Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere says selling the operations of the Ports of Auckland will give clarity and direction while future proofing the 77 hectares of prime land owned by the ratepayer.
Tamihere said a timely managed exit transition of the Ports would open the Waitemata Harbour’s Greenfootprint as well as:
- Deposit a much needed cash injection to ease ratepayers costs
- De-risk the costly relocation of the ports
- Add a financial stream back to ratepayers from the leased land
- Open up 77 hectares of prime land for ratepayers to decide its future
- Establish a “Transition Fund’ to support the wharf workforce into new employment
Tamihere said it was important to split the business from the land and going to market with the business was the best way to ensure the land never leaves the hands of the Auckland ratepayers.
The new ports owners would lease the land back at a credible commercial rate for up to 25 years and develop an agreed exit strategy. A transition fund would support affected ports workers.
“The Ports must move, but exactly where it moves to will be part of on-going discussions,” Tamihere said.“But I have to give clarity and direction so we can all plan for the next 25 years. I have met with major stakeholders, including the Ports executives, the Maritime Union and transport groups to brief them on my policy.”
Tamihere said easing the ports congestion was also a priority.
“We are a city that never sleeps and like the ports operations, we must be to the forefront of this conversation,” Tamihere said.
“Auckland Transport forums and the major ports carriers agree congestion is a major problem and are identifying ways to work through a self-regulatory system.”
Tamihere said he would be releasing a Track & Road Policy shortly to address much needed infrastructure projects.
“I’m keen to look for ways for Council, Ports of Auckland, Auckland Transport, NZTA and Kiwi Rail to worktogether to get Auckland moving,” he said.