Peters wants Auckland port moved to Whangarei

In May Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he favoured moving the Port of Auckland, and suggested the Firth of Thames as a new location.

A council-commissioned Port Future Study released last year said that the port could absorb freight growth for several decades, but in the longer-term would likely need to be relocated. It recommended the Manukau Harbour and Firth of Thames be investigated as relocation sites.

Winston Peters has made a commitment to move port operations by 2027 if he is in a position of power after the election.

NZH: Winston’s pledge: ‘The days of the Ports of Auckland as a container port and car yard are numbered’

Winston Peters is set to give a “cast iron commitment” to move container operations from the Ports of Auckland if his party is in a position of influence after the election.

The New Zealand First leader wants the relocation completed by the end of 2027 – opening up 77-hectares of prime waterfront land for public use and the development of a new cruise ship terminal.

His plan would stop vehicle deliveries by the end of 2019 and free up Captain Cook Wharf ahead of the America’s Cup.

Peters wants legislation to move all container operations to Northport at Marsden Point near Whangarei by the end of 2027.

“The days of the Ports of Auckland as a container port and as a car yard are numbered,” the Northland MP said.

“Aucklanders want their harbour back while Northlanders want the jobs and opportunity that would come from Northport’s transformation.

“This is a cast iron commitment from New Zealand First but it needs New Zealand First to be in a pivotal position to demand it,” Peters said. “That requires people in Northland and Auckland to seriously adjust how they plan to vote.”

Peters said the benefits of opening up waterfront land in Auckland were “incalculable”, and expanding the port in Northland would spark an “economic renaissance”.

His party’s plan would create a “special economic area” near Northport, which would be duty-free, GST-free and tax-free. Peters said another such area could later be established in Southland.

It would require the immediate upgrade of the Auckland-to-Northland rail line, including a new rail spur to Northport. KiwiRail has put the cost of doing so in the billions of dollars – a cost that doesn’t include any upgrade of Northport.

Peters said he would stop public money going on efforts for a new port in the Firth of Thames, saying it was expensive and “highly problematic” environmentally.

The legislation NZ First wants to be introduced would put a deadline on transferring vehicle deliveries from Auckland to Northport by the end of 2019, which Peters said would free up Captain Cook Wharf ahead of the next America’s Cup. Container operations at the Port of Auckland would be stopped no later than December 31, 2027.

Peters has long campaigned for a rail link to Northport and previously indicated it would be one of his top demands, telling The Nation in July, “this is going to happen”.

I don’t know what the feelings are about the port being located in Auckland.

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43 Comments

  1. On the face of it it seems insanely expensive

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 31, 2017

      Poosibly off his face, you think?

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 31, 2017

      The RMA makes everything insanely expensive. The pioneers built thousands of km of railway. We can”t build 20km.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 31, 2017

        Joshing aside, I think this proposal might have something going for it. You live up that way, Sir Alan. What do you reckon. Looked at as an investment – how soon would it pay for itself, especially with a PPP approach?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 31, 2017

          No idea, G. Haven’t seen any real figures for ages. Don’t know what shape the Auckland Whangarei line is in or how much congestion there is in getting thru Auckland to wherever the distribution centre will be.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 31, 2017

            How goes the battle with the scurvy knaves of Norhland, Sir Alan?
            An update in OF, perhaps?

            Reply
      • Brown

         /  August 31, 2017

        I agree. Health and safety is also a huge cost factor. I’ve visited Hong Kong every couple of years or so for a while now and found a whole new metro line from Admiralty to the south and an extension to the Tsuen Wan line. Coming back from Ocean Park yesterday step daughter and I stood up front where the driver would be if there was one. The train travels under the island between the city and the first stop at Ocean Park so that part has a tunnel about 2-3 k’s long. They seem to complete a project of significant size in the time we would take to agree to design it and to get far more bang for the billions.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 31, 2017

          The cost of moving things FROM the port that we saw on the news tonight seems to me to make the idea a non-starter.

          I can’t see how a commuter railway in Hong Kong is relevant to a new port in NZ, Brown.

          Reply
  2. -D

     /  August 31, 2017

    Everyone I know here in Auckland wants it gone. (Also sold.)

    Reply
  3. No doubt Peters has also planned for a four lane highway to carry the increased truck traffic that this Port would generate ?

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      and the second harbor bridge that would be needed……..

      Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  August 31, 2017

      George, the only way this is going to work is if the freight is kept off the main highway. The rail line would need to be upgraded and built through to a transport hub in Wiri or thereabouts.
      A piece of trivia but I rode the rail from Whangarei to Auckland a couple of years ago, yes they still run nostalgia tours from time to time. The tunnels are too tight to take a container as is evidenced by the damage. No worries to the chinese though, they will have the entire thing rebuilt in a matter of months

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 31, 2017

        Of course Auntie Winnie can do those things, Pants and George.

        Chinese takes a capital, it’s a nationality.

        Reply
  4. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 31, 2017

      Well he was Treasurer, Julie-Anne! 🙄
      So he knows how to get money off taxpayers, Julie-Anne! 😉
      Even if he has to pay some of it back, Julie-Anne. 😠
      So he’ll just build four-lane highways, or railways you can help pay for, Julie-Anne! 🌹

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  August 31, 2017

      You only have to see the state of roads in Hawke’s Bay since the rail closed, and forestry came on tap to know this Greenie has a point. In fact on the Napier/ Gisborne
      road ( State HW 2), it’s not uncommon to pass over 70 trucks at peak times, and be stuck behind three in a row for up to half an hour.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 31, 2017

        Julie-Anne; questions have been asked and answered. It was on the news and no doubt elsewhere.

        Reply
      • How many of those trucks are going to Panpac _ I would say most. That is because Panpac isn’t on the railway (it is the other side of the Esk River), so if on a train, the logs need to be triple handled. Put on truck, put from truck onto train and train back onto truck to clog up the streets of Napier. Who would go for that instead of truck from logging pad to mill, maybe three trips a day for the forests south of Wairoa. Yeah right.

        Reply
  5. Warren

     /  August 31, 2017

    I wonder how he will fit the freight trains in between the the passenger trains on the western line. There is a need to put in a third line from the present wharves to Wiri just to cope now. How will they manage through the Newmarket junction with the new loop that is being constructed at tne moment. So many questions where are the answers

    Reply
    • Warren

       /  August 31, 2017

      Update. ?Just seen the Herald. Last year the port handled 952,000 twenty foot equivalent containers and 297,500 vehicles. That equates to about 40 trains a day for 365 days a year.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 31, 2017

        Phsaww! Why do you want to worry abour a piddling little 10-lane highway when the future of his electorate’s at stake?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 31, 2017

          Only 40 trains a day ? What’s all the fuss about, then ? The people who live beside the railways will soon get used to it-or top themselves.

          Reply
  6. duperez

     /  August 31, 2017

    It’s good to see someone from out of town say, “I don’t know what the feelings are about the port being located in Auckland.”

    No doubt that end comment is the prelude to some thinking about the issue and considered comment. Peters coming up with it means it will automatically be dismissed.

    Warning, flippant bit: I heard Simon Bridges rubbishing the idea. I was half expecting him to say, “The idea is silly because of the difficulty in freighting containers south from Marsden Point what with narrow one way bridges holding things up.”

    (Yeah, yeah, I know there are no one way bridges on the main route, it’s just that before the the last election up here Bridges was suddenly full of a dramatic growth and development strategy for the North.)

    Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  August 31, 2017

    Peters puts forward a bold vision that on the surface makes very good sense.The Natz will rubbish it regardless.Vision is something they do not have….maintain the status quo,hold onto power,that is their only…aim.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 31, 2017

      As usual Winston throws things out there with no idea whether it is feasible or not. It may be a good idea but where’s all his background work/costings/cause and effect on it?

      Of course he does none of that because he isn’t the one who has to make it work, that’s what his govt partner will be forced to do if he gets his way.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  August 31, 2017

        It’s just politics, but …

        You claim he has no idea whether it is feasible or not. Is that speculation, hope, or political putdown?

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 31, 2017

          Please show me the link to his feasibility study? Surely when announcing such a concept he would back it up with facts………common sense dictates that moving goods to Northport & away from ports of Auckland – goods that are primarily destined for Auckland – and then shipping them a far greater distance down to Auckland is not the best of ideas unless he has some alternative facts?

          This is not a new idea and earlier feasibility studies suggested the economic benefits, increased cost for importers, cost of upgrading roads/rail, and environmental concerns made the option one of the least favoured of those looked at & certainly impossible to move all car imports there by 2019 as Winston is suggesting.

          Reply
  8. artcroft

     /  August 31, 2017

    Hamilton is putting in an inland port to take freight straight from Tauranga. They’ll split it near the railways in Hamilton as send it anywhere in the country. No need for Auckland Ports to move as Tuaranga/Hamilton becomes the North Island central hub and Auckland Whangarei satellite ports.

    Reply
  9. maxwell smart

     /  August 31, 2017

    Peters proposition
    will cause HT congestion from marsden pt to AK.
    It will be chaotic.
    Goffs proposition is
    laudable

    Reply
    • maxwell smart

       /  August 31, 2017

      Peters is dreaming.
      Yes there will be jobs.
      But moving freight south over the harbour bridge will be
      diabolical in peak hours.
      I’m glad i dont live.on
      the NS.

      Reply
  10. ken Grimwood

     /  September 19, 2017

    Mate ya dreamin!

    Reply

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