What to do about Auckland’s Port has been the discussion of much debate over the last year. The port is obviously a fairly major part of the city and of Auckland’s history but at the same time many people don’t want to see the port continue to expand un-relentlessly further out into the Waitemata Harbour.

Last year after the consents for another round of reclamation were overturned, the council started forward the Port Future Study

To ensure Auckland’s wider community is involved in decisions about our port’s future development, an independent and collaborative study has been commissioned to look at long term options for meeting Auckland’s port needs.

The Port Future Study is made up of business, industry and community groups, marine recreation and heritage associations, environmental organisations, special interest groups and mana whenua.

Back in February the study released a long list of potential future port sites including some that raised a few eyebrows.

Port Study - Areas under consideration

Now they have narrowed that down to a shortlist

Study group releases shortlist of potential port options

The Port Future Study’s Consensus Working Group today released a shortlist of options being considered to accommodate Auckland’s long term (50 years+) future freight trade and cruise ship activities.

The Independent Chair of the study’s Consensus Working Group (CWG) and Reference Group, Dr Rick Boven, says the study’s consultants, a consortium led by EY, have projected Auckland’s long-term future freight and cruise needs and assessed what could be required in 50 years to accommodate it.

“Auckland is on a steep growth trajectory. With an expected population of at least 2.6 million and potentially quadrupling of freight trade in the next 50 years, Auckland will need a strategy to ensure freight can flow for continued trade and prosperity”, says Dr Boven.

“The study’s consultants have identified three options that could meet Auckland’s future long-term freight and cruise needs, subject to further assessment.

“All of the shortlist options have complex challenges and implications. Each option continues to be assessed and is now progressing to a detailed cost benefit analysis. There is still analytic work to be done”, says Dr Boven.

The shortlisted options, representing the next step in the consultant’s ongoing technical analysis, are:

  • Option one: constraining Auckland’s port to its current footprint
  • Option two: enabling growth of Auckland’s port at its current location
  • Option three: continue with the current site in the short-to-mid-term but in the mid-to-long term move the port to a new location. There are three primary location areas for further investigation emerging:
    • Manukau Harbour area
    • Firth of Thames area (within the Auckland region)
    • Muriwai area

“Our important next steps are to get feedback from the Study’s larger Reference Group, complete the cost benefit analysis of remaining options and test the assumptions of that analysis by peer review.

“Once we complete further analysis on the shortlist of options we will have a clearer picture of how each option stacks up on costs and wider economic effects. Some options are likely to be cost prohibitive”, says Dr Boven .

The purpose of the Port Future Study is to provide recommendations to Auckland Council on a strategy to accommodate Auckland’s long term future trade and cruise activities across the next 50 or more years. The CWG is not a decision making body.

The CWG will consider the consultants’ findings as they continue to formulate their recommendations for a long term strategy to accommodate future freight and cruise demand.

The port themselves will obviously be fighting as hard as possible to stay just where they are with additional reclamation and on twitter were quick to slam the Muriawi suggestion – something I imagine is only on the list as it’s relatively close to Auckland with fairly deep water and one I can’t see standing up to a detailed assessment.

At quick glance all sites seem to have a number of positives and negatives associated with them and so it will be interesting to see just what comes out next. The transport aspect will be interesting to see and in particular how or even if that impacts on projects like ATAP which is due out just a month after this this study is due to be completed (July).

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98 comments

  1. Keep the Containers in Auckland but move the car carriers to Marsden or Tauranga and rail them down using a new fleet of car carrying wagons to an inland car port down in South Auckland where most of these cars end up getting stored anyway. Containers can be stacked 5 or 6 high at the port but cars can’t be as easily.

    1. this! 8-). Turning Auckland harbour into a giant car lot is an abomination that should not be allowed.
      If we can’t move it, then we should crack down on car imports all together!

    1. Looking at charts for depth of seabed, the existing POAL location looks very good being sufficiently deep and sheltered.
      http://www.nzcharts.co.nz
      Aside from Marsden and Tauranga, there don‘t appear to be any other sheltered locations that wouldn‘t require a lot of dredging. Kaipara and Manukau harbours both have a bar that large ships couldn‘t pass, and any dredged channel wouldn‘t stay clear for long.
      So Murawai, or more likely the area adjacent to the valley between Murawai & Bethels is certainly no worse than anywhere else. Deep water is realitively close offshore. An artificial harbour would have to be created. Dealing with sand that continuously heads north along the coast could be a real problem thou, as it would tend to block any enterance.
      This would be very expensive. Offloading cars to rail at Marsden would have to make more sense.

      1. Don’t think dredging requirements are too relevant in that sense, the only reason its deep around POAL is because of decades of dredging the Waitemata and Rangitoto Channel. This work needs to be undertaken on an ongoing basis for port in any event.

      2. I think you will find the Rangitoto channel needs to be dredged to 14 metres to accommodate the new ships of the future.

    1. Yes I often wonder about that… surely if the company and/or the board are doing this as 100% owner AC could simply sack the lot of them!

    2. Indeed. I had a Twitter exchange with Matt Ball (@AucklandsPort) last week when he started disparaging Peters’ support for upgrading the Northland line – claimed a price tag of billions. Of course it’s billions if gold plated, electrified, triple tracked etc. But that’s not what is proposed. Yet somehow $15,000,000,000 for the current RoNS projects is never questioned; and $6,000,000,000 for a two kilometre road across the Waitemata is mysteriously deemed to be a good thing.

      Hard to see why a council employee can get away with this.

      1. Not a Council employee
        He is an employee of POAL

        POAL is a full commercial entity operated at arms length to Council via Auckland Council Investment Limited

        Just like Wally Thomas head of Auckland Transport comms is an employee of AT not Council.

        Technicalities I know

  2. If not Tauranga, id suggest, 914 Clevedon Road. See https://goo.gl/maps/8v5UAbBup7G2
    Its mostly flat, easy for the trucks to get to the motorway (rather than the Grafton Climb), Rail could (cough) build a spur line to the NIMT.
    West coast seems to a no win due to the weather conditions are not predictable/reliable for sea freight. (versus east coast sheltered)

    Just needs some dredging east of Ponui Island (who am I kidding… that’ll never happen)

    My 2 cents worth. :o)

  3. Wow, this makes me so angry. (So angry I’m tempted to use ALL CAPS!!)
    It seems blindingly obvious to me that the port should be moved to Northport in Whangarei. Yes, that would involve also creating a better rail link to Auckland, but so what – aren’t we meant to be future proofing? All we’re doing at present is trucking containers from the Port to Southdown, so why not via train from Whangarei?
    Is it because Northport is not within Auckland? So what – deals can be made, and get govt involved if it gets silly. Then the land can be used for something good, and we’ll still have wharves for Cruise Ships.
    The study included Northport as an option, so obviously they considered it before discounting it. I’d like to hear from them why.
    My guess is this process was just a sham to justify Option 2. PoA have already started their spin campaign to dismiss Option 3 (“the environment!”), and once that is gone they’ll say Option 1 is not viable/sustainable because Billion Dollar Asset.

    1. It doesn’t seem blindingly obvious to me and I live a long way from Auckland. Winston Peters and other Northland politicians want their region to prosper at the expense of the rest of the country. They are just re-litigating the old parochial battles for influence of years past.

    2. I think options 1 2 and 3 are all still on the table, the three shortlisted locations are just those relating to option 3. So Northport and Tauranga are still very much in the mix, by way of Option 1. I hope.

  4. Well a port a Muriwai would cerainly result in futher electrification of the western Line, but would likely focus residential and port related industies on developing in the Waimauku/kumeu/Waitakere triangle – despite it being well outside the current development areas, (and would require a seriouis mega-island reclamation on a scale never seen in NZ)

    A port in the Firth of Thames would similarly drag development SE outside current plans

    While a Manukau port would remain within current development bounderies, it would require major on going dredging.and would also suffer land cost pressures (unless it was a full reclaimaition)

    There is a very large amount of potential development that over time will locate as close to the port as they can, so the council also need to be very careful that this potential shift is thought out within their current planning framework

    1. There is a huge whack of land sitting under the airport flight path that would be perfect for industrial/logistics uses close to a Manukau port.

      1. The Manukau is unsuitable for a port, as the sand bar at the entrance cannot be removed for any length of time, and the harbour itself is shallow with soft mud, and any dredged areas quickly silt up again. That option has 0% chance of being advanced.

        The reality is actually that a new port will not be built. It’s just not financially viable. The most likely outcome is that the current port will continue operating, and when it reaches capacity the overflow will go via Tauranga, or POA will develop Marsden as their secondary port.

        A change of government may drastically change the situation though, as there will be a greatly increased chance of a rail link being built to Marsden Point. All bets will be off thereafter.

        1. The bar could be removed through a combination of dredging and groynes, it’s simply a cost benefit analysis on operations. Expensive no doubt but far from impossible. I’m sure maintaining the channel into Auckland is expensive too. You are wrong on the depth however, or at least imprecise. Yes it is surrounded by mudflats but there is a river up the middle of the harbour that is as deep as the Waitemata and deeper than the Firth of Thames site. An artificial island about 1km west of the airport would sit on a shallow section immediately next to the channel of deep water.

          There will be a new port, the second that the value of land downtown is significantly higher than the cost of relocation less the benefits of moving. That might be many decades away yet naturally.

          1. Dredging the Manukau bar would be continuous and with the common northerly currents on the west coast, combined with the fine black sand, there is no telling what effect this would have on erosion to the south of the entrance.

        2. Where I do agree with Geoff is the political aspect. This is a multi decade issue with political risk way in advance of reward. Very hard for any government of any stripe to take the battles on, especially the environmental and iwi ones, without any prospect of enjoying the economic benefits within the careers of senior players.

          I have seen a convincing proposal for an artificial island in 20 metre water in the Firth of Thames, designed to handle all of PoT and PoAL container traffic at an inland hub around Mercer. But also see the advantage in leaving that area unindustrialised and instead focussing on a new facility near the airport (and NIMT and SH1 + 20), not unlike at Sydney: planes, ships and trains. Leaving reduced operations on the Waitemata.

          But I don’t know enough about the viability of the Manukau Harbour for major ships.

          1. Yes, I’ve seen convincing plans for the Firth of Thames/Tamaki Strait and for the Maunkau Harbour near the airport as well. I think these are the best options if the Auckland region is to have its own port/s.

            In any case, I think Northport at Marsden Point should handle bulk materials – meaning a rail link will be necessary (and a rebore or daylighting (or partial rebore and partial daylighting) of the Makarau tunnel) – as handling bulk materials in any Auckland location would be a waste of valuable space.

            A port with 20+m depth in the Firth of Thames/Tamaki Straight could handle the largest container ships, i.e., it would be future-proof. Perhaps this could be supplemented with a lower-draught port in the Manukau Harbour near the airport for Trans-Tasman feeder services to/from the Australian hub ports, and for coastal shipping to/from secondary ports in NZ and the South Pacific that also can’t handle mega-ships – as having smaller ships in a port with 20+m depth would be a waste of its capacity.

  5. It seems like these options have considered staying within Auckland as a priority over the ongoing expenses involved in dredging, ramifications to the natural environment and further urban sprawl. Whangarei and Tauranga have ports that would make a more practical choice due to the improvement of existing infrastructure rather than brand new.

    Question regarding the south western coastline option in the early investigation list, would that end up being a direct link into Hamilton area?

  6. Half of New Zealand’s population, a huge amount of its export and import demand, and most of our warehousing is in the AKL-HAM-TAU triangle. In other words AKL south. Whangarei, Muriwai, or anyway north of the great constriction that is the Auckland isthmus is a total non-starter. Forget it. The Navy could certainly go to Marsden, or Wellington for that matter, and more local freight out through would be great, but that’s about it.

    1. Your quote – ‘In other words AKL south. Whangarei, Muriwai, or anyway north of the great constriction that is the Auckland isthmus is a total non-starter. Forget it.’ cannot go unchallenged.

      As the crow flies, Marsden Point is closer to Auckland than Tauranga. The Albany and Glenfield basins are rapidly emerging warehousing areas while the entire North Shore region seems destined to continue rapid growth as a residential and head office/warehousing area. Penrose is the destination hub for Metroport traffic railed from Tauranga, with local distribution from there via truck. Why not Kumeu as the rail destination hub for Marsden Point traffic with local distribution from there via truck?

      Lets face it, Kumeu is going to have brilliant road connections to the rest of the Auckland region. Some Marsden Point traffic may continue further south, just as some Metroport traffic presumably gets dropped off at Hamilton. In the case of the Marsden Point traffic, southbound urgent traffic goes through from Kumeu by truck, while non time sensitive traffic travels after hours on the commuter rail network south of Kumeu.

      That is the method, now lets see the costs involved. Like others, I was surprised to see Northport eliminated without further consideration. I’d like to see some more work on detailed feasibility in comparison with the Firth of Thames or Manukau Harbour before discarding the Northport option. Manukau in particular looks like an extremely costly option, both in CAPEX, RMA costs and litigation, and long term running costs. Muriwai has caught everyone’s attention, but Manukau also would result in very substantial environmental impacts as a fully fledged international container port.

      1. ‘southbound urgent traffic goes through from Kumeu by truck’. To clarify that comment – urgent traffic gets trans-shipped onto truck from the Kumeu rail container terminal. There does not have to be any interference with the operation of the western rail commuter line. If access to the western rail is wanted for non-urgent container freight, let it happen during off peak times.

      2. But the crow doesn’t fly does it?

        Northland is a tricky bit of real-estate to negotiate, and anyway there’s still the problem of the crowded AKL isthmus; challenge away, but thems the geographic realities.

        1. ….OK, a meandering acrobatic crow who likes flying through small tunnels!

          In regard to the shortlisted port options, the Firth of Thames is also an environmentally sensitive area which could need massive reclamation or dredging or both if at the head of the “Firth” near Thames. If back closer to Clevedon, then there are the issues of land transport access through the hills. The Firth of Thames does look the most interesting out of the shortlisted options in terms of geographical proximity, maybe even the one that has been given the “official nod”. But from my observations of the study, none of the options has had any solid engineering costings done on them. There could be massive variations on the budget estimates for construction and potential viability of each respective option.

          Lets not “do a national flag referendum”……and ditch other interesting options too early in the design development. In this case, it is Marsden Point that really needs to stay in the mix for further analysis.

          If the issue is competing claims for the old rail corridor designation between Southdown – Avondale between Light Rail and heavy rail freight, lets put it on the table for discussion. There may be a relatively low cost compromise out there. I agree that New Lynn is a significant challenge, but as with transport in general in Auckland, both road and rail, there really does need to be some solid encouragement of non time sensitive freight to move outside of peak travel time periods.

    2. Because the navy isn’t important enough to be in Auckland? the navy is the only force with a major presence in Auckland (bar Whenuapai and Papakura). armed forces use is the most important of ANY land use

      1. Armed forces ma be the most important use of land, but it is clearly better to give them 10 times more land on the urban fringe (or provide at 1/10 the cost) rather than right on the city’s doorstep.

        You also forgot Army Bay and Pollen Island for armed forces presence.

        1. I also didn’t mention the recruiting base up in Ponsonby. There’s a reason the navy is in devonport (and there’s a reason the port is where it is): it makes hydrological sense.

          The Navy is 20% Maori. It’s the only thing stopping Devonport being 100% white. If you want a monocultural suburb, then go right ahead

          1. Complete non sequitur response. I’m not sure people are too fussed about the ethnic composition of Devonport being a driving factor in discussing Auckland’s future planning needs.

      2. The Navy will fight tooth and nail to stay in Auckland. They ned to be so the partners and families of Navy personal, and Airforce for that matter, can also have strong careers, choice in schools, universities etc. They know moving out of Auckland will cause a big staff exit.

        1. I don’t think anybody is talking about moving the Navy. It’s just the commercial stuff: the containers, the bulk carriers, the car carriers etc, the actual Ports of Auckland company traffic, that they are exploring possibilities on.

    3. Patrick, you couldn’t be more wrong about the port having to be close to the city. Have you not heard of Metroport? A massive amount of Auckland’s imports/exports go through Port of Tauranga. And guess what – it’s often cheaper, and can even be faster, than using Ports of Auckland.

      1. Geoff where did I say anything about a port having to be close to the city? I clearly said it has to be somewhere within the AKL-HAM-TAU triangle and not on the other side of Auckland, ie the north. Made no claims about proximity to AKL or any other individual place.

      2. Geoff, that is only because they have a trade imbalance between the two ports. In broad terms imports come in to Auckland and exports leave from Tauranga. That leave a large imbalance of container turnover which basically means metro port exists by virtue of filling up otherwise empty contraflow movements.

        In other words, metroport works because the main port operations are inefficient and lopsided. The ideal is to have a single port with an even balance of imports and exports, and if you have that then you want to locate it close to the centroid of demand. In the case of the upper north island that sits around south Auckland somewhere.

        1. The Metroport trains can be up around 1600-1800 tonnes both ways Nick, so I’m not so sure if there’s any dominant tonnage direction these days. Perhaps some LE’s could let us know?

  7. Is the Port Future Study carrying out peer reviews of any of the forecasts etc used by Ports of Auckland? As per this post, http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2015/02/11/ports-of-auckland-vehicle-needs/, I think there’s plenty of reason for skepticism about their vehicle import projections, and yet that’s the main thing which is pointed to as evidence of capacity constraints.
    If those vehicle projections turn out to be overblown, we may find that the port is just fine where it is, and won’t need to expand either (or if it does, not by very much).

  8. The Auckland Plan forbids development on two of Option 3 locations, Murawai and the Firth of Thames, until the second half of the century. Manukau is very difficult to dredge.

    Option 1 or Option 2.

      1. I assume as they are significant ecological areas where port reclamation/ dredging activities are prohibited.

        In any event, I wouldn’t be concerned with current rules preventing a port move. I imagine something of this scale would require some enabling legislation from central govt which could just override any of those issues.

  9. Would love to see the Firth Of Thames given consideration. Rail could be added, updated. Unsure of the depth of water. Tho I’m not a Captain of a container ship or cruise liner or in the business of ports, Thames is the gateway to the Coromandel.

    Freight can be linked by Rail (Electrification) to Tauranga & Auckland by re-establishing the rail once again. This will bring work to many people. Also utilising rail would build a transportation system for all people.

    1. I’m with JP above. I think there is a good chance that their projections for ever more vehicle imports are very ambitious. Currently we are in a global car replacement boom on the back of cheap oil and cheaper new vehicles.

      Booms do not go on forever, and they certainly don’t grow even boomier forever. There are lots of scenarios of the future with fewer not more cars. And it is mostly the cars. They’re the problem everywhere you look at this high tide mark of the auto-age.

  10. POT, why?

    1. Already there
    2. In Golden Triangle
    3. ECMT & NIMT easier to electify and double track. (I don’t propose dt of K deviation though)
    4. The rail upgrades mean intercity passenger rail in Golden Triangle)
    5. Rail upgrades mean possible suburban rail for Tauranga & Hamiltron in future.

      1. I agree with this. Tauranga is fairly rapidly growing and I expect their port land between the city and the Mount to come under increasing pressure from other urban uses overtime.

    1. Pretty much agree in the medium term, POAL and POT could surely have amped up rail including more lines (3rd main on our Eastern line) and freight side of things get electrified to prevent excess noise through increased trips. Nothing beats cost of transport that a big boat over water though so longer term probably do need the Firth of Thames developed as well. POT easier to dredge deeper too?

    2. ..also at the same time, develop the Auckland waterfront to be more suitable for cruise ships, esp bigger ones, and eventually downsize the POAL development there.

  11. Let’s compare with Perth, a city that has many of the same features and challenges as Auckland (with the exception of rolling hills).
    The state owned Port of Fremantle owns the Inner Harbour, located at Fremantle, which handles mainly container traffic, but is stifled by lack of land and motorway connections (see the mental proposed $1.6bn Perth Freight Link) and the Outer Harbour which handles bulk goods, 40 mins south at Kwinana, a giant industrial and logistics area, with dedicated freight road and rail.
    In the long term, all port operations will be moved from Fremantle to Kwinana, allowing for redevelopment of Fremantle into mixed use. This removes thousands of heavy trucks from urban roads, and frees up former freight rail for passenger services. http://www.fremantleports.com.au/Planning/Pages/Kwinana-Quay.aspx
    Following this model, the Firth of Thames would be perfect. If PoAL owns both, they can plan for the staged relocation over 30 years, creating a massive new industrial zone, with good access to both Auckland and Hamilton via both road and rail. PoAL can fund the move by sales of the waterfront land, and the increased efficiency of the new port operations (higher capacity, less staff, newer technology, cheaper transfers via rail).
    The industrial area would also provide a source of jobs for those in the rapidly swelling southern suburbs of Pokeno, Pukekoe and Drury.

    1. If an entirely new port is to be built then yes Firth of Thames makes sense (especially with improved rail links). However from a cost perspective there is no need for such a large port when between North Port and Tauranga they could probably handle a New Zealand population up to around 10 million (with Auckland up to 3 million). Get the car imports and some log/dairy exports through North Port with everything else through Tauranga.

  12. Marsden Point is 200 kilometers away in the wrong direction and would require big money spent on the rail link which even then would be very indirect compared with the road. Even then the trains would still have to get through the Auckland Suburban network.
    Best option would be to relocate a lot of South Auckland Manufacturing, warehousing and distribution to the Waikato possibly onto old coal mining land at Huntley and rail containers there straight from the ships. That way we can use the existing capacity of both Tauranga and Auckland Ports. From there National distribution could take place in the normal fashion by both rail and road.

    1. Royce, I have to ask, what makes you say it is in the “wrong” direction? Have you considered what your back up would be if the kaimai tunnel was out of action for over six months for whatever reason. And also, the bigger ships, that is the port that doesn’t require extensive dredging like POA and POT will require to get bigger ships into the docks. If we aren’t careful, they simply won’t come at all, and we will need to export our tonnage through Australia, and we should all know how well that will do our economy.

      1. So how are all the Export and Import Containers going to get through Auckland on either road or rail to get to or from Marsden Point. It would be possible to set up Marsden Point as a hub port and send containers on coastal vessels from Napier, Tauranga and New Plymouth I suppose. But I expect we would still have hundreds and hundreds of super rigs pounding up the pavement between the the producers and Marsden port for exports and Marsden Point and the South Auckland distribution centers for imports. Rail will be late to the party for sure its always late which lets the road transporters get permanently established.
        Tauranga and Auckland will just have to keep dredging.

        1. Of course an increase in daytime capacity is out of the picture at this stage. A southdown – Avondale link could help somewhat there(That will cost oddles as well) – A train slot on the western line each hour could be inserted in the train running from Avondale – Swanson. (Yes that may interrupt the councils plan of 10 min running all day long on what is actually a freight railway….) Alternatively, but not preferential Newmarket – Mt Eden should free up some what with the advent of the CRL, and using the current route. A similar pattern to what is currently on the NIMT. It’s likely it would be dedicated services, not like the mix on the NIMT, where there is metroports, general freight services, steel trains. Probably 10-12 trains per day v’s 20ish.
          Keep in mind, there isn’t a heap of tonnage on the route currently. Working around trains north of Swanson isn’t as great a deal as it is on the ECMT or NIMT. For once the powers that be would upgrade the route instead of doing the idotic working around the trains day and night…. I think I may raise a valid point there, planning ahead. Not only all this, it gives NZ a decent rail link the length of the country. Putting that sought of tonnage on the road isn’t viable as you pointed out.

    2. Rail from Auckland to Marsden Point could be fully upgraded for a couple of hundred million AFAIK, a drop in the bucket compared to the massive greenfield costs involved in the other plans.

      Also, a new port at either Muriwai or the Firth of Thames would almost certainly require an Act of Parliament to get done – no chance they make it through the Environment Court the old fashioned way.

  13. Constructing a new Port in Muriwai – what a diamond of an idea! Makes about as much sense as relocating Queenstown airport to the top of Franzjoseph Glacier. The kind of quality thinking we’ve come to expect from POAL. In terms of potential dredging, there is no comparison between the silt movements in the Rangitoto channel or firth of Thames and the huge coastal conveyor or iron sands up the west coat from Taranaki. Any new harbour would be rendered impassable after the first winter storm.

    1. Exactly, and I’m sure POAL are very aware of this. It’s a common strategy, used by everyone everyone: keep the discussion going, get everyone involved, get another report, discuss the report, talk some more, just keep dragging it out….

  14. If the point is a new, combined, port for Auckland and Tauranga then the Firth of Thames is the solution. I do have some trepidation over this though. 1) It would require an entire new large town / small city and would need both Auckland Council, Waikato Council and government support and funding. 2) Climate change and the effects of ocean levels rising. The basin is very low. I’m sure it’s solvable but it wont be cheap – build up or cut channels back towards higher ground…. 3) new rail and road links including public transport, not only to Auckland but the wider region 4) What happens to the current ports?

    Oh, and rather than focussing on upgrading the NAL, the first thing that needs to happen is to build the Northport branch for local freight / logs etc.

    1. The Northport Branch should be built for local freight / Logs etc. I cant see the NAL ever being able to carry sufficient volumes to enable Auckland Port to be closed. No doubt road would lap it up if we ever tried. Imagine the carnage though. I can’t see much point in using coastal shipping or barges to run containers down to Auckland from Marsden Point if the point is to close the Auckland Port. It could of course be used to other ports though.

      1. The aim isn’t to entirely close PoAL, but first to enable expansion to be elsewhere, and then to shrink it sufficiently over time so the city can reclaim that high value ‘land’ from west -> east, once Wynyard has been entirely digested. I imagine it operating out of Fergusson for decades to come…. so we are talking about taking sections of the burden elsewhere….

          1. As I understand it, we don’t get to choose what size ships the carriers want to send our way, outside of simply not being able to handle them. And the carriers keep super sizing.

          2. Exactly Patrick. The ships will be to big for POA. We already know what is coming, and northport has the best harbour, and the room for expansion. It is also closer to the rest of the world. All those kms and time will add up as well.

          3. Its still on the wrong side of Auckland. It’s still 200 km from anywhere, with poor transport links through difficult country, and has 1.5 million people clogging the narrowest part of that route. And it is also very constrained for both land and dock space.

        1. Burden? If there’s any burden it’s that there are NIMBYS wanting a perfectly fine port to close up shop. The port itself isn’t inherently a burden. Future constraints can be alleviated through more efficient off-site operations, such as car and container storage in South Auckland, linked by rail via a third main. The capacity of such a rail link is big, and the port could continue to grow tonnage within its current footprint for decades if it gets reconfigured as largely a ship-rail interface, with most operations off-site instead. I say rail, because trucks will not be able to make such an arrangement work, and would indeed become a burden on the city.

          1. The trains aren’t a burden Patrick, but the people who are in charge of operating them are. They should never have been allowed to let the subbies rule the line. There should have been freight slots available on the rail routes 24 hrs, not just outside the peak. Anyhow, given that, KR can still run plenty of freight trains off peak. AT just has to realise what benefits them the most, and it definitely is not an EMU running on, for example the NIMT south of Otahuhu for 4or5 individuals on board that holds the on time departure of a freight train. That is just down right stupid, not just pathetic.

          2. The trains are a problem as they are noisy and polluting and there are those on the route to the port not happy about the idea of more of them. Though of course they are much less of a problem for the public than the road traffic generated by the port.

            Additionally they do now compete with our increasingly important passenger system on our tiny little two track network. Until and unless there is at least a third line on significant stretches of eastern line that conflict is simply going to increase.

          3. Trains are a burden. All transport infrastructure and vehicles are a burden. They aren’t a benefit in their own right, they are a means to an end. Remember the goal isn’t to make more trains go or move stuff around more, it’s actually to move as little as as necessary.

          4. Anyone got any maths done on what a 3rd eastern line, electrification etc could cope with vrs trucks & current handling loads for medium term coping? #lazyweb

          5. Well the third main to Metroport is nearly complete. It’s the line to PoAL that gets pricey, especially the tunnelled section, and across the Bay. Between GI and Panmure pretty straightforward.

          6. Gathering from those comments Nick R, and especially you Patrick, you have no idea what is really going on, and have no idea on how to be productive. Unless you are being consistently sarcastic Patrick I doubt it. Obviously I’m in the wrong place for the right things, and that you will both keep up your involvement in very poor long term planning.

          7. “Well the third main to Metroport is nearly complete”

            A few hundred metres of track at Mangere, out of the 7km needed to Wiri, or 18km to Papakura, is nowhere near “nearly complete”.

            The project went into hiatus when Auckland Transport failed to contribute any funding. KiwiRail is now making a new bid to the government to get the Middlemore-Wiri section funded, but it will not be electrified, and AT services will not be able to use it.

  15. From mainstream media news this morning…Phil Golf is going to campaign on moving the port in his bid for the top job in Auckland.

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