Ports of Auckland welcomes new port study

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 8, 2020

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson has welcomed the latest report on the future of Auckland‘s port. The report has been conducted by independent consultants Sapere, and discusses the options for relocating the Port of Auckland‘s freight operations.

It considers five relocation options: Northport, Manukau, the Firth of Thames, the Port of Tauranga, and a shared increase in capacity at both Northport and the Port of Tauranga.

“As an island nation, New Zealand relies almost entirely on ports to meet our trade needs. Decisions on where ports are located are therefore very important for our future wellbeing as a nation, and this is especially so for the location of the port which serves our largest city,” Gibson said.

“We are therefore heartened to find that this report has drawn on the knowledge of a wide range of people with deep expertise in port planning, transport and the supply chain.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • The port‘s current downtown Auckland location has about 30 years‘ capacity and there is a 10- to 15-year window for making a final decision on relocation.

  • For all five options, engineering and consenting could be difficult.

  • Manukau Harbour was the highest ranked option, although consenting could be problematic.

  • The economic costs would outweigh the economic benefits for all the options, including Manukau.

“The conclusions of the report are no surprise to us. They are in line with the conclusions of all but one of the many reports on this topic that have been commissioned over the last decade,” said Gibson.

Meanwhile, with the release of the report, transport minister Phil Twyford and associate transport minister Shane Jones have commented that ‘the decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a future government to determine a preferred location.‘

The new report (plus working papers and background material) is available on the Ministry of Transport website.