Auckland Council have unanimously committed $1M for a review on the port expansion but it won’t be completed before the port needs to expand.
No, I’m not making it up.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s office will stump up more than $1 million to fund a port future study – but it will not be completed in time to meet Ports of Auckland’s deadline for starting its controversial expansion of the Bledisloe Wharf.
A meeting of Auckland Council’s development committee today unanimously voted in favour of a draft design proposal for the study, which will ban input from politicians and councillors and put the ratepayers at the heart of the decision-making process.
However, the “collaborative” project, described as “complicated” by the report’s author Jacques Victor, will come at a cost of more than $1 million dollars and is expected to take at least a year.
As an observer of these kinds of initiatives, I can now state with total confidence that two things will happen. One, it will cost more that $1M. Two, it will take more than one year (easy one, as they have already stated “at least” a year).
Last month, the council agreed to a compromise with Ports of Auckland, in which it promised to halt the extension of the western end of Bledisloe Wharf by 92m into Waitemata Harbour, pending completion of a port future study by April 30 next year.
Today the committee heard it would not be completed by that date.
Mr Victor said: “We’re trying to make this go as fast as we can, remembering that is a collaborative process.
“Unfortunately, it still comes to a year, and I do not believe we can do it any faster than that. We’re probably looking at June or July next year for the recommendations to come to this committee.”
Quizzed on the time frame by councillors, he said: “I do not think it can be done by April. I don’t think it should be driven by what the Ports need.
A review of what to do with the Auckland Port should not be driven by what the Ports need.
I’ll just leave that there.
– Patrice Dougan, NZ Herald