Auckland Council’s Governing Body reached a decision on Thursday to support the construction of one wharf extension at Ports of Auckland and put the other on hold.
The compromise solution was proposed by the port following the council’s request a month ago that the work on wharf extension be ceased amid environmental concerns.
Under the proposal Ports of Auckland will continue building the eastern extension (B2) but put on hold construction of the western extension (B3) until after the Port Future Study is completed.
Several concerns have been raised by the local community, especially around sight lines from Queens Wharf.
“The proposal is a compromise,” said Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson, “it’s not our preferred outcome because of the impact on the cruise industry, however it is a pragmatic, workable solution to the current problem. It allows the port to continue to handle Auckland’s growing freight needs in the short term, while the long-term future of the port is debated.”
The investment in wharf extension has been attributed to expected cargo volume increase.
Namely, statistics compiled by New Zeeland’s Ministry of Transport on the performance of all New Zealand container ports show that Ports of Auckland is the best performing container port in the country.
“We have been the fastest port at loading and unloading ships for three years now, but our crane rate (how fast an individual crane works) has lagged behind. This quarter we’ve caught up with Tauranga on that measure,” Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson said, promising to lift the port’s game even further.