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Church Leaders Offer Leadership in Ports of Auckland Dispute

Church Leaders Offer Leadership in Ports of Auckland Dispute
Media Release – March 9 2012

Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Auckland are offering their leadership in the Ports of Auckland dispute.

Anglican Bishops, Ross Bay and Kito Pikaahu, along with Roman Catholic Bishop, Patrick Dunn, believe that it is vital for the parties to continue to maintain a dialogue in an effort to resolve the current dispute. They are concerned equally for the welfare of workers and their families affected by the stand-off, and for the future of the waterfront industry in Auckland which is one of the keys to maintaining a vibrant local economy.

As well as urging further talks, the bishops have indicated that they are willing to sit with the Port Company and workers to try and explore any options to prevent the situation becoming caught in prolonged litigation.

‘We are indicating to both parties that if we can help in any way we are offering to sit down with the Maritime Union and the Port Company. We cannot promise anything but the offer of our leadership in a spirit of reconciliation, as the escalation of this dispute threatens the wellbeing of families and our city,’ says Bishop Ross Bay.

The bishops are offering themselves as it appears that middle ground or win-win solutions have all but disappeared. The bishops are also willing to work with city leaders to find a solution.

‘We believe any facilitated communication can and should be attempted. There are the two issues, of the Port’s right to seek efficiencies as well as the rights of the workers involved, but at the heart of all this are people and their lives,’ says Bishop Patrick Dunn.

The bishops say that at the heart of the Christian gospel is a message of reconciliation for all people and any option that can avoid a costly and torturous path of litigation for both parties needs to be explored.

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