Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Goff Misleading On Port Move

Phil Goff is “patently lying” to Aucklanders in claiming he can move the Auckland port says Mayoral candidate Mark Thomas.

His promise to move the Auckland port has as much credibility as Donald Trump’s wall.

“He has no idea how much it will cost ratepayers, where it should be moved to and how long it will take.”

“He has no funding plan to pay for a move but wants a national port strategy and, like most of his plans, the government to help pay for it.”

“He is wrong with his claims of international cities who have “moved” their ports and he is ignoring the $2 billion public and private redevelopment of Wynyard wharf  that is underway.”

He is ignoring the Transport Minister’s recent observation that the environmental and cost implications mean a port move will be “possibly impossible”,

Thomas said Goff is also not being honest by telling Aucklanders what they would have to give up to pay for what would be the largest infrastructure project in New Zealand’s history.

“All around the region, Aucklanders tell me they want the next mayor’s energy and council’s resources focused on delivering better transport sooner and sorting out our housing and growth problems.”

“Aucklanders know how distracting a “mega-project” can be. Len Brown’s sole focus on the City Rail Link has cost the region in terms of other transport priorities.”

Thomas said the port of Auckland had done a poor job with its planning, and an even worse job engaging with Aucklanders.

“Over the last ten years, the port has been consistently wrong in terms how much area they need to operate in. They have underestimated the impact of technology and productivity. ”

“As mayor I will not approve any further expansion into the harbour. I will direct the port to continue the efficiency improvements they have made and to ‘tear down the wall’ separating the port from the people of Auckland.

“I also want to progress my plan to “swap” the value of the port operating company to other assets we need, for example an extended north-western busway and rail improvements at the port to get more of the 1,100 trucks per day off the road.

“My preference would be a new port operating company that combines the ports of Tauranga and Auckland. Both ultimately have physical growth constraints. By working together they could plan more effectively for the future.”

The port of Tauranga has had a mixed public (54%) / private ownership (45%) for many years and has been New Zealand’s most successful port.

“Goff is obviously unaware that current traffic and port growth means council will still have to spend money dealing with these rail and Grafton Gully bottle necks even if a decision to move is made.”

Thomas said Goff also shows a hopeless misunderstanding of what is happening with ports around the world. He quotes four cities who have “moved their ports” when in fact it is the port growth that has been accommodated on different locations, rather than the port being moved.

“Vancouver, one the most liveable cities in the world, still had a working port in the CDB when I visited it recently. This port is actually owned by the Canadian government, rather than just the city of Vancouver, and new developments funded by the Government.”

“Sydney’s port is owned by the State of New South Wales, and it was they, with a population of 4.5 million in 1970, who developed and paid for the new container and fright terminal at Botany.”

“In London, all three major port companies are privately owned, and the private owners have largely funded the new port developments. Yet Goff is opposed to a private role in our port.”

“Phil Goff’s port musings are dishonest and misleading. Auckland’s focus has to be on fixing the traffic and housing problems we have today, making the port more efficient where it is and continuing to develop more public open space on the waterfront. That is what I will do as mayor.”

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    2 comments on “Goff Misleading On Port Move

    1. Mark says:

      I’m referring to the red fence separating the port from central Auckland. I mean it as a metaphor for the barrier the port has established between itself and Aucklanders!

    2. CJ says:

      “I will direct the port to continue the efficiency improvements they have made and to ‘tear down the wall’ separating the port from the people of Auckland.”
      What does “tear down the wall” mean in this context?