Upper North Report ‘Progressive’ And ‘Solutions-Based’
3 September 2019
Report ‘Progressive’ And ‘Solutions-Based’: Land Owner
MARSDEN POINT, Northland – Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd (NZX:MMH) has welcomed the findings in the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group’s second interim report published today (3 October), calling them “solutions-based” and “progressive”.
Chairman Murray Jagger said much would hinge around the expected practical recommendations from the working group, on how its preferred strategy of capacity growth at Northport should be supported by investment in “landside infrastructure.”
“We spoke several weeks ago about how we might be able to help the upper North Island vehicle import industry to revolutionise completely, and to future-proof, its business model,” Mr Jagger said.
“We said at the time that this couldn’t happen without significant government investment in road and rail links. We note the emphasis in today’s report on the need to reduce the friction between freight and passenger movements, particularly in congested areas, and the prioritisation of freight modes such as rail, and coastal shipping where possible.”
Mr Jagger has said previously that concerns about adding to traffic congestion on State Highway 1 were “valid” but could be addressed as part of a wider roading and transport strategy for Northland.
He said Marsden Maritime Holdings stood ready to engage with Auckland businesses, Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council, and would “move mountains” to bring the working group’s preferred strategy into being.
“We don’t see Marsden Point as a competitor to Ports of Auckland. We are much more interested in discussions around how we might facilitate Auckland’s growth by providing long-term solutions to the well-documented long-term capacity and congestion challenges the city faces,” he said.
Ports of Auckland already has a stake in 180 hectares of greenfield development land at Marsden Point, through its 19.9 percent shareholding in Marsden Maritime Holdings.
65 hectares of this is port-zoned land which abuts directly onto the boundary of Northport. A further 115 hectares, designated as port zone and light industry, sits behind this. This is all available for long-term lease to companies wanting to make use of the port.
“That’s a combined potential area of 180ha, more than twice the area of the 77 hectares available at Ports of Auckland,” Mr Jagger said.
There is also another 520 hectares of commercially-zoned land nearby. This brings the amount of designated port and commercially-zoned land to 700 hectares, more than twice the amount of land occupied by the entire Auckland CBD.