Winston’s policy demands

Now it is negotiation time to see who can form the next government it’s worth looking at some of Winston Peters’ demands.

  • Move Port of Auckland to Marsden Point
  • Move Parliament to Waitangi
    (no sitting times after the Russell Ferry stops running)
  • Rebuild Eden Park in Whangarei
  • Relocate Ellerslie race course to Dargaville
  • International airport at Kerikeri
  • America’s Cup to be staged at Bay of islands

However it is not clear whether Peters will put the same priority on these policies after losing the Northland electorate.

Obviously only the first of those is actually NZ First policy, but it is about as practical as the rest.

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.