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Mayor Wayne Brown bins long-term lease for Port of Auckland, sticks with status quo

Author
Bernard Orsman,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 May 2024, 2:23pm
Port of Auckland will continue to be operated by the current management.
Port of Auckland will continue to be operated by the current management.

Mayor Wayne Brown bins long-term lease for Port of Auckland, sticks with status quo

Author
Bernard Orsman,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 May 2024, 2:23pm

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has binned plans for a long-term lease for Port of Auckland after brokering a $1.1 billion deal with port bosses and the Maritime Union to maintain the status quo.  

Brown today backed away from the lease he championed after failing to get sufficient support around the council table for a 35-year lease to a global port operator.  

The mayor had said sticking with the status quo had costly risks for ratepayers.  

This morning Brown announced the new plan will see Port of Auckland contribute $1.1b in profits to its council owner over the next 10 years, exceeding the projected returns from investing the projected $172 million proceeds of a port lease. 

The plan was signed by Brown, Port of Auckland board chairwoman Jan Dawson and Maritime Union general secretary Grant Williams. 

The plan is expected to be approved by councillors. 

“By trade, I’m an engineer. I solve problems. We looked at a couple of options to improve returns and this is the best solution,” said Brown. 

“This plan reflects my commitment to get better value and better returns from our strategic assets, and strengthen the council’s long-term financial position. These higher returns will require increased port charges and improvements in productivity, and all parties are supportive of this.” 

Dawson said: “The port company welcomes the mayor’s plan, as it provides a clear direction and certainty for the port staff, our customers and the community. We are pleased to enter into a tripartite arrangement with our owner and our unions, as together, we will continue to deliver for the people of Auckland.” 

More to come... 

This article was originally posted on the NZ Herald here. 

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