'I want to progress plans to relocate the Port' – Goff

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff wants options considered for a new port.

Should Auckland Council sell the port company?

Yes, Auckland needs the money
40%
Yes, but only a partial sale
31%
No, it should remain a public asset
29%
Total votes: 181

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff confirms he wants to move the remaining Port of Auckland.

"I want to progress plans to relocate the port from the city-centre waterfront and free up 77ha of land for public use. This has always been my bottom line," he posted to Facebook last night.

"I don't decide whether the port is sold or not – it will be a decision made by all Councillors. councillors can only decide the future of the port company once we have a better idea of where it will be located and options for meeting the costs of relocation."

His post drew immediate social media speculation over where the port could be moved. Whangarei or Tauranga taking on its business were two frequent suggestions. Mr Goff said last night that the Firth of Thames could be the new location. He said the Manukau Harbour (recommended by a report last year) was too shallow and on the wrong side of the city for shipping companies.

The Ports Future Study released last July cited Manukau Harbour as the preferred replacement site for a new Auckland port despite shipping and business interests preferring one on the east coast. It recommended a more comprehensive investigation of two relocation options – the favoured Manukau Harbour and the Firth of Thames.

Mr Goff also raised the question of whether Auckland Council sells the port. While a move would not necessarily involve a sale, a full or partial sale would be one way to fund the relocation (put at $4 billion by last year's Port Future Study).

The Ports of Auckland company was recently valued at $1.1 billion and the land it occupies around $500 million. Its Onehunga port is no longer being used and is to be developed.

Auckland Council has $7.6 billion of debt.

Mr Goff campaigned on moving the port to free up land and eliminate port traffic in the CBD. 

Last night, he stressed that the process would take a long time. The process of finding an economic and environmentally-friendly location, then moving the port, would take 10 to 20 years.

Possible split
Asked if an IPO was a possibility to speed things up, Mr Goff said Ports of Auckland was looking at options including splitting itself into port and land companies. He said Ports of Auckland would not be allowed to simply sell the land to the highest bidder. Environmental factors would also have to be taken into account. 

The council needed a full briefing on the situation before making a decision, he said.

Meanwhile, NBR readers believe the council should sell the port company with 40% in favour and 31% favouring only a partial sale.  Some 29% think it should remain a public asset.


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25 Comments & Questions

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Whangarei is the obvious choice

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Does have a certain logic to it.

If it was privatised, Auckland would earn a windfall from the sale and free up prime waterfront land for more attractive development, and Northland would get much-need jobs

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Except that it would mean one truck movement every 5 minutes coming southbound from Whangarei. Go figure.

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I know about the trucks. I queue behind them every day on my way to NBR Towers in the Auckland CBD. You're welcome to them (but hey - jobs!). 

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Autonomous RoRo type operations for coastal delivery are an obvious way to tranship from Whangarei to a smaller freight hub further east of Auckland. As we will still need large quantities of foreign good delivered into Auckland from those Whangarei ships, and also to Tauranga and further south.

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If it's moved to Whangarei it would seem a much better idea to utilise as much rail as possible.

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Have you seen the roads up here?

The Chinese maybe involved in the new roading out towards Marsden Point so maybe they will also look at the Warkworth-Wellsford-Whangarei motorway.

Still have the Dome Valley and Brynderwyns which has a nice new road at the end but stuff all elsewhere.

Maybe now the Government will invest in Northland as opposed to selling it off.

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A study on alternative ports has been done. Rick Boven, who did the study, gave a lecture on it a few weeks ago.

I got the strong impression that it was a comprehensive and credible study. It pointed out that there was a very strong case for retaining the cruise liner berths in Auckland and this complicated relocation.

The conclusion was that the existing port was satisfactory without major expansion in area for many years – perhaps 30 – because container handling would progressively become more and more efficient and there was still more wharf space available for ships.

Of the other ports studied a Manukau port came out on top in spite of the problems of keeping a channel out through the bar. Its advantages were that it could triple existing capacity and it was well connected to the south. The others involved huge transport and infrastructure costs.

Phil Goff should read the report.

If he needs to do anything, it is to secure the land needed for the Manukau This port.

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Seems like Goffs real agenda is now out for all to see. He kept very quiet about this in the lead up to the election. Must have known it wouldn't be a vote winner. Good old Labour MPs doing what they do best, saying one thing then doing the opposite.

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"I want to progress plans to relocate the port from the city-centre waterfront and free up 77ha of land for public use. This has always been my bottom line,"

Wait a second, it was also his bottom line NOT to sell Council assets, especially the Port!

You get what you voted in, Auckland!

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If Whangarei is a viable option, why can't the government or the Whangarei council setup one to complete for business with Auckland?
As long as there is no viable rail or road option between Auckland and Whangarei the move will create huge problems on an already heavily congested road network.
Getting the port closer to the destination of the cargo should be the main priority.

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.... the two hubs opening up north and east of Hamilton will provide an easy and convenient feed into the biggest destination for shipped cargo - in and out - south Auckland. The relief from port-related traffic congestion in the middle of the city and the massive value of the waterfront land potentially freed up is a dream come true if the vision is for the world's most livable city. What a pleasant relief to have a (reformed) Labour leader with a vision and some financial savvy in the Mayoral seat ...... Go for it Mayor Goff!

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Surprise surprise the local tribe want the Port land. No doubt they will get it. Well done Goff.

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Goff said he want to relocate the port, with Thames his preferred option. Not sell it to iwi.

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Sell it to iwi, yeah right. I think you'll find that they'll move heaven and earth to get it for nothing under some treaty of Waitangi clause. They don't pay for anything. Where have you been for the last 30 odd years?

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Goff wants to move the port

Moving the port will cost billions

Auckland Councils is already $7.6 billion in hock and the govt won't let it raise its debt ceiling

Therefore, Goff and the council will have to sell some of the port company to fund the relocation, or sell all of it and let the new private owner bear the costs.

Giving the port to iwi would not achieve Goff's goals of freeing p the land for alternative development and raising $. And love him or hate him, he's a pragmatic technocrat.

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How about encouraging people and businesses to move north to where the cargo is being landed..
Pre plan a new city based around Whangarei. Set out roads,and all infrastructure requirements before people move there. Build a new international airport inland on the Waipu straight. Consents have already been granted for more wharves and there is almost unlimited land for industrial use behind the port.
You would be starting with a nearly clean slate. Tell Aucklanders if they move there they can build houses on already planned and serviced subdivisions with road access that is properly designed and future proofed in an area with great recreational potential in the nearby Bay of Islands and Waipoua forest etc.
Give financial incentives to businesses to follow their staff to this new, user friendly location that will be much cheaper for everyone to function in.
It will cost money so stop spending it trying to fix Auckland. People can live there if they choose but don't encourage more to come by trying to fit still more houses in such a difficult place.
And tell everyone the weather Is better in the winterless North.

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Firth of Thames requires roading infrastructure to make this viable.
Tauranga has the deepest draught depth of all of the ports and only potential to take larger boats (the future of international shipping). It has rail direct to port.
I say inland transshipment ports and all sea containerisation through Tauranga.

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Whangarei for several reasons; much needed jobs for the depressed Northland region not just in the port but construction and roading and rail, investment infrastructure and prime downtown AKL land for development, its a no brainer

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Ngati Whatu should get the first bid to buy.

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Anyone who thinks Whangarei or Tauranga are options is dreaming.

Whangarei (Northport) is TINY. Look at a map. 570m of berth. Consent for 270m more and room for maybe the same again - but that's it. Hemmed in by estuary on the west and refinery on the right. POAL has almost 3km of wharf. You cannot fit a quart into a pint pot, no matter how much back up land it's got or how deep it is.

Tauranga. Big port but no room to take all Auckland's trade. More importantly, how are you going to move the 900,000 TEU that currently comes via Auckland seaport and through Metroport? Metroport is already congested and it's 'only' handling 200,000 TEU a year.

The only option to replace Auckland CBD port is to build another port for Auckland. End. Of. Story.

Matt Ball, Head of Communications, Ports of Auckland.

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1. Sell the port to private investors (ideally Kiwis or the Super...)
- its an undervalued business, has revenue/volume growth coming & has
value to unlock

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2. Decide how long to lease the land back to POA - value the land properly and make it a market equalised lease - then see if the POA business wants a new port or to stay.
3. Plan for an inevitable new port site - seek investors, where ever it ends up will create a new opportunity for development and regional spread of wealth and industry.
4. In 2035, Aucklanders make preparations for a big celebration of thanks to their predecessors and a council who finally made a long term planning decision back in 2017!

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what happened to muriwai? lol

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Never gonna happen. The biggest market for imported goods into NZ is Auckland and if you think the majority of the population of NZ are going to be happy to pay more for all the goods they consume, such as vehicles and all kinds of food and trinkets, then your wrong. Dead wrong

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