Heather du Plessis-Allan: Govt has wasted $2 million on another port report

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jul 2020, 4:54PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Govt has wasted $2 million on another port report

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jul 2020, 4:54PM

Don’t you think yet another report into moving Auckland’s port is a little convenient?

Did we really need an 18th report into whether to move the port? 

Yes, we’ve already had 17 before. So you have to wonder why another ‘secret’ report has been commissioned and then released two months before an election, suggesting a preferred location that is so ridiculous it can’t be taken seriously?

No one can seriously think Manukau is a feasible option.  It’s on the West Coast, a coast so rough that we tend to put our ports on the other side of the country. The port would need constant dredging because those rough currents and winds will just keep driving sand into the harbour.  The port would run the risk of being closed by increasingly bad weather.

How does that sound like a viable option?

This feels, as I said, like a convenient complication which means the government now has an excuse for not making a decision this side of the election.

Which is exactly what they’ve done.  Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Prince of the Provinces/Son of the North Shane Jones put out a press release this morning saying “ it will be up to a future government to determine a preferred location”.

It might suit Twyford because it avoids him having to actually make a difficult decision as Transport Minister.  It might well suit New Zealand First because it means they can keep dangling Northport as election candy.

Because, consider this: if the government had decided in favour of moving the port to Northport after the election, what reason would Northland electorate voters have for voting in Jones?  They could just bank the port and elect somebody more responsible.  But, if there is still a battle on between Northport and Manukau, and Jones is the guy promising to deliver for Northport, well, now there is reason to vote for him isn’t there?

This is a political kicking of the can down the road, wasting nearly $2 million on another report.

Voters should think very carefully about making a decision based on any election promise by New Zealand First to deliver Northport, because didn’t they promise exactly that last time?  And look where we are now: talking about Manukau harbour.