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Ferry Terminal Project Application Delayed

Ferry Terminal Project Application Delayed By North Shore Decision

Statement made by John Robertson, Chairman Infrastructure Auckland

Infrastructure Auckland (IA) has deferred making an early grant to Auckland's Regional Ferry Terminal Project, due to a change in position from North Shore City Council.

Late last week North Shore City Council changed its position on wharf ownership, and this will cause a delay to IA making a decision on the $35 million grant application.

In March 2002 North Shore City Council, along with Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council and Waitakere City Council, formally made a joint grant application to IA on the basis of the wharves being owned and operated by a Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE).

Prior to receiving the application IA had been working with the applicants for some two years to progress the project.

IA's board was due to make a funding decision today. Its executives recommended that it make a grant of between $29.1 million and $31.2 million.

Infrastructure Auckland is disappointed at this late development.

North Shore City now wishes to receive directly that portion of the grant needed to purchase the Birkenhead, Devonport and Northcote Point wharves from Ports of Auckland Limited, and to become the owner of these.

This changes the basis on which this project was to be established, which involved a network that was owned and managed by one regional entity.

We cannot now proceed with an early decision as the proposition being put to us has changed significantly. It involves fragmented ownership and multiple management, and the potential for inconsistent service levels and standards to develop.

We have asked the applicants to come together to address their differences, agree on issues and put forward a common vision so that this regional project can get back on track.

IA believes the Regional Ferry Terminal Project is a sound one and has the potential to reduce road congestion, increase ferry patronage and enhance Aucklanders' ferry travelling experience.

Had the original proposal progressed ferry commuters could have expected to see an immediate upgrading to the ferry wharves and improved facilities.

Progress is now deferred until the applicants resolve a way forward and resubmit an application to IA.

We look forward to an early resolution of the issues so as to provide users with improved facilities.

Released via Network Communications

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