Wharf extension stoush brings port study forward
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
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.