The Herald reports:
Shippers have given the thumbs down to one finding from the Port Future Study – that Auckland’s next major port could be sited in the Manukau Harbour.
The study, officially due out today, said Auckland’s next new “super port” could be moved to the Manukau Harbour or the Firth of Thames at a cost of $4 billion to $5.5 billion.
New Zealand Shipping Federation executive director Annabel Young, who is a member of the Consensus Working Group launched by Mayor Len Brown a year ago to reconsider Ports of Auckland’s place on the city waterfront, said shippers do not favour a west coast port alternative.
Young said the working group included a diverse range of people but they had reached an agreement.
“And the agreement that we reached did not assume that the port would have to move, but if it does need to move it needs somewhere to go to, and we need to start thinking about that now,” she said.
The Firth of Thames was originally considered as the site of New Zealand’s only oil refinery, which ended up being built at Marsden Point, near Whangarei.
Young said it was no secret that shippers favoured a port on the east coast – where most of New Zealand’s ports are located – because of the generally wilder weather and sea conditions on the opposite coast.
“The east coast is always going to beat out a west coast site,” Young said. Manukau has scored well because of its proximity to road and rail. “That said, it’s not a great site for a port,” she said.
So no ideal location but with a capacity limit at the current location, a decision will need to be made eventually.