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Ongoing arguments highlight port's value to Auckland - EMA

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The continual stream of reports discussing the future of the Port of Auckland continue to highlight the value of the port to the city and to the wider economy, says EMA’s CEO Kim Campbell.

"If anything, the current stream of reports show that we don’t need more reports," says Mr Campbell.

"What we need is a plan and that was outlined in the Port Future Study that was finally adopted by Council a couple of months ago.

"The Auckland Council’s continual asking for more reports because they don’t like the answer is not the solution; but it is a waste of money.

"For example, there have been two reports that found the right thing to do to accommodate the large cruise ships that we want in Auckland was the proposed dolphin structure with a fixed walkway.

"The first report was completed by the Port, but Council didn’t like the answer so commissioned an independent report from the Auckland Harbourmaster - same result and a waste of time and resources.

"Just build the thing.

"Now we’ve got the anti-port groups complaining that there are two different reports placing different values on the worth of the cruise ships to Auckland. It doesn’t matter. The reports use different methodology, so come up with different answers. But both reports show the gains for the city are significant."

Mr Campbell said another report obtained under the Official Information Act by Radio New Zealand (RNZ) , also highlighted the value of the car industry to the Auckland Port and the cost of shifting it elsewhere.

"Do we really want Auckland to give away some or all of the 10,000 jobs highlighted in the report? Does Tauranga or Northland want to, or have the money to invest almost $200 million to take over the trade? And why did RNZ have to resort to the OIA to get the report out of Council?"

Mr Campbell pointed to the Port of Auckland’s recently-released plan to guide its investment for the next 30 years as the answer.

"The Board and the management of the Port of Auckland accept that a move will occur in the next 20-30 years but until a suitable alternative is found, funded and consented the Port must continue to operate as a key component of Auckland and New Zealand’s import and export infrastructure.

"The Port has a plan to put most of the cars in a multi-storey car park fronted by a concept for an outstanding legacy building. It has a plan to add just 13 metres to an existing wharf to accommodate the general cargo issues it currently faces and when that’s combined with the proposed dolphin structure, the cruise ships are also managed.

"And while we are getting on with that, can the Council and the Government please just get on and agree the solution for the America’s Cup bases, before that boat sails out of the harbour," Mr Campbell says.

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