Port expansion ‘buck’ stops at council

Auckland Council must step in and call a halt to plans by Ports of Auckland to expand into the harbour, Labour List MP Jacinda Ardern says.

Labour's Auckland MPs want proposals around any port expansion to be subject to a full and open consultation process under the Resource Management Act.

“That would ensure the company’s attempt at reclamation couldn’t happen without the public having their say on the future of their harbour.

“While there is a pretty clear rationale for cruise ships to be accommodated on our waterfront, the Ports’ claim that it needs the city to hand over a massive amount of its harbour as a trade-off is seriously flawed and should be stopped,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Not only is the company seeking to extend Bledisloe Wharf by three hectares, it also want the right to expand by another two hectares every 10 years. That is a massive amount of reclamation for what will, more than likely, become an even bigger carpark.

“Auckland’s waterfront is not just the Ports’ piece of infrastructure. Its future should not be determined on a business plan that doesn’t take into account the environment, people, and the future of our city. All of these issues need to be considered before any decision is made.

“We have long argued that we need a National Port Strategy, and to stop making ad hoc decisions that have enormous repercussions – this situation is a perfect example of why. For the sake of all of Auckland, the buck needs to stop at council.

“This decision is just too important to be made behind closed doors. It deserves a proper process that gives Aucklanders a voice,” says Jacinda Ardern.