POAL to sell Queens Wharf for $40m
15 June 2009 - For immediate release
POAL to sell Queens Wharf for $40m, will vacate within a year
Subject to approval by the Auckland Transitional Authority, Ports of Auckland has agreed to sell Queens Wharf to the Government and Auckland Regional Council for $40m, Managing Director Jens Madsen confirmed today.
Mr Madsen said Ports of Auckland would vacate Queens Wharf by April 2010.
“This is a very good outcome for Auckland and New Zealand,” Mr Madsen said.
“Queens Wharf is the jewel in the waterfront crown and a unique opportunity for New Zealand”
“For Ports of Auckland, the sale of Queens Wharf is something we have been working towards for a number of years, as flagged in our 2008 Port Development Plan. We are very pleased that agreement has been reached.”
Mr Madsen said the port would use the sale proceeds to reinvest in replacement cargo-handling capacity and facilities.
“The cargo volumes currently handled on Queens Wharf will be transferred to the Bledisloe terminal, Captain Cook and Marsden wharves,” Mr Madsen said.
“I can reassure those of our customers currently using Queens Wharf that new arrangements for handling their cargo will be in place in due course.”
Princes Wharf will continue to be used as Auckland’s primary cruise terminal until a new facility is built on Queens Wharf.
“A new, world-class cruise terminal will provide a superb entry point to Auckland and New Zealand for the thousands of cruise visitors we welcome each year,” Mr Madsen said.
Under the terms of the deal, Ports of Auckland will continue to service cruise ships from the new terminal on Queens Wharf.
This involves managing the logistics of every cruise call, including berthing ships, processing passengers, and working with shipping agents, hospitality and tourism providers, stevedores, Customs, MAF and other agencies, to ensure each visit goes smoothly.
Cruise liner visits to Auckland have grown to more than 70 calls by 30 cruise liners in the 2008/09 season, compared to 49 calls by 20 liners in 2006/07.
“We see excellent potential for further growth in the cruise business,” Mr Madsen said.
“Before too long, Auckland could be seeing as many as 100 ships visit annually - and the sky really is the only limit.”
Queens Wharf was built between 1906 and 1914. The present concrete wharf was built to replace the original wooden Queen Street Wharf which, as the hub of the early Port, extended 474m from the foot of Queen Street out into Commercial Bay.
The Ports of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest container port by volume, handling around 840,000 TEU (20ft-equivalent units), more than 1,700 ship calls and 3.6 million tonnes of break-bulk (non-containerised) cargo per annum. It is New Zealand’s major import port and a key partner to export industries. The Ports of Auckland is 100%-owned by Auckland Regional Holdings.