Move the port(s)

January 27th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

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.

If you want to have your say and hopefully oppose Port expansion on its current site, go to Your Port Your Call’s page on Facebook or Twitter.

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42 Responses to “Move the port(s)”

  1. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Re Wellington, some years ago the WCC came up with a long-term strategy to move the port area to the Kaiwharawhara reclamation, opening up the space along Aotea to new copmmercial and residential development.

    Moving the port area to Seaview would probably never happen. There were plans for port development there in the 1940s but it was not economically viable. One of the tenderers for the recent Navy Project Protector vessels proposed building them at Seaview in a smaller scale development.

    As for creating jobs in Seaview – well sure but they would only be replacing the port jobs moved from Wellington. Any large-scale development creates some jobs, I guess, but for practical purposes moving jobs from one side of Wellington Harbour to the other doesn’t seem like a net gain.

    The Kaiwharawhara proposal also provided the opportunity to phase a new development.

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  2. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “The current port is an eyesore.” – cities are usually deliberately established close to transport routes, among other variables. The port may be an eyesore but I wouldn’t back moving it simply for aesthetic purposes if it increases costs. Rather not impose extra hardship on the financially challenged for the sake of wealthy apartment owners who’d like a better view.

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  3. mattyman1010 (35 comments) says:

    I agree there must be a better place for POAL to move. Potentially around Mangere way, around the Manakau harbour and airport (may clog up the motorway?). Other than that I can’t think of any other viable area for Auckland.

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  4. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    Agree on moving the Wellington port to Seaview. There must be cheaper real estate to have all those piles of logs.

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  5. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    But where?
    Would it be deep enough in the Manukau harbour?

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  6. Cobolt (93 comments) says:

    @mattyman1010: The Manukau is not suitable due to the narrowness of the Manukau Heads and the sand bar. As for the Waitemata the port is in the only conceivable spot, the north shore is not an option due to a lack of rail link etc and further up the harbour is just too shallow, the amount of dredging required would be phenomenal. The only other option is take the port out further, like Hobson Bay. Good luck convincing the locals there. Any further out and you won’t actually be in the harbour anymore.

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  7. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    Moving the Wellington port is an excellent idea.

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  8. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I’m bloody sure the residents of Mangere Bridge (the township ) don’t want a large port developement in front of their houses any more than those of Parnell and the innner city.

    Buy a house near or on the waterfront then they don’t want waterfront stuff happening………hello

    Like the dorks that buy a house by Western Springs and then moan non stop about the stock cars and concerts.

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  9. Cobolt (93 comments) says:

    If you really wanted to spend some money build the port in the Onehunga basin and dredge the Tamaki estuary through to it. You’d need to buy a few houses around the Princess st area but they’d be cheap enough. A lock and new motorway and rail bridges walla!

    It brings the port to the back door of the inland container port at Onehunga, avoids the manukau sand bar, gets the port traffic out of the city, lots of local labour. Shit I should IP this idea.

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  10. DeepScience (48 comments) says:

    I think the expansion is a great idea. London has a working port all the way through it and the yuppies etc are still happy. It’s like the greenies, “ohh yes we want the economy to work – ooh no mining.” Well a bigger port at the best location in NZ is good.

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  11. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    So where do you think they could move it to? Kohimarama?

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  12. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    Surely our port infrastructure is something that can be planned (in a country smaller than Sydney) at a Govt. level. If the increase is coming from Northland, make the port at Marsden Point bigger so there’s direct access to Northland. The entire port system should be an efficient servant of the nation’s needs, one of which is to convert Auckland from a shithole into somewhere livable that people can be proud of. (I live in Auckland)

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  13. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    a truly serious port does not reside on the city seafront – it requires dedicated transport routes and plenty of space. See Europoort in Rotterdam for instance (lived in Rotterdam) and even did a bunch of logistics IT work for them 20 odd years ago. Europoort is one of largest ports on planet. From memory the Japanese equivalents had pretty much the same approach.

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  14. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Move the port to Petone/Seaview? Are you serious?

    Have you ever seen the morning crawl along the Petone Esplanade at 8am? Just from commuter traffic? Now add all the roll-on roll-off traffic to that.

    How will rail freight cars get put on to the main trunk line? Trucked to Petone, put on the commuter line, railed into the main yards, then put on the freight train up the trunk? Come on, David…

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  15. Andrei (2,644 comments) says:

    Waterfront space has become the most valuable space in urban cities. It is where people want to dine, drink, walk and shop.

    Yes all the office drones, who for the most part whose contribution to the economy is zilch, want to sup upon their chardonnay and nibble upon their imported Guggisberg Cheese on water biscuits in picturesque surroundings undisturbed by the noise, odours and dust that productive labour inevitably entails.

    Let the grimy business of the productive classes take place elsewhere but Not In My Back Yard.

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  16. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    People can dine, drink, walk, and shop pretty much anywhere. Ships can only be loaded and unloaded in the ocean.
    Yes, I know the waterfront can be very pretty but be reasonable. The port has to go somewhere. I think it would be worthwhile ensuring that freight trains can go all the way to port as well. If that could be combined with the Len’s “city loop” option it could be made to work, with POA and the rail commuters cross subsidising each other

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  17. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Hmm, Auckland already has companies shipping from another port, it is called Tauranga.
    Does Auckland really need a port with all the transport hassles ?
    And look at the advantages, you lot can fire all those retired types who do fuck all for a thick wad along with the management and board.
    Fuck it is worth closing the port just to piss the wharfies off.

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  18. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    Grumpy – with you on that. Close the port – build a new stadium on the site then bowl eden park and build terraced apartments on that site.

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  19. Biggreenbugeyedmonster (4 comments) says:

    1. The size of container ships is increasing massively. Standard ships coming to NZ now are 1500 containers. Within a decade they’ll be several times as large.
    2. Bigger container ships mean that facilities need to be much larger to cope with the greater number of containers. If NZ is going to have these bigger ships visit, then the port facilities will need to be much much larger.
    3. Bigger ships have a much bigger draft and a bigger beam. That means that only a handful of harbours in NZ can handle these bigger ships – and Waitemata harbour is the only option in the top of the North Island (Tauranga is too small and shallow to admit really big ships).
    4. Ports need to be close to the industries that supply the containers. In this case, most of NZ’s economic activity occurs in the top half of the North Island. That means Waitemata Harbour.
    5. A new port in the Waitemata harboru will mean completely new road and rail links. Mind you, the existing road and rail links to the port are already inaequate for future development…

    Now if you don’t allow bigger ships to come to NZ, then all our shipping will feed through an Australian hub port. Please think through the massively increased costs, increased shipping and handling time and loss of flexibility this would mean for NZ exporters (especially given that 2/3rds of our exports are foodstuffs which are time sensitive to markets).

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  20. Bruce Hamilton (60 comments) says:

    Rail used to be the major supplier of factories at Seaview, and there’s still some infrastructure. Cost of move would be huge, as the Hutt river probably continuously affects water depth at potential berths. Certainly move the logs to Kaiwharawhara or Seaview, as one train can carry a lot of logs and scrap steel. the conveys of Macauley Metals trucks from Seaview to the Port would disappear.

    Moving all interisland, intraisland bus, road, and rail passenger and seafreight terminals and berths to Kaiwharawhara would free up a lot of the land and put a light rail line to airport alongside a central city loop. Let’s build our way out of recession :-).

    Use nominated ports for easily transported imports that require storage, such as used cars to Marsden Point.

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  21. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    “Let’s build our way out of recession”

    We are: http://cera.govt.nz/

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  22. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    Ports of Auckland may have other issues that constrain their ability to move site.

    Depth of the water, for example…

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  23. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    Can somebody explain why the port in Onehunga was abandoned? I see one ship every month in that port and it certainly has potential to expand into a national asset once again.

    Just imagine the employment opportunities this would offer local South Auckland communities in Mangere and Otahuhu?

    I don’t know a lot of major cosmopolitan cities in the world with a run down port in the heart of their Central Business District. Once again, our urban planners from yesteryear were a miserably lot. None of them had any foresight.

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  24. Nostalgia-NZ (5,195 comments) says:

    Depth of water is already a problem where they are, the logistics to the inland ports seems to be at a maximum stretch. I think POAL have to get a lot smarter and more efficient, when you consider the exit and entry to the container port for trucks you very quickly see the limitations, probably needs a tunnel linking to the ‘port’ motorway and perhaps even a truck only lane as far as the Mt Wellington, Onehunga (Airport) exit. For the desire of a bigger port the supporting infrastrucure isn’t coping well now, overloading it more is like letting billy bunter into the chocolate factory.

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  25. DeepScience (48 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua, just guessing a combination of constant dredging required and one of the most dangerous entrances in the world.

    @rest of you, the CBD does not represent the nature of the Auckland sprawl. Len might be trying to turn the city into a highrise slum that Wellingtonians might be used to but it’s just not us. Well, not most of us. So the question is damage the entire areas economic productivity for the sake of a few whiny coffee drinkers? Get Auckland working for the country. Auckland is brilliant but if you’re sending tourists to the CBD to show off NZ you’ve got to be brain dead.

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  26. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    What a load of ignorant middle class nonsense – ‘move the port because it is spoiling my view and damn the cost or the practicality’.

    Seaview has a 200m jetty for a reason – it is too shallow to accommodate ships. Seaview is also the main repository for the silt and shingle that flows out of the Hutt river. It also has poor heavy vehicle access with no state highway. Minor problems compared to your view and promenade.

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  27. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    More good points against Seaview insider. Wellington already has some kind of plan to move the main port operation eventually to the area from the ferry terminal to the Kaiwharawhar reclamation. I think on the Seaview part of the post, DPF was probably just babbling on (again).

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  28. trout (939 comments) says:

    What a bunch of dreamers. Here we are borrowing $250 mill a week to sustain the unsustainable and the yuppies want to strangle the lifeblood of the country for a latte with a view. Auckland is a merchant town, always has been. It is a city built on trade and industry and a working deep water port is an essential component. The city has already appropriated over half of ex harbour board land for public use (with high costs and precious little income) but you want more. Lets just cut off all shipping and go back to grass skirts and bird trapping.

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  29. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Oh for fucks sake lets just teleport the shit in and save ourselves all this hassle and moaning….

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  30. groundedkiwi (1 comment) says:

    It seems ironic that councils are going to be spending millions on the ports, when they still haven’t made up their minds if the sea levels are going to be rising or not.

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  31. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    trout, you need to get real. The whole shenanigan is an eye sore and is no reflection of a cosmopolitan capital. We are now the Polynesian Capital of the World. Auckland can be a whole lot more and it’s not going to get there if we continue to grasp onto the straws of our past.

    Move the port along and get it going again. Even with the ports where they’re now, it has many examples of what could only be known as UNDER-PERFORMANCE.

    A whole new site could benefit everybody.

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  32. V (719 comments) says:

    Heres the rub, in order for the port to be able to afford to move, it needs to be earning sufficient profit at it’s current location in order to fund itself into any new location overtime.

    Otherwise it is yet again, another taxpayer bailout.

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  33. DeepScience (48 comments) says:

    Hear hear trout, well spoken. And yet Tautaioleua simply replaces the word “view” with “eye sore” and thinks he has demolished your argument despite just affirming it.

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  34. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    A decision on moving the POA to another location is a decision for central government as they would have to fund it and related transportation costs.

    Why not a second small scale port, if growth occurs, and the north and Tauranga otherwise.

    Wellington’s existing plan for development into a new area is OK.

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  35. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    This is why local and national governments should not own companies.

    PoA is sitting on prime real estate. There must be literally thousands of locations to which they could move, then sell the land for a huge profit. A privately owned company would never consider expanding on the current site. It is only council ownership which demands this madness.

    PoA should have all ownership transferred to ratepayers in the form of shares, and then there would be no expansion on the current site.

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  36. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    Some obfuscation here on Tauranga’s ability to take over POAL’s role.
    Tauranga has as much empty space available as the whole of POAL. Only need to look, not Auckland assume.
    It is about to be dredged to take the larger container vessels anticipated within the next 10 + years, and can be dredged further when required.
    I have only heard, some 3 months ago, from passengers, from what they were told, for the first time when a very large Cruise Passenger Liner was diverted to Auckland (next port next day anyway) due to adverse storm winds and low tide. The main reason also was the huge high superstucture of the vessel in the adverse storm winds. Sensible decision. This was well over the height of the largest container vessels.

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  37. Biggreenbugeyedmonster (4 comments) says:

    I’d be really fascinated to know from David where he thinks the “new site” for the port of Auckland should be. The criteria are that it needs to have enough space to berth and turn a post-panmax container ship – so for a start it needs a lot of space and a draft of at least 15m, and the port facilities can handle 5000 containers. Come on David – if you are advocating moving Port of Auckland, then surely you can say where that port should be.
    Or is David saying that New Zealand should cut itself off from post-panmax container ships?

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  38. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    Shifting the port of Wellington to the other side would never be a viable proposition.

    Taxi fares for the ship girls would be prohibitive, or raise the prices beyond what a poor sailor could afford.

    The girls could move to Eastbourne and thus raise property values there, but some who comment here may find this an affront to G-d.

    If it happens. We in Wainui, who raise sheep, would of course take it all in our stride and see it as another source of diversifying our income stream by catering to all tastes. :)

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  39. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Johnboy
    Perhaps the increased demand for sheep would make it worthwhile putting that tunnel through the Wainui hill!

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  40. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    Sorry old chap. Unfortunately the Wellington water supply pipe and the Wainui sewage pipe currently occupy the old Wainui tunnel. (hope they never the set the valves the wrong way. :) )

    The girls could move to Wainui as they would raise the moral standard of the place.

    If the port trade was enough we could drive a tunnel straight through from my place to reids backyard and him and I could come to an arrangement on the sheep and we could just charge the girls a transit fee! :)

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  41. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    Seaview has a rail link off the Wai line at Woburn, they can easily get freight right onto the rail there. Take it down to Wellington or up through the Wai to Ashhurst then across to Palmy.

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  42. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    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.

    I suggest you stick to your own backyard on local issues. We like our port, so fuck off.

    When it comes to having an economically sane labour market

    , if you are saying POAL is all fucked up, just whose fault is that? Are your beloved managers free of blame? Totally? Really?

    You still foment willful ignorance. You can’t help yourself, can you!

    Here’s a fact for DPF. Please pass this onto to Him.

    The most successful economy in Europe appears to be Germany. The average wage rate there is $US44 per hour. Germany has a current account SURPLUS that is HUGE, and DO NOT engage in races to the bottom.

    If DPF was running for NZ president this would be his slogan:

    For a richer New Zealand, drive down wages!

    After all, Newt’s prescription for a richer US is:

    Vote for Newt: Getting America’s children back to work

    as school toilet cleaners, by the way.

    DPF and Newt: blood brothers.

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