Wharf ex­ten­sion stoush brings port study for­ward

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The fu­ture of Auck­land’s port will be un­der the mi­cro­scope sooner than ex­pected.

A study was ex­pected to start once the Uni­tary Plan was in play but plans have changed. Due to high public in­ter­est in the port’s plans to ex­tend two wharves and pos­si­ble fur­ther recla­ma­tion, Auck­land Coun­cil says the study is needed sooner.

What the study will fo­cus on will be de­cided and re­ported back within a month.

The study it­self will begin as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter that. It will in­volve a wide range of com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers and will be com­plete within a year.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says hear­ing from a range of peo­ple about the port’s fu­ture will be crit­i­cal.

‘‘The peo­ple of Auck­land have made it very clear they

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coun­cil want to be in­volved in any dis­cus­sion about the fu­ture of our port and bring­ing the study for­ward is the sen­si­ble thing to do,’’ Hulse says.

Hulse and Mayor Len Brown feel the port has not al­ways fully en­gaged with Auck­lan­ders ‘‘and their de­sire for a cul­ture change within the com­pany’’.

Auck­lan­ders have come out in force against the Ports of Auck­land’s plans to ex­tend its wharves into the Waitem­ata Har­bour.

The com­pany has also in­di­cated it will seek a fur­ther 3 hectares of recla­ma­tion once the Uni­tary Plan is in place.

Any con­sent would be fully no­ti­fied and sub­ject to con­sul­ta­tion, the port com­pany says.

Protests have been staged on both land and sea.

A flotilla of more than 100 boats sup­ported a crowd of more than 500 pro­test­ers on Queens Wharf on March 22.

Public fig­ures such as Neil Finn, Sir Gra­ham Henry, Lady Pippa Blake, Sir Stephen Tin­dall, Chris Dick­son and Bar­bara Ken­dall have spo­ken up against the recla­ma­tion.

The port says its planned wharf ex­ten­sion is needed ur­gently due to grow­ing freight and ship size.

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