The Nation on TV3 yesterday revealed that the draft Port Future Study for Port of Auckland (the final version due to be released next month) has been leaked and that the Manukau Harbour option was the “preferred” option over the Firth of Thames.
Future Auckland port hotly contested
But that option would cost billions of dollars, and there are concerns it might not even be safe.
Auckland’s port is a hive of activity right in the middle of the CBD. But as more and more freight comes in, there’s less space for it.
“The first decision is: are you going to expand out into the harbour or are you going to find an alternative location?” says mayoral candidate Phil Goff.
In a draft report leaked to The Nation, the Port Future Study panel examined alternatives like expanding the current port and relocating it.
The preferred relocation option is Manukau Harbour, followed by Thames and Muriwai.
Mr Goff wants it moved. He says expanding into the Waitemata isn’t an option, nor is staying put.
“Those 75 hectares can be used for far better revenue-raising purposes — high-value residential and commercial public space,” he says.
But the Manukau option has its pitfalls. The channel would need to be dredged to make it deeper, and that would cost billions of dollars. Also the mouth of the harbour is a well-known danger zone for shipping.
Trucking company chief executive Chris Carr says building a port there would be a big mistake.
“What you’ve got with the Manukau Harbour, it’ll be the ultimate ship-less port because no shipping company is going to send their vessels through the Manukau Bar. It’s just not going to happen.”
While the leaked draft report points to Manukau being the top choice, it also states “none of the options being considered are regarded as desirable or contestable”, so a decision is far from being made.
Source and full article: http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/future-auckland-port-hotly-contested-2016060418#ixzz4AbOHSIGu
So the Manukau Harbour where the disused Port of Onehunga is for the preferred port relocation? Did they even check with the major shipping lines to see who would risk their 4,500 TEU (20ft equivalent container unit) ships over the dangerous Manukau Bar that has claimed ships and lives in the past (and is home to our worst maritime disaster)?
It seems the report as I somewhat expected earlier in the year was a floozy to reinforce the status-quo. That said as Councillor Christine Fletcher also said on The Nation yesterday Port of Auckland has 40 years of capacity left in it giving us and the Government plenty of time to properly set up a new location (this time on the Firth of Thames side).
Also I think Auckland has better things to worry about and fix right now that going through the multi-billion expense of relocating the Port as Mayoral Candidate Phil Goff wants.
If moving the Port is Phil Goff’s main priority my vote goes to Mark Thomas who would have his eye better on the ball!