Ports of Auckland location

November 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Bernard Orsman at NZ Herald writes:

Auckland has a choice if it wants to open up more of its waterfront – let the port expand into the Waitemata Harbour or lose cargo to Tauranga and Northland.

An independent study on freight demands of the three North Island ports shows Auckland cannot open up Captain Cook and Marsden wharves to the public without having to fill in more of the harbour or limit the amount of cargo it handles.

That would lead to the economic benefits from going to Port of Tauranga and Northport.

I think the long-term future is to move the Ports of Auckland to another location. It is silly to have prime beautiful waterfront land taken up by a commercial port. The same goes for Wellington.

Even with “very significant operational efficiencies”, the study said, Ports of Auckland would still need extra berth and storage space by 2041 to cater for growth.

And the public won’t wear a growth in area in its current site, so a new location is the only way to expand.

Tags:

32 Responses to “Ports of Auckland location”

  1. Grizz (540 comments) says:

    Moving the port will give all those railway sychophants somrthing to cheer about.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. queenstfarmer (755 comments) says:

    There was an interesting suggestion a while ago to move the port to Waitakaruru, at the base of the Firth of Thames: http://goo.gl/maps/uxmIe

    I don’t know enough about it to comment if it’s a good idea or not, but may be worth investigating:
    – sheltered sea access
    – acres of flat, undeveloped land
    – no large population centres to upset
    – no particularly sensitive ecosystems (though the Greens will no doubt find some endangered earthworm or something)
    – on state highway network
    – handy upper-central NI location

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,831 comments) says:

    It makes more sense still to simply wind up the operation and use Marsden Point as the defacto Auckland port, with containers railed en masse to a ‘dry port’ in Onehunga. All the Customs and local road distribution can continue as it does now but without the ministrations of Mr Parslow and his slimy band of crooks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. All_on_Red (1,489 comments) says:

    And then do what with the land?
    Make it a park? – who’s going to pay Ports of Auckland for that. The ratepayers of Auckland- stuff that.
    Turn into apartments?- They will be Leasehold and with what those currently sell for, a new build would be priced out of the current market and not sell.
    Turn it into commercial- plenty of that still for sale

    I am afraid its best use is still as a Port. Besides I think Auckland needs all the commercial activity it can get so I guess then the Port has to expand. I suspect my neighbours in Devonport wont be impressed with that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. OneTrack (2,815 comments) says:

    So, are we are happy to pay the ongoing transport costs, transport delays and carbon emissions of a rail link from Marsden Point so that we can have a park by the harbour. Ohh, ok. Or you can leave the port where it is and any extra growth (which may or may not eventuate) could be accomodated out of Marsden Point and/or Tauranga. Win-win.

    But getting rid of that rip-off union might just be worth it anyway.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Is this post your application for membership of The Green Party of Aotearoa / New Zealand DPF?

    I would have thought being situated not too far into the narrow waterway of the inner harbour, and right on the railway line, and only a minute’s truck drive from the mouth of the Grafton Gully Motorways surely makes the current location an excellent one.

    Waitemata Harbour / Hauraki Gulf has a HUGE coastline.

    And statistically, all of it is a playground (beach reserves, fishing rocks, dream homes, marinas for toy boats, waterfront dining, etc etc) So Aucklanders are not exactly short on recreational waterways, and there are plenty of other places you can get your rocks off swimming, kayaking, or having a chardonnay.

    The port is one place in the whole harbour where serious business is done. Leave it alone.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    Good post DPF. It is also important to note that the port makes an economic loss, because the true value of the land is not included in its balance sheet. And, Wellington is not quite analogous to Auckland. Auckland’s port is smack bang at the bottom of town (think Shed Five and Dockside) whereas at least Wellington’s port is tucked around the corner.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. thedavincimode (6,590 comments) says:

    All_on_Red

    Maybe we could build 10,000 homes a year there??

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    RRM, serious business is not done at Ports of Auckland because it makes a loss.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    whereas at least Wellington’s port is tucked around the corner.

    Yes. Along with the cruise ships full of tourists with money.

    If only we could do something to enable those ships to berth closer to the “bottom of town”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    Wellington should. A passenger terminal should remain on the Auckland waterfront, obviously. Its the containers that should go to Northport and Tauranga.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    It is silly to have prime beautiful waterfront land taken up by a commercial port.

    The madness is spreading.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. BeaB (2,082 comments) says:

    We enjoyed watching the big container ships coming in and leaving and all the port activity. it’s part of what makes a great city.

    We need to get over the fancy cruise terminal too. As a regular cruise passenger I know how utterly irrelevant the terminal is as long as you can embark and disembark quickly. It’s not like an airport where you might want to hang round and have a cup of coffee. On a cruise you want to get straight into the town or sightseeing destination.
    Speed and efficiency are the key.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. greenjacket (436 comments) says:

    There is nowhere else that Ports of Auckland can move to.
    A typical 4000TEU container ship draws 12-13m (and that isn’t some of the bigger postpanmax ships likely in the future). Other locations are simply far too shallow. Say the Firth of Thames – at the southern half, average depth is about 5m. Can anyone explain to me how a container ship drawing 13m is able to dock at a port where the depth of the harbour is 5m?
    Geography is a bitch, but there you have it. Tauranga is a limited port (shallow, heads too narrow, very confined space in harbour…)

    So stop your magical thinking. There is no alternative to the present location. Auckland is going to remain a port, and to keep it viable it needs to expand out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. dime (9,663 comments) says:

    move the port. build parks etc we would rival sydney.

    they rape us on our rates bill anyway. at least this way we would get something decent

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    Greenjacket, Auckland can’t ever take the big new ships that are coming. Northport already could. I looked into all this carefully earlier in the year, and I still stand by pretty much every word: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/wr-opening-salvo-auckland’s-container-port-must-go-108818

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. tvb (4,253 comments) says:

    Except for passenger boats POAL should get put of the city and return the harbour to the public. And it will ease congestion on the motorway in the central city

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. insider (1,030 comments) says:

    A port on the waterfront. Whatever were those mad planners thinking? Drury is the obvious location for such an eyesore.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Alan Johnstone (1,082 comments) says:

    “Make it a park? – who’s going to pay Ports of Auckland for that. The ratepayers of Auckland- stuff that”

    The ratepayers own Ports of Auckland; would they pay themselves ?

    In reality, it should be converted into a Darling Harbor style location; mixture of commercial and public space. Hell, like Darling Harbor we could even put the convention centre there, kill two birds with one stone.

    It could be made cash positive for the ratepayers in the medium term.

    As for Port facilities, we have PoT, we have Marsden Point. There is no need for a CDB port. Sydney puts all commercial traffic via Port botany about 20kms out of town.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Tauhei Notts (1,649 comments) says:

    Matthew Hooton’s piece at 12.05 is spot on.
    I recall Mike Daniel, former chairman of Northland Port, making the same comments. Mike’s line was that the return on capital, if one revalued the Auckland real estate accurately, was unacceptable at Auckland. Okay; there will be costs on rail access to Marsden Point. And the cost of upgrading the rail line through Northland will not be cheap; things like passing bays and widening many tunnels; but the nett cost will make the whole scheme work.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Mike’s line was that the return on capital, if one revalued the Auckland real estate accurately, was unacceptable at Auckland.

    Don’t you mean return on book value of the land? Which is meaningless because the land was purchased years ago no doubt, and paid off since.

    So the real point is they could sell the land for lots of money. But that point doesn’t make sense either because to make it a park someone would have to purchase it for the same public who own the land.

    So in effect, if you’re talking about setting up a park on the port land, it’s makes no sense to argue that the port is losing money because it owns valuable land. None whatsoever.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Or to put my first point in another way, it doesn’t matter what your house is worth if it suits your needs and you’ve paid it off.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. greenjacket (436 comments) says:

    Matthew: I agree with you that NorthPort could be a goer – but even that would need to some dredging (IIRC its depth is about 13m). But it would need substantial investment, not only to expand Marsden but transport infrastructure to link Marsden with the rest of the country. A friend told me that Auckland can accomodate bigger ships by dredging/expansion and they have plans/consents to do so.
    This is a strategic issue – where best to accomodate the big container ships in future, and the choice is either further development of the existing large port at Auckland or building virtually a new port with linking transport infrastructure at NorthPort.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. berend (1,673 comments) says:

    DPF: It is silly to have prime beautiful waterfront land taken up by a commercial port.

    The day Aucklanders no longer want to see people working and work happening would be a very sad day. It’s great to see work happening, and Auckland would lose something important from its soul. All play no work doesn’t help this sliding country.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    Scrubone, are you some sort of communist? If this port were not state owned, the market would already have driven the land to its highest and best use, which is not a port. Or do you just not know how to read a balance sheet? See my column, linked to above, especially this bit:

    The port, 100% owned by the council, claims a 6% return on investment based on an annual profit of $24 million from equity of $401 million.

    The claim is nonsense. The port values its land at just $260 million and its wharves at just $147 million, much less than $1000 a square metre. The truth is its land is the most valuable in the country.

    The council itself values nearby land at about $3000 a square metre. The Ferry Building land, adjacent to the port, is valued at over $10,000 a square metre.

    There is no doubt that the true value of all the port’s land, which is roughly the same size as the business area around Queen Street, is over $1.7 billion.

    Were this accurately recorded in the port’s balance sheet, its return on investment would be a measly 1.3%. Ratepayers could get nearly triple that buying risk-free 10-year government bonds.

    None of this stops the port from brazenly demanding more from ratepayers.

    Its current expansion plans demand ratepayers invest $1 billion in new roads (including a monstrosity through Grafton Gully that would cut Parnell off from the CBD), $700 million for triple-track rail and over $300 million to dredge the harbour. None of this would appear on its balance sheet. Ratepayers would just wear it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. wreck1080 (3,807 comments) says:

    The port was established there as it is the best place for a port.

    Then, Auckland grew around the port as many cities do.

    The problem is that you need to move auckland rather than the port.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    There is no doubt that the true value of all the port’s land, which is roughly the same size as the business area around Queen Street, is over $1.7 billion.

    And when that land is dumped on the market all at once, the arse will drop out of the price.

    Maybe Len could sell the port and buy his train set with the proceeds.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Steve (North Shore) (4,522 comments) says:

    And when that land is dumped on the market all at once, the arse will drop out of the price.

    Maybe Len could sell the port and buy his train set with the proceeds.

    Please do not encourage the stupid man, he is spending my Rates faster than I can pay them

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Viking2 (11,275 comments) says:

    When one looks at the shape of the north Island it seems apparent that the greatest landmass is across the middle.
    Logically the best place for an export port is closest to the production. Given the production from the centre to Manawatu and over to New Plymouth would be a big chunk New Plymouth would make more sense the Nothland or Auckland. Auckland is mostly imported food to the wharehouses, Chinese junk, imported building materials or second hand cars. Others can do that better.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. V (694 comments) says:

    Ports are moved over a twenty year period, and a new site needs to be consented, dredged and developed. Auckland hasn’t even started this process, indeed couldn’t organise itself out of a paper bag.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. 0123456789 (13 comments) says:

    The proposed Firth of Thames option (Orere Pt, I think) is the only sensible solution. They could be move wharf by wharf over a number of years. Hooton is correct, it needs to go. Most of the infrastructure can be reused. Then they can protest at the gates in the boondocks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    A few years back, Wellington CC produced a vision statement of some kind that would see the working port be redeveloped centred from the Kaiwharawhara reclamation, which would free up vast chucks of land over time for the kinds of development we are already seeing from the port company. I’m not sure whether this has any planning status, or was just an ideas piece, but it is obviously something that could proceed in sensible stages over a long time.
    Another option considered for Wellington from time to time was developing a port at Seaview, across the harbour. This was mooted in the 1940s and revived more recently as part of a proposal to build the Project Protector ships at Seaview.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.