A new government commissioned report leaves Northland plans to shift Auckland’s container port to Whangarei dead in the water, opting instead for Manukau Harbour as the optimum location for the port of the future while still not addressing what is in New Zealand’s best interest, says Auckland Chamber CEO Michael Barnett.
“This comprehensive research by Sapere looks at our long term needs 60 years out and concludes that a new port on the Manukau Harbour, close to freight and population demand, stands out as the highest-ranked option on the basis of providing long-term capacity at least cost,” says Mr Barnett. “But the issue is not an Auckland, Northport, Firth of Thames, Manukau Harbour or Tauranga issue, it’s about how we, as a nation, approach port development and operations to show vision and invest in a strategy that puts national interests first.
“This study is a good step in the right direction with a robust gateway test that looks at locations that can future proof the Upper North Island supply chain and considers the economic, social, environmental and regional impacts of a hub port as well as the capability and capacity needed for a trading nation to compete and efficiently service huge container traffic,” Mr Barnett said.
“Auckland’s container port isn’t going anywhere soon, it doesn’t have to, but the social licence clock is ticking so we must use the time to identify the best of overseas design, construction, economic, environmental and social impact modelling so we have the capability to efficiently handle the largest ships in service and growing container volumes. We have to get this right and deliver a port for the future that is a national asset for generations to come.”
For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber.