Thursday, 18th April, 2013

Having a port in Auckland is fundamental to the city and the businesses which operate from it.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett believes that what we need to establish is the size and shape of the port that is required, so that we can retain the spot as the premier port for the Upper North Island.

“When Auckland and its people went through the process of developing and signing on to a 30 year plan for the City and the region, the port was acknowledged as being of strategic importance, along with the expectation from the Council that the Port would increase its performance in the coming years.

“Having a port on our doorstep from which the supply lines are short, of less cost and less time to market from imports is a strategic asset of incalculable value to Auckland’s economy and employment – to deliver jobs, underpin investment and much needed economic activity,” he said.

The question is not about which of the proposals that the Port has produced are favourable but how can we harness the expected growth in New Zealand’s international trade, and the impact of the contribution in value and jobs from POAL over the next few decades. How can we extract these benefits and have a city and its Port live together.

“The revised give-and-take development plan unveiled recently is a step in the right direction. I note the proposal is not just about growing the Beldisloe container wharf facility, it is about offering back Captain Cook Wharf to Aucklanders at an appropriate time. This is not to say that the Chamber endorses every detail of their development plan but we are talking here about a realistic and practical proposal that gives a good template and a platform upon which we can move forward in the certainty that the port will continue to be in its current location for the foreseeable future.

“This certainly is reinforced by Council’s recent study that all three upper North Island ports will be needed to cater for predicted freight growth. As the Price Waterhouse Cooper study made very clear – all three ports will be needed to cater for projected growth,” says Michael Barnett.

We need all 3 ports – Auckland, Tauranga and Northland. The discussion should be around whether it will take 3 ports to deliver what is best for the region and what infrastructure is required to and from the ports to do that.

Please share your view by emailing us at

Please click here to read the Auckland Chamber of Commerce verbal submission to Auckland Council.