup 2011 Fanzone on Queen’s Wharf.
As a key economic development project in the Auckland Council 10 year budget (Long Term Plan) an innovative and adaptive refurbishment is planned at a revised cost of $14.6m, compared with an initial budget of $25m including gangway, design and preparation costs.
The upgrade will transform Shed 10 into a unique venue for major and community events and offers improved processing facilities to capitalise on Auckland’s growing reputation as a hub port for visiting international cruise ships in the South Pacific.
Forecast numbers for the 2012/2013 cruise season indicate a further 25 per cent increase in passenger numbers to approximately 214,000. In 2011/12 the cruise industry generated approximately $268m in direct spend into Auckland alone and provided around 1,550 jobs. 
Shed 10 will be over 50% larger than the current cruise facility on Princes Wharf and is being designed to cater for cruise ships carrying up to 3,000 passengers and for events of up to 3,000 people.
Council controlled organisation Waterfront Auckland is responsible for the delivery of the project. Chief Executive John Dalzell says the challenge has always been how to preserve the building’s history whilst upgrading it to accommodate a number of different uses.
“Our team have worked with the designers, the cruise and events industries and heritage experts to come up with a design that captures the essence of this building and is fit for purpose from a functionality perspective.”
The Mayor has praised the reduction in the cost of the project, and says the facility is an important way of harnessing returns to Auckland.
“I gave waterfront a tough task in bring costs down on Queen Wharf and but they have been up to the challenge,” says Len Brown.
“For Auckland to gain maximum economic benefits from cruise it needs to also become more ‘cruise friendly’ and invest in both port-side and land-side infrastructure. This is all about jobs for Aucklanders.”
“A refurbishment of Shed 10 is a good place for us to start and in doing so we’re also getting a highly desirable event space with a unique water’s edge setting.”
Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Destination, Rachael Dacy, says the Shed 10 refurbishment will increase the potential of the cruise industry to contribute to the visitor economy.
“The Auckland Visitor Plan outlines the city’s aim of increasing our annual visitor economy from just over $3 billion to around $6 billion per annum by 2021,” Ms Dacy says.
“The cruise industry is an important part of the visitor economy and this project will enhance our ability to achieve the growth projections in the Visitor Plan.”
Auckland has just finished another record season of cruise ship visits with 97 ship calls and 176,000 passenger arrivals. This represents an impressive 23 percent increase in passenger numbers from the previous year and continual sustained growth every year since 1996.
“With this level of growth the proposed Shed 10 refurbishment will go a long way to improving the visitor experience for the thousands of cruise passengers that experience Auckland each year. Following on from the success of Queens Wharf which attracted more than 1 million visitors during RWC 2011, the refurbishment of Shed 10 will also further enhance the Wharf’s ability to host events, “says Ms Dacy.
History of Shed 10
Shed 10 is the only one of the original buildings that still stands on Queens Wharf. A massive double-storied cargo shed, it is nearly the length of a rugby field at 94.5m, with a width of 24.4m. Its structural skeleton is made from steel and wood, the roof and wall cladding corrugated sheet iron. Slatted timber walls, randomly constructed spaces, crane gantries, hatches, markings and graffiti add to the sense of the utilitarian nature and working history of this industrial building.
Between 1909 and 1914 five such cargo handling and storage sheds were built on Queens Wharf and they were designed to fully integrate transportation by rail, road and shipping. They were equipped with electric lifts and also housed offices for the traffic manager, customs department and Harbourmaster.
From time to time the sheds were used for a range of temporary functions such as exhibition spaces to house the Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Show, boxing matches and choir performances. It is fitting then that with the new refurbishment, the Shed will again serve the purpose of an events facility for much of the year.
For more information go to http://www.historic.org.nz/TheRegister/RegisterSearch/RegisterResults.aspx?RID=9500
 NZ Cruise Industry Study: Prepared for Ministry of Economic Development: Cruise New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, by Market Economics.