Is Auckland’s Mayor Backtracking on Port Promises?

Published: Sat 2 Sep 2017 02:05 PM
Is Auckland’s Mayor Backtracking on Port Promises?
New Zealand First asks if Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff, is backtracking on his key election promise made last year to relocate the Ports of Auckland.
“When Mr Goff wanted votes he made a promise to Aucklanders that the Port was going to move out of the central city,” says New Zealand First Leader and MP for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“Yet speaking to the National Business Review, he now says: “I’m in favour of moving it over time but I don’t think it can be done immediately. When we move, it has to be on the basis of a business case that stacks up and it has to be environmentally acceptable”.
“It is a massive climb-down on what he told that paper and RadioNZ only in May, where he ‘wanted to progress plans to relocate the port’.
“Was it only last June that he also promised to move the port “for new homes, businesses and public spaces?” Telling the NZ Herald that the port would hit container capacity in three years and that “the hard decisions had to be taken now”.
“While Mr Goff cites dividends of just over $50 million, that’s from a Port that sits on land that’s worth about $3 billion. As rates of return go that is not exactly flash.
“The truth is that Mr Goff was right last year. The current Port is running out of room fast and there are several thousand trucks a day trundling trough the city. The only place the Port can move to within the Auckland region is the sensitive Firth of Thames and that’s a non-starter environmentally.
“Northport is ready, willing and able to grow whereas the Port of Auckland can’t. If it cannot grow then it means the Port will go backwards costing ratepayers long term.
“If Aucklanders want their waterfront back and want to protect the long term value that the Port of Auckland currently holds then Northport is their future too,” says Mr Peters.

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