Property editor of the NZ Herald

Next steps examined for Auckland port relocation

Auckland Council's planning committee yesterday considered the next steps to take in relocating the city's port, calling for more information on existing constraint issues and the cost of a shift.

The existing port will not be able to handle long-term freight and cruise demands, the committee said referring to a study of its future, and the council wants better waterfront public space and ferry infrastructure.

The committee, headed by councillor Chris Darby, recommended the next steps be taken to look at alternative port locations and existing constraints of the port's operations be studied.

"Based on Ernst and Young's findings, the existing port will not be able to accommodate the long term freight task and cruise on the current footprint," the committee's documents said.

It also revealed how discussions were planned soon between Auckland Council and the council-owned Ports of Auckland and how the move was part of a wider re-examination of the city centre and its seafront.

"Over the last few months the planning committee has worked through a review of the city centre and waterfront areas. This included the central wharves strategy, a proposed staged delivery of additional waterfront public space and new ferry infrastructure and the need for further cruise infrastructure in the medium to long term," the committee's agenda said.

"The continuation of this work and upcoming discussions with the Ports of Auckland are part of other council processes under way to confirm a solution to short and medium-term berth constraints at multi-cargo and cruise," the agenda said.

The committee now wants further examination of alternative locations and "to provide indicative costs" of such a move. It acknowledged the Government's role, saying "the process is to include engagement with central government on a relocation option".

NZ First leader Winston Peters wants the port moved Northport south of Whangarei. Northport is a joint venture between Port of Tauranga and Marsden Maritime Holdings, both listed on the NZX.

Yesterday's planning committee agenda had maps of relocation options from the July 2016 Port Future Study.

The short list showed areas closest to Auckland. Those options are Muriwai, central Manukau harbour, Puhinui, Hikihiki, Kawakawa Bay and Waimango Point. Other options included Tauranga, Northport, Bream Bay, Port Waikato, the upper Waitemata Harbour and Whakatane.

- NZ Herald

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