Comes down to simple economics


Tomorrow the Auckland Development Committee will discuss on what to do about the Central Wharves down on the Waterfront.

That is four options are up for discussion with the Committee to pick one. Transport Blog have stuck up a graphic for “Option 4” which is believed the most likely option the Committee will pick. Here is Option 4:



All sorts of questions are going to come flying up tomorrow (dread on that alone) and I wonder if the debate has already failed before it even starts. I won’t know that answer until tomorrow and will stick it up into the blog on Friday.

I am going to post two contrasting opinions on the Central Wharves situation as I am not quite trusting what the Herald is dumping out on the matter:

4 and a half years on where are we at with “resolving” the Port?$18M just spent on the new passenger terminal at Queens Wharf and council may be considering moving it. You haven’t been asked for feedback on the Port in the 10 year budget, but please feel free. Is this your top City Center priority or is there another? #shapeauckland


And this one:

Greg N

While a 8 storey stack of containers can easily be moved or removed from the waterfront, same can’t be said of an 8 storey car parking facility on the wharves. Once its built, its like the Scene apartments – there to stay.

Need to find a better option for car storage than prime wharf space or a car park building on it. Especially as they represent 45% of the import wharf movements.

Not sure if rail is the most efficient way to do it either using current techniques as too much handling of the cars is needed to get them from A to B.

Maybe we need some fully enclosed “drive on”/”drive off” “continuous inside rail wagons like they use at the Channel Tunnel portals (imagine a much longer, stripped down EMU, with fully end to end access inside – fine for moving cars down it during loading/unloading and as long as cars keep off the “joint” between carriages won’t be a problem during motion either).
So that as cars come off the ship, they are driven right onto a rail car train, car parked next to previous car, handbrake on, left in gear – not strapped down 6 ways from sunday, then when its full that s moved to Wiri and the cars driven off the other end of the train in a continuous movement until train all empty.

If the current rail tunnel under Tamaki Drive is too small, it would be cheaper to demolish it and rebuild it lower/wider/less bendy than extend any wharf a few more Ha to handle single storey car storage duties.

Also, if using trains, need some proper quiet locos, not these noisy bloody diesels KR use now to haul the trains, and a third (and maybe 4th) main between ports and Wiri so that trains can run any time without impacting residents along the tracks or the PT rail users on the EMUs.

All up, this would be a much better investment for NZ Inc, KR Inc, AC Inc and POAL Inc to do than this piecemeal f*cking about we have going on now, where each party wants the others to pick up the tab for their lack of planning.

Lastly, while cruise ships are the flavour of the decade right now, they could all be gone from our shores in a few years – if the cruise ship operators decided there were better destinations elsewhere. The have no long-term commitment to NZ but expect world-class facilities to be provided to them regardless.

So while catering for them is a good short-term goal/business, its like the Americas cup was a few years back – we need to realise than sooner or later they will go elsewhere and we will left with a massive investment in cruise ship infrastructure gathering dust, like it was from the 70s to the 00’s and plan accordingly so that such facilities can become dual use.



I already asked POAL on the rail question and the answer was basically No and not efficient to do so. That said what Greg said above is worth looking at in getting the cars to South Auckland for wider distribution.


In the end when I boil it all down it basically comes to this:

I weighed this off the other day here
And decided to go Freight over the Cruise Liners and latte drinkers on the wharves owing to the fact this:
1) Cruise Ship Industry: $160m and 3000 jobs to the economy
2) Bulk/General Cargo: $380m and 3,500 jobs to the economy most in South Auckland – and that is just for cars, trucks and tractors which make up 45% of those bulk/general cargo movements.

So of course I am going to back freight


Also there is a nice wharf down at hipster central – Wynyard Quarter that sits idle for most of the time. Of course it handles bulk liquid but with the tank farm going and it to be replaced with residential, commercial and park spaces that wharf being right ontop of Wynyard could handle a medium or possibly even a large cruise liner without affecting the Port’s cargo operations as is being proposed at the moment.

Maybe the above offers the best solution in terms of practicality and monetary spend than what is before Council tomorrow.


The Auckland Development Committee Agenda