Port of Auckland Has 40 Years of Capacity. So Let’s Take Our Time Getting This Right

Port Future Study and NIMBYs…..

 

Warning: Long post as this combines extracts from older posts on the Port of Auckland Relocation project in 2012

 

After The Nation leaked on Saturday the apparent top choice of relocation Port of Auckland (if it was to ever move) was the Manukau Harbour (see: Draft Port Future Study Suggests Manukau Harbour? Report a Floozy?) I went back over my old 2012 posts of the relocating the port.

 

I’ll start with Unitary Plan evidence that was given to the Independent Hearings Panel on the consenting issues of relocating the port. After that I’ll look at the three actual options available before recapping on some preliminary renderings of relocating the port south-east towards the Firth of Thames.

 

Unitary Plan Evidence Suggests Resource Management Act wont allow relocation

Port of Auckland – Relocation and the Unitary Plan

POAL’s Submission on the Regional Policy Statement – Issues of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan

Port of Auckland have filed a submission to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on port location alternatives under the Regional Policy Statement – Issues section of the Unitary Plan. The Port have been generous (knowing I compiled an extensive piece on relocating the Port and redeveloping the Waterfront) in forwarding their submission on alternative sites via Twitter earlier today. You can read the submission below:

 

Port of Auckland Submission concerning alternative sites

 

I thank the Port for forwarding the submission via Twitter. One thing the submission has done and I have always requested was a technical report outlining the ayes and nays of relocating the port if for nothing else to put my mind at ease from information being made available. From the submission the Port has done the information has put my mind at ease after reading it especially in the south-east Auckland relocation site.

While it was the best possible alternative site available the environmental consequences in my eyes and for now outweigh the benefits it does offer Auckland and nation wide. However, and the Port has not ruled it out entirely (using the term “foreseeable future”) the south-east Auckland site could be done later in time if ever so needed and we have the information there about it.

So for now for me the relocation “project” is parked for about ten years before I would dust it back off and have a look at it again.

I thank Port of Auckland for forwarding the submission and yes it has put my mind at ease from the information available.

………

Source: https://voakl.net/2014/11/12/port-of-auckland-relocation-and-the-unitary-plan/

 

In relation to evidence that went before the Panel regarding Port of Auckland staying in its current location. Note the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel is due to give its recommendations in July.

MUST READ: Port of Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Some Facts From Auckland Council

The Port of Auckland issue just became more charged over the course of today. I am aware there has been a request to revisit the decision around what rules for reclamation are taken to mediation under the Unitary Plan to the Governing Body. It is yet to be seen if the Mayor will allow this to be revisited at the Governing Body.

In the meantime since my CEASE FIRE ON THE PORT – UPDATE post Auckland Council has released a fact sheet on the Port and Unitary Plan situation. It marries up with what I wrote in my previous post.

The Fact Sheet

Ports of Auckland Limited and the Unitary Plan
23/03/2015

THE FACTS

The situation

  • Ports of Auckland Limited looked at long-term port development options in 2013 as part of a review of its 2008 Port Development Plan. This work included public consultation on two expansion options which both drastically reduced the level of expansion previously anticipated.
  •  The port plan is simply a plan.  It has no legal standing, and it has not been adopted by Auckland Council.
  • The option favoured by POAL involves reclamation of a maximum of 6.6 hectares, most of this to extend Bledisloe Wharf.  Although this was the POAL’s favoured option, the study indicated ongoing productivity gains could reduce this further.
  • Auckland Council needs to balance any possible growth of the port which provides economic returns and jobs for the wider regional economy and New Zealand with the need to ensure any growth does not adversely impact the surrounding environment.
  • As such the council wants robust rules in the Unitary Plan, a draft of which is currently before the Independent Hearings Panel.  Submissions from a number of parties, including POAL are being heard by the panel and mediation on the Port Precinct provisions began on March 2, 2015.  POAL and the council are part of that mediation.
  • Council did not vote for more lenient rules on reclamation.  In fact the council position is for tougher rules and regulations governing reclamation than are in place in the legacy Regional Coastal Plan.
  • The rules mean that most applications for reclamation would need to be fully publicly notified and that the application can be declined (Discretionary Fully Notified).  The exceptions relate to maintenance or repair of existing reclamations, reclamations of less than 0.6 hectares within the inner port area or certain rehabilitation remedial works.
  • As well as that, Auckland Council has shrunk the area within the port covered under the Discretionary Fully Notified rule.  The rest of the outer port area, apart from the inner port area, is retained as Non-Complying which means a ‘tougher test’.

The consents

  • The resource consents POAL has for extensions to Bledisloe Wharf are for wharf pile extensions, not reclamations. No application for reclamation for Bledisloe Wharf has been lodged and POAL has committed to not making any such application until the completion of the Port Study.
  • These consents add 0.4 hectares (4,290m2) to the existing Bledisloe 2 Wharf structure and 0.33 hectares (3,300m2) to the existing Bledisloe 3 Wharf structure.
  •  These consents were assessed and consented last year under the operational Regional Coastal Plan rules for the port, inherited from the former Auckland Regional Council, and as such could not be legally declined nor could they be publicly notified, as the structures were a controlled activity.
  • Any application for reclamation between the consented wharf extensions will need to go through a full consenting process however at this stage the council is not expecting to receive any reclamation applications.

The go forward

  • The council undertook to do a comprehensive study on the future of the port at the completion of the Unitary Plan in 2016.
  • The Mayor has instructed council staff to begin work on this study early.
  • This study will look at a full range of options for accommodating increasing demand for ports services if necessary.
  • It will take account of all relevant social, environmental and economic considerations as well as the wider implications for other Upper North Island ports.
  • The results of this comprehensive study will inform how the council responds to any applications after the Unitary Plan has been made operative.
  • Right now the focus is only on providing a set of rules for the unitary plan that sets out how to control any reclamation and wharf extension work within the port precinct.
  • The council position is to strengthen the rules around reclamation, compared with the current rules.
  • There are still a number of steps to go in the unitary plan process. It is important that council does not predetermine its final decision at this stage. The council must remain open to considering all matters raised by submitters during this process.
  • This is a legal process and as such operates under clear legal requirements.

—–ends—-

Source: Auckland Council

The Rules which are to go to mediation

Policies
The policies are as listed in the General Coastal Marine zone for the CMA in the precinct in addition to those specified below.
The general policies 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 for the centres and mixed use zones and the General Business and Business Park zone apply to land within the precinct in addition to those specified below.
The City Centre zone policies 5 – 9, 11, 16 – 17, 19, 21 and – 23 apply to land within the precinct in addition to those specified below.

10. Provide for further reclamation to be undertaken, only if:
a. there is no practicable alternative
b. it will provide a significant regional benefit
c. it is the most appropriate form of development
d. potential adverse effects will be avoided, remedied or mitigated.

11. Provide for minor reclamation that is carried out as part of rehabilitation or remedial works of an existing reclamation or CMA structure, while avoiding, remedying or mitigating any adverse effects on the environment.

12. Avoid further reclamation within the precinct until the results of a study on the future operation and development of the port clearly identifies whether and when further reclamation is required to enable that future operation

POAL Reclamation Activity Table (page 4)

……..

Source: https://voakl.net/2015/02/20/evidence-to-unitary-plan-panel-mediation-for-port-of-auckland/

I will update as it happens

…..

Source: https://voakl.net/2015/03/23/must-read-port-of-auckland-and-the-unitary-plan/

Relocation options as of 2012

 

Possible Port of Auckland Relocations

Could the Port of Auckland be Relocated Somewhere Else INSIDE Auckland?

 

In the POAL debate; efficiency, viability and all other things economic have cropped up. The location of the current Port of Auckland has also come up with some saying it should be moved so that Port itself can be more viable as well as releasing land for extensive waterfront development.

VOAKL has called and will continue  calling on the Auckland Council to hold an enquiry into options for the location of the Port to allow the best rate of return and economic viability possible. An enquiry made up of a broad range of representatives from Business, Industry, Engineering and Academia would report on whether: Keep the port where it is and make improvements there, Relocate the Port within Auckland, or Close the Port entirely and allow Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga take POAL’s place. This calling on an enquiry to the Port I consider extremely urgent as in February, Auckland Council will debate and finalise The Draft Auckland Plan into the Auckland Spatial Plan – a legal document Council must follow for the next 30-odd years. No matter which of the three options will be recommended by such an enquiry and adopted by Council, all three options will have serious implications, consequences and ramifications to The Draft Auckland Plan. Serious enough are these consequences that any of those three options could trigger a re-write of The Draft Auckland Plan and Draft Long Term Plan, basically duplicating an exercise that did not have the foresight into such a CRITICAL ISSUE.

So then lets take a look at the three options possible for the Port of Auckland – starting with relocation within Auckland

The area I have chosen for a possible Port of Auckland relocation is South East Auckland near Clevedon.

You can see on the map picture above the current Port of Auckland site on the waterfront of the CBD and the possible relocation in South East Auckland. Now I recommend taking a look around Google Earth or Maps of the Auckland Region on the surroundings of the port site and possible relocation site.

I chose this site for several reasons:

  1. No volcanic rock that would need blasting and no harbour bar that theManukau Harbour has
  2. Area is at South East site is pretty easy to deal with both on land and water. Sandy and loam soil on land – sand and mud on the Strait bed so easy to dredge for shipping
  3. Port site is pretty much out of site to existing urban Auckland, rural Auckland to a degree especially if you use green belts surround the port, and expansion to urban Auckland thanks to the port again if clever urban design and Greenbelts doubling up as parks are used
  4. Road access can be pretty much be easily built except for one section in Papakura
  5. Rail access can be built as well – again some clever design work but can be done
  6. Large amounts of open land available for supporting industry, commerce and residential next to the proposed port and along the road and rail corridor from Papakura to the port relocation site
  7. Infrastructure layout should not be too difficult as the topography is flat, there is the National Grid (power transmission) in the area (so can easily build a substation), freshwater is easy to access with the dams just south at the Hunua Ranges and the Waikato Pipeline running down Mill Road. As for Sewerage, not that hard to connect to the Mangere Sewerage Plant or built a second one at the Port relocation site.
  8. No conflict of land use as you get in the current CBD location. Plus the Port has room for modest expansion in the future without adverse effects you also would get at the CBD location.

Here is a closer up shot of the possible relocation site. You can see a super imposed line where the outer most limits of the Semi-Liberal Planned Districts are planned to go as part of the 60:40 Brownfield:Greenfield expansion of Auckland (as per my submission to the Draft Auckland Plan). As you can see, further expansion to the port site along the Papakura-Clevedon Road corridor would not be too difficult to do in theory.

All things considered, yes the rural area will be swallowed up but with the fluid and progressive nature of the city – and the fact two million people are projected to live in Auckland by 2032 – this area I will still consider as the best possible site for Port relocation and city engine-house expansion.

Another way to look at it is this, if the bulk of development is concentrated around the port relocation site and the corridor back to the SLDP (Semi Liberal Planned District) , I would say you could get an extra (including the Southern Drury fringe and Pukekohe Satellite not on this map) 350,000 people down in this possible prime development zone. This kind of development could slow down or “put off” development in areas north and north-west of Auckland (keeping it rural) giving the balancing effects of rural vs urban development. Further more just looking at the map to the left here is a lot of green space and parks to offset any urban development in the area.

As a catalyst to possible port relocation and supporting development at Clevedon, you could get extensive redevelopment else where in Auckland as “the market” and city adapt to the changing needs of the citizens and businesses. It is possible if you build the port at this possible relocation site and provide adequate road and rail connections from State Highway One and the North Island Main Trunk Line to the port; for new businesses wanting to set up near the port or, existing businesses at Mt Wellington, Southdown, Penrose, Onehunga, Westfield, Otahuhu and Wiri relocating to near this new port. It is a possibility if land and rent in the new development area is cheap, planning rules are not restrictive and there is economic sense to move to the new development zone. As a further catalyst to the possible port relocation; the industrial areas I had mentioned above could also be redeveloped into either more industry or even residential or commercial space depending on the needs of the City. And another catalyst to relocating the port to South East Auckland is freeing up waterfront land for redevelopment. Some people including the current Mayor are want to redevelopment the waterfront into a Prime Attraction and Business Zone for Aucklanders and tourists, well this relocation and development option could provide the best of All Worlds: CBD Waterfront entirely opened to the public, port relocated to position for viable for operations, needed development to accommodate city growth towards two million people. 

So economic and social gold mine or an absolute bloody disaster in relocating the Port of Auckland? We simply do not know – so that is why I am calling on Auckland Council to hold an enquiry so WE DO KNOW. We as Auckland can not put our collective heads in the sand and ignore the possibility of something that very well might take the city forward. I would rather know for those qualified to give advice on if this option for the Port of Auckland is viable is not. So then what are we waiting for?

 ……..

Possible Port of Auckland Relocations – Part Two

Could the Port of Auckland be Relocated Somewhere Else OUTSIDE Auckland?

 

In the POAL debate; efficiency, viability and all other things economic have cropped up. The location of the current Port of Auckland has also come up with some saying it should be moved so that Port itself can be more viable as well as releasing land for extensive waterfront development.

VOAKL has called and will continue  calling on the Auckland Council to hold an enquiry into options for the location of the Port to allow the best rate of return and economic viability possible. An enquiry made up of a broad range of representatives from Business, Industry, Engineering and Academia would report on whether: Keep the port where it is and make improvements there, Relocate the Port within Auckland, or Close the Port entirely and allowMarsden Point and Port of Tauranga take POAL’s place. This calling on an enquiry to the Port I consider extremely urgent as in February, Auckland Council will debate and finalise The Draft Auckland Plan into the Auckland Spatial Plan – a legal document Council must follow for the next 30-odd years. No matter which of the three options will be recommended by such an enquiry and adopted by Council, all three options will have serious implications, consequences and ramifications to The Draft Auckland Plan. Serious enough are these consequences that any of those three options could trigger a re-write of The Draft Auckland Plan and Draft Long Term Plan, basically duplicating an exercise that did not have the foresight into such a CRITICAL ISSUE.

Having first looked at relocating the Port within Auckland (South East Auckland – Clevedon), we now take a look at moving the Port outside of Auckland.

It has been touted by some that the Port of Auckland should relocated entirely out of Auckland and to a dual sharing role with Marsden Point (which handles NZ’s Bulk Fuel Imports/Exports) and Port of Tauranga  (NZ’s largest port by volume). The map below gives their locations in regards to Auckland.

Tauranga is around 206km and is a 2:30 hour drive from Auckland CBD using State Highway Two (add an extra 15-30mins for using State Highway 29 (over the Kaimai Ranges)). Marsden Point from Southdown-Otahuhu is around the 150-155km mark and the trip would top 2 hours allowing for traffic and roading conditions.

Rail wise; Auckland is connected to Tauranga by the North Island Main TrunkLine from Auckland to Hamilton, then at Frankton Junction the rail traffic splits off and uses the East Coast Main Trunk Line to Tauranga.

Towards Marsden Point, freight trains would use the North Auckland Linewhich starts from Westfield Junction and heads up towards Otiria near Whangarei. However the Marsden Point Branch Line (proposed) would need to be built to allow the freight trains to continue towards the Marsden Point Port.

I have also noted on the map the Port of Tauranga Metro Port located at Southdown/Westfield Rail Junction and the Kiwi Rail Wiri Inland Port which is on the NIMT next to Manukau City Centre.

Wiri Inland Port serves as a facility between Kiwi Rail and trucking firms to move containers between Wiri and Port of Auckland itself (saving truck movements on a congested State Highway One and Grafton Gully). Metro Port at Southdown is a Port of Tauranga Facility and serves as large inter-modal transfer point for rail/road goods moving between Auckland and Port of Tauranga.

Effectively Auckland has the inter-modal transfer facilities to allow goods to be transferred to/from road/rail. Having the Port of Auckland “closed” and Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga take up POAL’s place should not be a problem – right? Well not really – I will address that soon in this post.

By “relocating” POAL to Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga,  you effectively close down POAL at its Waterfront site. If that were the case then I suspect Auckland Council would hold the land and either redevelop it and/or lease it out to commercial interests. By doing that it the waterfront could be so-called “reclaimed” back to the Auckland ratepayers and general public. Relocating the Port outside of Auckland also has impact on infrastructure with traffic flows altering in response to the shift. Projects such as the Eastern Highway, South-East Link from Onehunga to State Highway One , the third rail line from Westfield Junction to the current Port of Auckland location and upgrading Grafton Gully and Stanley Street would all be “cancelled” due to the port relocation.

However other infrastructure projects would arise to deal with the new traffic movements. The North Auckland Line would need to be upgraded, with tunnel clearances increased, track re-laid, more passing loops, inclines and turning curve radius’s  improved, signalling upgrades north of Swanson and even a new freight rail line from Southdown to Avondale via Onehunga to bypass Newmarket Station all needing to be done. The Marsden Point Branch Line would also need to be completed as well. Road wise, both State Highways One and Sixteen would need upgrades to allow the increase in freight traffic. These road and rail options are not cheap with the Puhoi-Warkworth “Holiday Highway” (State Highway One upgrade) estimated to run into billions of dollars alone. SO you hope that your Return on Investment from redeveloping “the former” POAL waterfront site would be enough to assist in funding the infrastructure upgrades.

Auckland to Tauranga infrastructure wise is not as bad for moving increased amounts of freight between Auckland and Port of Tauranga – although upgrades would still be needed. At the minimum road wise, State Highways 27, 29, 1 and 2 would all need upgrades to cater for the increased truck volumes that would use the highway. Upgrades such as more passing lanes and able to support the increased wear and tear of the road would be needed. Rail wise, the East Coast Main Trunk Line is already there and in reasonable condition moving goods from Port of Tauranga to Auckland and other destinations. Again minimum upgrades for the rail line would be; signal upgrades, more passing loops, ballast upgrades, grade separation of some level crossing and possibly either improved or new train stabling/servicing facilities to handle the increase the rail volume over the that section of line. The North Island Main Trunk Line would also need upgrading with track duplication needed from Te Rapa to Pukekohe which will not be easy due to swamp land at Mercer. A third rail line between Pukekohe and Westfield Junction complete with more ‘crossovers’ to allow freight trains to run through without impeding passenger metro trains that also run on that part of the line. New inter-modal facilities could also be needed to supply the increased demand in such services arising from the increased long distance freight travel to and from Auckland.

Once the infrastructure and redevelopment questions have been answered and settled, there is one other question that needs to be asked. Unlike keeping the Port where it is or relocating it to South East Auckland, having your (what would be) two major ports at least two hours (by road or rail) away from the city could have some negative consequences. The main consequence is freight cost – the cost of moving the freight such a distance OR not having immediate access to the port that some businesses might require. The cost both monetary and time wise moving freight from Marsden Point or Port of Tauranga could be deemed excessive by some business. These business could either relocate or just close both which have flow on effects into the Auckland economy.

All above are questions that The Enquiry need to ask, research and answer on so that an informed impartial decision can be made on what is the best option for our very sick Port of Auckland.

……

Source: https://voakl.net/2012/01/10/possible-port-of-auckland-relocations-part-two/

 

Possible Port of Auckland Relocations – Part Three

What if the Port of Auckland stayed where it is

 

In the POAL debate; efficiency, viability and all other things economic have cropped up. The location of the current Port of Auckland has also come up with some saying it should be moved so that Port itself can be more viable as well as releasing land for extensive waterfront development.

VOAKL has called and will continue  calling on the Auckland Council to hold an enquiry into options for the location of the Port to allow the best rate of return and economic viability possible. An enquiry made up of a broad range of representatives from Business, Industry, Engineering and Academia would report on whether: Keep the port where it is and make improvements there, Relocate the Port within Auckland, or Close the Port entirely and allow Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga take POAL’s place. This calling on an enquiry to the Port I consider extremely urgent as in February, Auckland Council will debate and finalise The Draft Auckland Plan into the Auckland Spatial Plan – a legal document Council must follow for the next 30-odd years. No matter which of the three options will be recommended by such an enquiry and adopted by Council, all three options will have serious implications, consequences and ramifications to The Draft Auckland Plan. Serious enough are these consequences that any of those three options could trigger a re-write of The Draft Auckland Plan and Draft Long Term Plan, basically duplicating an exercise that did not have the foresight into such a CRITICAL ISSUE.

Having first looked at relocating the Port within Auckland (South East Auckland – Clevedon) followed by taking a look at relocating the Port entirely out of Auckland, our final look is keeping the Port where it is and upgrading it to handle future demand in shipping traffic.

Port of Auckland – where it is plus some expansion

The Draft Auckland Plan and its associating support documents plus technical manuals have the Port of Auckland staying where it is, with the potential to expand in its current location to meet future growth (see bottom for embedded link of technical document)

This expansion comes in the name of possible 20 hectare expansion into theWaitemata Harbour, this expansion seems to have parts of the media and other commentators running red-hot with all sorts of commentary from just about all angles.

The New Zealand Herald ran three stories alone on the Port of Auckland issue, with Joel Cayford also writing an extensive post on POAL as well late last year.

The three Herald articles were:

Port will ‘shrink harbour’ (graphic: see port’s new look)

Editorial: Open scrutiny of port plans vital for city

The big issue behind port dispute

Cayford’s Blog post can be found HERE

I highly recommend reading Cayford’s post before progressing as he sums up very well what I am also thinking in keeping POAL where it is and allowing it to expand. The NZ Herald in the “Port will ‘shrink harbour’ piece also has an interesting graphic of what COULD be the final result in POAL did extend 250m into the Waitemata Harbour.

Look having POAL extend that far into the harbour is one thing that is enough to alarm just about any person in Auckland or beyond, but what I am touching on here as Cayford did is the transportation links to and from the Port that will prove to be its (POAL) Achilles Heal.

Quoting from Cayford:

There are other side effects in Auckland of an expansion of POAL activities – for example dredging, reclamation into the City of Sails playground, and obstruction of view corridors. However, if POAL does not expand then the report has this advice:

“…When a port or its hinterland facilities are more strongly congested than is the case for competing ports, the quality of that port’s service may be lower in that it takes more time to access and egress the port and the reliability of service declines, and this weakens its competitive position….Just a quick digression here into Auckland’s “hinterland”. Specifically rail. The POAL plan suggests “as much as 30%” of container movements could be by rail. That sounds not very much to me. We should get as many of these container movements as we can onto rail – rather than trucked by road. Let’s assume 50% and consider the implications of POAL’s growth plans.
The 5% POAL growth strategy would mean the port would be handling about 3,600,000 container movements per year in 2040. About half of these are ship-ship movements – ie POAL acts as a hubbing port for other ports. The other half are distributed by road and rail. Assuming half of these are moved by rail, that means 900,000 containers are moved by rail. What would that mean for Auckland’s “hinterland”? Well. All of these container movements have to use the North Island Main Trunk Line NIMT – which takes them through the residential areas of Orakei, Panmure and Glen Innes. Trains through these areas travel slow, at about 30 kph. What does it mean for the local environment? Well. 900,000 containers carried by train over a year, each about 10 metres long (allowing for gaps between containers and rail trucks), would require 30 trains a day, each about a kilometre long, to get these 900,000 containers through that bit of Auckland’s hinterland. If trains ran with a 5 minute headway between each train, POAL container trains would run for 3 and a half hours each and every day of the working year (estimated to be 300 days) through Panmure and Glen Innes etc. And if that matter isn’t a concern, then POAL’s strategy of becoming a gateway port (in competition with POT) should be, as the paper goes on to explain:

“…One consequence of the drivers of change in the organization of supply chains is that gateway ports have in many cases become a replaceable element of the chain, with relatively weak bargaining power. A port that provides service of a given quality at the lowest price does not necessarily gain market share, as other factors – that are not under the port’s control – also affect port choice. The focus shifts from port performance to supply chain performance. Among the other factors, hinterland transport costs have become relatively important, as the cost per kilogram per km on the hinterland is 5 to 30 times as high (depending on the hinterland transport mode) as the maritime shipping cost. Routing choices, and to some extent port choices, are strongly dependent on hinterland transport conditions, and reliability of the total route has become increasingly important to those in the supply chain making the routing decisions.So. Spending up large on POAL reclamations will not guarantee that POAL is favoured as a gateway port – especially if road and rail conditions are congested and expensive.

Simply put there are two ways in and out of Port of Auckland to get freight over land to and from where ever it needs to go. The first being (as mentioned above) the North Island Main Trunk Line – or for train commuters The Eastern Line from the Port (opposite The Strand near Britomart) to Westfield Junction, before the NIMT carries on from Westfield Junction south on the Southern Line. The second route being State Highway One (The Southern Motorway) via Grafton Gully and Stanley Street (State Highway 16) from the Port to (usually) the South Eastern Highway or Mt Wellington Highway. Now the reason why I mention Westfield Junction and the South Eastern or Mt Wellington Highways is because, these two links serve the major logistics freight hub and an inter-modal base in Auckland – which are in the suburbs of; Penrose, Mt Wellington and Westfield. However there is another freight logistics hub in Wiri further south which sits right on the Southern Line. This “inland” port is also an inter-modal base for containers to be transferred to and from trucks to/from rail – the same as Metro Port in Penrose.

Lets take a look at a map at the area of logistics hubs, inter-modal bases and transport routes in comparison to the city.

The first map we look at from Port of Auckland to Westfield/Penrose

The second map is from Westfield to Wiri

You can click on the images to enlarge them to 1920×980 or check them out “live” on Google Earth

You can see that POAL is pretty isolated from its support bases in both Wiri and Penrose/Westfield. Trucks and freight trains have to traverse some of the most congested routes in Auckland to move their goods to or from the Port back or from their inland bases before the goods are either further moved by train or truck to their final destinations and their customers. If you a truck – you also have to traverse the steep Grafton Gully and get stuck in the Newmarket Viaduct on the way out. As Cayford blogged, congestion is time – and time is money to businesses, exporters and importers; and heck you see some congestion between Wiri and Port of Auckland both on the roads and railway (passenger train movements). So the question is, if we (Auckland) have congestion now fouling freight movements between POAL and the inland operation points at Penrose/Westfield or Wiri, then I hate to think of the fouling and economic inefficiencies come 2040 when there two million people and a port moving double the volume of goods now.

If you want a congestion trial – take your car onto the Southern Motorway from Manukau and head to Britomart on State Highways One and 16 (Grafton Gully), take a train from Britomart to Papakura and back on the Eastern Line, then your car back to Manukau back tracking the way you came up Grafton Gully and see if you do not get stuck behind a freight train or truck on your circuit. Believe me if you do it can be a very painful experience as your time is eaten away – also you can see what the trucks have to go through as well as rail commuters.

Look simply put, the Port can expand all it wants but it will be still constipated and inefficient due to the hapless transit links and isolation from its inland support bases. And being isolated and constipated will continue to hobble POAL in being a competitive port against Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga which do not have these problems.

Now you can fix the transit problems if you are willing for the Port to expand such as seen in this graphic here. However the transit fixes will cost more than the City Rail Link and Second Harbour crossing combined – so an estimated total of around $7 billion. This is how the $7b would be broken down:

  1. Third Rail Line complete with Crossovers at each train station and electrification between POAL and Papakura on The Eastern Line: $1.3b minimum as this includes bridge rebuilds and the Meadowbank Tunnel being widened
  2. Eastern Highway as a full grade separated Motorway rather than the expressway I advocated for: $4b minimum and that is not including political resistance
  3. The South East Link from State Highway 20 through Penrose to Mt Wellington Highway, State Highway One, The Eastern Highway and East Tamaki/Highbrook (through a modified Eastern Highway): $1.5b minimum
  4. Upgrade to Wiri Inland Port: $100m minimum (the site would have to be relocated – I have an idea for location along old spur lines in Southern Wiri for it work – just need no muppet to build on it first

In fact here is another map showing the old spur lines from The Southern Line, the sites of possible new inter-modal hubs and the existing Wiri Inland Port.

Ironically these new possible hubs could work well due to the fact that there are already logistics bases there and existing (but mothballed) rail infrastructure to support it. Plus the spurs are off the main line so no fouling of passenger train movements – especially when the Third Rail Line is built properly.

$7 billion potentially spent on transit fixes with a colossal port protruding into the Waitemata Harbour and we run the risk still of high congestion and nuisance from increased freight movements in the most highly populated and valued areas of Auckland. Is the money being well spent or could it be used for something in my honest opinion rather more productive for the city. The Opportunity Cost both economically, environmentally (both physical and social) and pure monetary wise is extremely high if POAL stays, expands and money sunk into extremely expensive transit upgrades. Is such a cost worth it

At the end of the day, Auckland Council is going to have to think long and very hard on what to do with POAL. I have given three possible options with Joel Cayford is giving detailed analysis on what would happen if POAL stays where it is.

I preferably would have POAL relocate to South East Auckland with support coming in from Marsden Point – something I will touch in my final post in the POAL Location Mini Series.

The question is – what is best for Auckland and New Zealand in the long run concerning POAL – could a move be required and we cop the short-term pain for long-term gain.

…….

Source: https://voakl.net/2012/01/29/possible-port-of-auckland-relocations-part-three/

 

Since 2012 when the above was written two new situations have arisen with Port of Auckland. One to do with relocating the port to the Manukau Harbour the other in keeping where the port is but opening up another inland port in the new Drury South industrial complex on the southern urban limits of Auckland.

I will cover those in separate posts when the final version of the Port Future Study comes out in July.

 

Early Port relocation drawings as of 2012

 

Port of Auckland Relocation Work Ctd

I Continue work on Draft Drawings for a Relocated Port of Auckland

I managed to find some time today to get some pictures and draw up a few more crude drawings on the my proposed POAL relocation site – in South East Auckland.

I had to change things around a bit with the port and its proposed shape it would take at this proposed new site to accommodate Duder Regional Parkthat is close by to the north. Essentially I have had to build the port out into the water with two long piers rather than running parallel to shore (like Port of Tauranga) to accommodate the shipping that would visit the port. It is a bit hard to explain so lets get some pictures up shall we?

Port Relocation Overview

Click on the picture to view at full resolution

You can see the existing POAL site to the left with the shipping lane (58km in yellow) to the mid Hauraki Gulf, with the proposed relocation site to the middle of the picture with its shipping lane (63km approx. in white).

You can also see the amount of urban development there is around the existing support while the proposed new port is able to start afresh in virginGreenfield land. This also includes support infrastructure such as industry, logistics and residential being able be built in the Greenfield land as well – connected by two arterial roads and a rail branch line.

The proposed POAL relocation site is also sheltered from all-weather making it an ‘all-weather’ facility.

Proposed Port of Auckland Relocation – Closer Up and relation to Westfield/Metro Port

POAL Relocation Drawings – Closer Up

Click on the picture to view at full resolution

In this picture you can see a closer up shot of the proposed Port of Auckland relocation site and its supporting road and rail links. Those who saw the first close up shots in a previous posting would have noticed I had shrunk the Port footprint area; this is to accommodate Duder Regional Park which is home to some our sensitive wild life. As a result of this accommodation I have had to create upwards of three piers into the water to allow the new POAL to accommodate the shipping with the parallel to shore options (seen with Port of Tauranga) effectively ruled out past a set point (read further below).

The picture also shows the transit links to and from the new port site to connections such as State Highway One and the North Island Main Trunk Rail Line. What I have not shown is the Greenfield urban expansion zone to the east of the existing Takanini/Papakura urban area – that will be covered in another post.

Port of Auckland Drawings

Port of Auckland Working MK2

Click on the picture to view at full resolution

I recommend opening the picture up in a new tab on your browser to see all the annotations that assist in explaining the drawings.

The Drawing shows how the port could be possibly “worked” with a land base and three piers that stick out into the water to load and unload the boats. The main road and rail transit link is located to the south end of the Port and connect back to either the Main Trunk Line or State Highway One at the enhanced Takanini Interchange.

Now before I go into the construction phase as this would be a 25 year project, I better give some numbers and comparisons to Port of Tauranga our chief competitor.

Total Berthing Capacity for Port of Tauranga (regardless of Cargo) is around 2.73km with potential of another kilometre being added as the PoT grows. This breaks down to: 2km of general cargo berthing space, a 230m liquid and wood-chips pier and 500m for the container terminal fitted with four quay cranes.

The new proposed Port of Auckland site would have a total of 4,999m of berthing space (around 4,500m if you take into account limitations on the west end) when all three piers are built, and if the seaward side of the North East Pier was used a grand total of 5,899m berthing space. Effectively 1.5-2.0x the total amount of berthing space to PoT. However the new proposed port would be built in a phased approach to allow a smooth transition from the old site to the new; so the proposed relocated POAL would not reach 4,999m for 20-25 years.

Below is a gallery of where the port is proposed to site as from the view at Duder Regional Park:

Construction Phase

Building the new Port of Auckland would be done over time frame of 20-25 years and in various stages. This allows for a smooth transition between the existing and new POAL sites to minimise disruption to people, businesses and the environment.

The phased operation would go something like this:

  1. Port Land Area with the first pier built parallel to shoreline – giving 1,340 metres of initial berthing space to ships. First Transit Link using existing roads is built, rail line under construction
  2. 1,500 metre (x 220m) North Pier is built giving an extra 2,139m of berthing space. Rail link construction complete, new direct arterial road link under construction
  3. 1,000 metre (x 205m) East Pier is built giving the new POAL site a total of 3,359m of total berthing space (2,859m if accounting for limitations on the original parallel to shore pier). Direct Arterial Link Road is complete
  4. 1,000 metre (x 250m) East Pier Extension is built giving POAL a total berthing by metre capacity of 4,359m (deduct 500m for the limitations mentioned above)
  5. If needed then you have the 900 metre (x 260m) North East Pier (attached to East Pier Extension) giving a grand total capacity of 4,999 metres (deduct 500m for limitations mentioned above) Now the 4,999m figure includes 200m being lost from the Eastern Pier Extension due to the North East Pier being attached to it

Time frame – 25 years maximum

The piers would be on piles rather than infill. This allows the tidal flows to continuously flush the bay and Port zone, slowing down sediment and pollutant build up.

So this is where I am currently with POAL Relocation Draft Drawings, if I feel brave enough I might attempt at some 3D modelling – but that could be testing me beyond my limits. However with continual coverage of POAL here at VOAKL I will switch focus to the transit links, surrounding urban development and some possible sites for inland ports and large logistic hubs.

……..

Source: https://voakl.net/2012/03/27/port-of-auckland-relocation-work-ctd/

 

Port of Auckland has 40 years capacity left at its current site. I say we use the time very wisely alongside Central Government to develop a National Freight/Port Strategy to work out what is the best for Auckland and its port!

 

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