Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern - Auckland Port Study provides pathway forward

Auckland Port Study provides pathway forward

19 Feb 2019
A clear pathway for the future of Auckland port has been outlined in the Port Future Study report, released today.
As a member of the Consensus Working Group (CWG), EMA is pleased the study has provided certainty and direction on how to maintain the critical freight links for Auckland and New Zealand businesses, while accommodating the long term growth of the city.
"The Consensus Working Group put aside their various individual positions to come up with what appears to be a workable plan that will guide the transition of the port to another location in the long term while maintaining the city’s critical position in the regional and national import and export supply chain in the interim," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.
"Social pressures and/or freight capacity issues will drive the timing of the shift but it is likely to be 30 - 50 years. Even if you start the process today you are probably looking at a minimum 25 years for consenting and construction."
The CWG recommendations, derived from the Port Future Study carried out by EY and various peer reviews of key components of the EY Report, recommends two possible alternative locations in either the Manukau Harbour or the Firth of Thames acknowledging both options require much greater in-depth analysis before settling on a final location.
While that work continues and the complex process of consenting any of those options begins, the CWG agreed that a minor berth extension is required to cope with current and future cruise and freight traffic at the current downtown Auckland port.
"The Port company has taken the contentious issue of reclamation completely off the table but does need to extend berth space to cope with general cargo currently managed on Bledisloe Wharf.
"Now there is a clear pathway to eventually move the port, the community should acknowledge the efforts of the port and accept a short-term answer to achieve the long-term goal of moving the Port. You can’t achieve a move until there is a viable consented alternative and you weaken the business case for a move if you don’t allow the current port to continue to be highly competitive and highly efficient."
Mr Campbell says both the Manukau and Firth of Thames options present a wide variety of very complex issues including environmental, community, iwi concerns, transport links, funding and ownership questions.
"What the EY Report and the CWG have achieved is to clearly identify the two best options. On balance we’d probably favour a large-scale East Coast option as the most attractive to shipping companies and business as that also appears a logical alternative when Port of Tauranga eventually reaches its capacity.
"Now the really hard work begins on finding and consenting that viable long term option."

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