Superyachts heading to New Zealand to catch the action at the 2021 America’s Cup first hand could be charged thousands in anchoring fees.
Auckland council is considering charging foreign vessels measuring 40 metres or longer for anchoring in the Hauraki Gulf, which lies to the east of the city. The charge, which would also affect cargo and cruise ships, would see boats charged NZ $23 per metre per day, working out at a $1,150 daily charge for a 50 metre superyacht. If approved, the charge will come into force long before the legendary sailing event gets underway in 2021.
Former America’s Cup skipper Chris Dickson voiced opposition to the proposed charge, telling RNZ: “It’s open ocean. What on earth is the council doing even suggesting charging users to anchor their boats?”
But Auckland councillor Chris Darby disagreed, arguing it was only right that boat owners pay their way. “I think the public are going to be very surprised that we don’t already charge for superyachts and we don’t already charge for cargo ships that are moored in public waters,” he said.
He suggested the fee would have little impact on the “oligarchs that might be coming down from the Mediterranean, the Bahamas or wherever.”
It is understood the proposed charge will be discussed at a council meeting today (December 12), before undergoing a public consultation.