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Government Work Programme on Port Makes Sense

Thursday 12 December 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Government Work Programme on Port Makes Sense

Waterfront 2029 has welcomed today’s announcement by Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones that decisions about when Auckland’s car and container port will close, and where the government will support the relocation of those operations, will be made in the first half of 2020.

“This is a $10 billion project and we welcome the minister’s announcement the Ministry of Transport, the Infrastructure Commission and other government agencies will take the next few months to ensure New Zealand gets it right,” Waterfront 2029 Spokesperson Michael Goldwater said today.

“With final decisions now planned for the first half of next year, we will remain on track for full implementation by the end of the decade.”

Mr Goldwater said that, as an Auckland-focused organisation that had emerged out of Stop Stealing Our Harbour, Waterfront 2029’s mission is to protect the Waitematā, and to return the Auckland waterfront to Aucklanders and its value to the Auckland Council.

While many of its supporters also accept the case for Northport to be developed, given there is already a major port at Marsden Point, others believed that remained an open question.

“Whatever happens can only be a win/win/win for Auckland, Northland and the Bay of Plenty, but we will not be involved in the debate over the best balance between the proposed locations,” Mr Goldwater said.

“We hope that the three port companies, supported by the Government, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Commission, NZTA, KiwiRail and local councils can reach commercial agreement on the best configuration of the Upper North Island's ports structure once Auckland closes.”

“There is no reason New Zealand in the 2020s can’t achieve the same timeframe to reconfigure the upper North Island supply chain that Australia managed with New South Wales in the 1970s.

“Waterfront 2029 will continue putting pressure on central and local Government and the port companies to ensure there is no slippage in the timetable.

“We will highlight and oppose stalling tactics by any of the immediate stakeholders.”

END


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