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New group joins protest at Ports extension plans

New group joins protest at Ports extension plans

A new protest group of Aucklanders has joined the outcry against Ports of Auckland’s planned extensions to Bledisloe Wharf.

Under the call to action of Stop Stealing Our Harbour, the group is calling for a halt to any further work on the port expansion until Auckland Council honours its promise to fully scrutinise the Ports’ plans.

The group says the port company is incrementally expanding in to the harbour - and its actions are being sanctioned by Ports owner Auckland Council.

Stop Stealing Our Harbour spokesperson Michael Goldwater says Ports of Auckland starts work in April on extending Bledisloe Wharf by nearly 100m in to the Waitemata Harbour.

“Aucklanders have recently paid $40 million to Ports of Auckland to create the harbour gateway to our city on Queens Wharf. The Bledisloe Wharf extensions will completely block the view from Queens Wharf to the outer harbour, one of the most significant views on our waterfront.

“The extensions will also unnecessarily narrow an increasingly congested harbour. The Waitemata Harbour is Auckland’s greatest asset, one we hold in trust for future generations. Through the actions of the Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council it is now under further threat,” Mr Goldwater says.

The group says resource consents for the extension were issued in late December 2014 without any consultation, notification or knowledge of the wider Auckland community and other stakeholders.

“This despite high levels of public interest and while the contentious issue of Port expansion is being addressed in the Unitary Plan hearings.

“In 2013 the Mayor promised a study of the social, cultural, environmental and economic effects of Ports of Auckland’s place in the city. We still wait for that study. Until it is done, the Bledisloe Wharf extensions must be stopped.”

Aucklanders are being urged to join the campaign on www.facebook.com/stopstealingourharbour for further developments.

“If Aucklanders shout loud enough, the Mayor, Councillors and Ports of Auckland will have to listen,” Mr Goldwater says.

The advocacy group comprises representatives of boating, political, business, and professional organisations as well as lawyers and architects.

ends

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