An immediate end to Ports of Auckland's (PoAL) dispute with the Maritime Union is unlikely as unionists take more time to clarify their collective agreement.
The dispute between PoAL and the Union over a new agreement has been going on for 18 months.
The union held a stopwork meeting this morning to discuss it.
It will meet the PoAL for more facilitation at 6 o'clock this evening, although any final decision is unlikely to be made then.
"The union would be seeking clarification of some of the facilitator's recommendations, and will be discussing with the facilitator the process moving forward to secure a collective agreement," Maritime Union Garry Parsloe says.
There "would be a fair bit of negotiation required to go forward but the Maritime Union was focussed on progress towards a settlement".
PoAL hopes the union's stopwork meeting this morning would be the "beginning of the end".
CEO Tony Gibson says PoAL will accept the package of recommendations put forward by the head of the employment relations authority, Alastair Dumbleton.
"Neither party will be entirely happy with all the recommendations, but that's the nature of compromise: you take the good with the bad.
"I am pretty optimistic that the Maritime Union will do a deal, given their positive comments about facilitation late last year," Mr Gibson says.