As owner of the Port of Auckland, Council can stop the wharf extension and reclamation if it wants to, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Goff.
‘As owner the council is custodian of the port and harbour on behalf of all Aucklanders. It has the right and the power to protect the harbour from damage by further commercial encroachment.
‘A clear statement from Auckland Council that it does not want Bledisloe Wharf to encroach further on the harbour should be sufficient to stop the extension of the wharf and further reclamation.
‘Whatever the legal restrictions on its power as regulator, Auckland Council is also the Port’s owner. It would be an extraordinarily unwise Port Authority that would contradict a clear and strong statement by its owners.
‘The directors of the Ports are appointed by Council. If they were to thumb their noses at such a council directive, they can and should be replaced.
‘Aucklanders have expressed their views that they don’t want further infilling of the harbour. The breadth of opposition has been demonstrated by the diversity of those who have publicly stated their opposition, including some of Auckland’s foremost business leaders.
‘Ports of Auckland has not demonstrated the need to extend the wharf. Nobody believes that infilling the harbour to provide further storage space for imported cars is a good idea and that there are not other more acceptable alternatives worth considering,” Phil Goff said.