Ports of Auckland have put out a PR around their plans to expand their current space:
In the context of the Auckland Plan process, the Port’s key interest is in protecting the current port zone, which has been through two public submissions processes and has been in place and public since 1987.
The zone effectively allows the option for port expansion in the future, but any actual proposals for expansion of Port operations would then be subject to widespread public consultation and Resource Consent processes.
While I’m on POAL’s side when it comes to having an economically sane labour market, I’m very much against any expansion on their current site.
POAL say that their zone has been in place since 1987. That is in fact the problem. They were zoned for that area when the waterfront in Auckland was massively different to what it is today.
The same applies in Wellington. In 1987 the waterfront was a collection of sheds.
Waterfront space has become the most valuable space in urban cities. It is where people want to dine, drink, walk and shop.
In Wellington I am an advocate of shifting the port entirely from its current location over to Petone/Seaview. That will provide more jobs in Seaview, and open up the current port space to immense possibilities. Yes, it will cost money to shift – but a shift should be inevitable – when not if. The current port is an eyesore.
The same applies in Auckland. Ports of Auckland should not be relying on a 25 year old zone. They should be looking for a new site away from the centre of the city, as their long-term home. Sure you have issues such as rail and road links, but they can all be planned for also.