Phil Goff unsatisfied by leaked report into future of Auckland's ports

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 12 Nov 2019, 6:21PM
The Auckland Mayor says that he does not back the current proposal. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Phil Goff unsatisfied by leaked report into future of Auckland's ports

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 12 Nov 2019, 6:21PM

Auckland's mayor is rubbishing the handling of a report recommending moving the city's port.

A Government-commissioned working group has recommended moving operations to Northport - near Whangarei.

Its final report, obtained by TVNZ's Q&A programme, suggests the Government force the relocation if Auckland and Northport can't reach a deal within a year.

Mayor Phil Goff has expressed concerns with the plan.

He told Andrew Dickens he disagrees with the proposal, even though he's in favour of moving the port.

"I think that there'd be great opportunities for Auckland over time to develop the waterfront, but you'd want to do it over time, you don't suddenly want 77 hectares of land dumped on you and [told] 'do something with this' because it would take decades to develop it."

He also says that it is the second port report to be leaked.

"I don't think it helps the perception of this analysis they appointed as chair the former Mayor of Northland, who actually has got a vested interest and axe to grind. The way the thing has been handled does not give me confidence." 

There is consensus amongst Government that something needs to be done.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says that change is needed as the nature of shipping is changing, and Ports of Auckland has acknowledged that from the 2030s onwards they don't have the capacity to be the type of port that is needed.

He says the Government needs to decide whether Northport is the best balance with the significant Port of Tauranga.

"It's all very well to make it Northport, but then you need road and rail links from Auckland up to Northport, so we've got to work through those logistics." 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Mike Hosking this morning that she believes this is a discussion that needs to be had, but the question is a matter of where and when.

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