Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says much more stakeholder engagement is needed to ensure a robust final report is developed by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group
Auckland mayor says more work needed on port strategy
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the second interim report released by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group does not sufficiently consider the costs and benefits to Auckland of relocating its waterfront port.
WEB EXCLUSIVECommenting on the release of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group’s second report in early October, Mr Goff says: “Like most Aucklanders, I am in favour of moving the port, but we won’t simply give away our assets built up by ratepayers over generations.
“Relocation needs to stack up economically and protect the interests of Aucklanders. It will also need to be undertaken with industry support and without imposing additional economic and environmental costs on Auckland businesses and consumers from freight being moved over much longer distances.”
Mr Goff says much more stakeholder engagement is needed to ensure a robust final report is developed by the working group. “While Auckland Council made submissions on the original proposal, we and other stakeholders, including the shipping companies and the ports themselves, have not had further input into this report.
“As the report itself acknowledges, if the shipping companies don’t agree to send freight to Northport, the huge investment in new facilities would be wasted money.”
Strong and conclusive business case neededThe cost of moving the Auckland port operations to the working party’s preferred option, Northport, is estimated at around $10.3 billion. “Even on that conservative estimate, it is a huge sum of money with opportunity costs for other investments, and the case for moving it to Northland needs to be strong and conclusive,” Mr Goff says.
“Auckland remains ready and willing to cooperate with the government over relocation of the port, but its ultimate agreement to do so will depend on the actual benefits and costs to our city and its people of making that move.
“I look forward to dialogue with the group to discuss their assumptions,” Mr Goff says.