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New study reveals the cost of closing Auckland's port

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Closing Auckland’s port will increase the cost of imports by between $533 million and $626 million a year. Divided between 1.7 million Aucklanders, that’s between $313 and $368 a year each.

That cost will fall on adults and children alike - hitting families the hardest. A family of four will pay between $1250-$1470 a year.

The study, carried out by independent economic consultancy NZIER, looks at what would happen if Auckland’s port was closed and freight had to be delivered to Auckland from distant ports.

The study found multiple negative regional and national impacts such as over $1.2 billion a year in reduced GDP nationally, fewer exports (putting jobs at risk) and less investment.

Closing Auckland’s port will also increase carbon emissions because freight must travel further by land to reach market in Auckland. CO2 emissions will rise between 121,000 and 212,000 tonnes annually.

Ports of Auckland’s CEO Tony Gibson said "Some people claim that closing Auckland’s port would not increase prices, but this is not true. Currently, the price of imports through distant ports like Tauranga is kept low by competition. Think of it as the ‘Gull effect’ for ports. Just as opening a Gull petrol station lowers prices at stations nearby, having a port in Auckland keeps import prices low."

"I am also very concerned about the increase in carbon emissions that would be caused by using distant ports to handle Auckland’s freight. This does not seem to be in line with the aims of the Zero Carbon Act, nor does it seem wise given the urgent need to tackle climate change," he added.

Ports of Auckland is releasing this report because we believe a decision on the location of the port for our nation’s largest city should be based on facts.

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