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Northport Is Northland’s Future As Much As It Is Auckland’s

Northport is Northland’s Future as Much as It is Auckland’s

In a speech being delivered to the Economic Development Agencies Conference today, New Zealand First will insist that legislation be introduced to move all container operations from the Port of Auckland to Northport by the end of 2027.

“The days of the Ports of Auckland as a container port and as a car yard are numbered,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Aucklanders want their harbour back while Northlanders want the jobs and opportunity that would come from Northport’s transformation.

“New Zealand First will bring forward legislation to move all operations from Auckland to Northport. This will start with vehicles on Captain Cook Wharf ahead of the America’s Cup but containers will follow giving Aucklanders back their waterfront.

“Cruise ships visiting Auckland will also benefit from a new cruise terminal.

“This will be matched by investment in rail freight and improved road links between Whangarei and Auckland.

“The benefits for Aucklanders of getting 77-hectares of their waterfront back in the 2020’s is incalculable. For Northland, the port’s expansion would spark Northland’s economic renaissance with an unprecedented innovation for New Zealand exporting.

“We will create, near to Northport, the country’s first Special Economic Area with a second envisaged for Southland. This area will be duty-free, GST-free and tax-free, opening the door to value-add manufacturing, logistics and re-exporting.

“This is a cast iron commitment from New Zealand First but it needs New Zealand First to be in a pivotal position to demand it. That requires people in Northland and Auckland to seriously adjust how they plan to vote,” says Mr Peters.


New Zealand First’s Nine Point Port Plan

1. We will order government and council officials to stop spending tax and ratepayers’ money on a new port in the Firth of Thames, estimated at up to $5.5bn and highly problematic environmentally.

2. New Zealand First will legislate to enable:

a. the Port of Auckland to transfer vehicle deliveries from Auckland to Northport by the end of 2019 - returning Captain Cook Wharf to Aucklanders ahead of the America’s Cup;
b. cessation of container operations at the Port of Auckland by no later than 31 December 2027; and
c. the full development of Northport into a mega-port.

3. Immediately fund the upgrade of the Auckland to Northland rail line, including a new rail spur to Northport.

4. Commission the design of a world-class cruise passenger terminal for Auckland.

5. By the end of 2018, designate land near to Northport in Whangarei District as New Zealand’s first Special Economic Area.

6. As port functions are transferred to Northport, progressively return 77-hectares of Auckland’s iconic harbourside back to Aucklanders.

7. Work with Aucklanders, Auckland Council and stakeholders on a masterplan for the 77-hectares of waterfront land that will become available over the next decade.

8. By the end of 2019, subject to discussions with the people of Invercargill and Southland, designate land within Invercargill City near to South Port as New Zealand’s second Special Economic Area.

9. Create a comprehensive ports and coastal shipping strategy.

Special Economic Areas (SEA’s)

National and Labour have failed the regions. Northland has some of the worst social statistics in New Zealand with decades of neglected infrastructure. Southland similarly lives on a knife edge given Tiwai Point’s uncertain future.

It is time for visionary thinking and thus New Zealand First will create New Zealand’s First Special Economic Areas that are like economic islands.

New Zealand First will:

1. Create Special Economic Areas in Northland and Southland centred on Northport and South Port, to create investment for manufacturing, assembly, logistics and entrepot trade. Based on successful models in Singapore, Malaysia, China and the United States, SEA’s could bring billions of dollars into these economies seriously kick starting regional economic growth.

2. Within these Special Economic Areas there will be no customs duties, GST, company, or income tax for businesses and employees within them. Excepting biosecurity and key legislation, they will be subject to reduced compliance to encourage innovative value-add to our raw commodities and those of other countries to maximise our exports. Benefits will radiate into the regions surrounding them.

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