Maerk’s loss was bad, Fonterra’s is a disaster

When is Len Brown going to act and tell his union mates to pull their heads in. The current industrial strife has now seriously crippled financially the viability of the Ports of Auckland of which his council is the 100% owner.

The Maritime Union laughed when Maersk withdrew their $20 million per annum business from POAL. I wonder what they think now that Fonterra has withdrawn their $1.4 billion worth of business from the Port.

If Maersk was a blip in trade then the lose of Fonterra’s business is a disaster. That business will now be flowing into the coffers of Tauranga and Napier.

Couple that with the news before Christmas that Tauranga has now got permission to allow significant dredging to enable ships bigger than the MV Rena to dock and the strategic brilliance of the Maritime Union is looking as good as Napoleon’s for invading Russia in winter.

The Ports of Auckland should withdraw all offers of settlement now and play Qantas style hardball in order to put a halt to the economic sabotage and blackmail that the Maritime Union is playing by. Shut the port, Contract out all the jobs, re-open with the freedom and flexibility of contractors.

It is high time this union nonsense was knocked on the head.



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  • loldongsinbutte

    Fonterra only said 27m…where did you get 1.4b?

    • Anonymous

      $27M PER WEEK. 

      • A-random-reader

        That’s the value of Fonterra’s exported goods passing through the port, not the shipping costs.

    • nemisis

      that is 27 million a week

  • Mac

    27m a week
    1.4b per year

  • Bo Jangles

    I thought we culled unionised stevedoring at PoA a generation ago, when Harry was chairman?

  • Paul

    $27M per week is $1.4B per annum give or take a few million

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait for the day that ports are automated to the point that f**king wharfies are no longer needed.

    • Troy

      Why can’t the PoAL just fire them all and take on non-union wharfies?  The country is tired of these fuckwits.

      • nemisis

        they have and the non-union ones have been working during the strikes, not enough of them there to do everything tho.

  • This is an enormous blow to PoAL. Thanks for nothing NZ Maritime Union!

  • Gazzaw

    The logs will go next as will the ability to accept new generation cruise ships because there will be insufficient requirement to dredge the port to take that size of ship. 

    It’s high time that we had a statement from central government. This is now way beyond Auckland City’s plateau of competence (if it ever was).   

  • Richard McGrath

    “Shut the port, Contract out all the jobs, re-open with the freedom and flexibility of contractors.”

    That’s the spirit! Break the bastards.

  • Apolonia

    Thank goodness Len’s in charge or we could have real problems.

    • A-random-reader

      POAL is governed by a board of directors.

      The Mayor of Auckland has no control over the governance of POAL.

      • The board answers tot eh shareholders, which is the City of Auckland.

      • Gazzaw

        Brown is the elected representative of the shareholders of POA and should be actively protecting the interests of Auckland City’s biggest investment.

      • A-random-reader

        POAL is commercially independent from the council. It’s a limited liability company with it’s own independent board of directors.

        The POAL shares are actually owned by Auckland Council Investments (which is a separate CCO that owns and manages the Council’s major investment assets).

        The ownership structure was set up in this way to avoid any potential for political interference.

      • Gazzaw

        Technically of course you are absolutely correct but if Len wants to hang on to his job then he needs to pull finger over this issue. The populace of Auckland will not give a flying fuck about ACC Investments or any of the other legal niceties when it comes to ticking the box next year if POA becomes a cotcase.  

        As our lefty mates keep reminding us “It’s all about perception”.

  • MrV
  • Max_power

    Maybe this isn’t a bad thing.

    I understand POA’s dredging program has hit Rangitoto, making it extremely expensive if deepening is necessary since explosives are required. Not impossible but expensive.

    Does Akld really need a MAJOR port? Sure it needs one to drop off all the retail stuff for the region but why does it have to do the exports as well? A lot of the Auckland CBD has been designed around enabling rail and motorway access into the port. If it didn’t need to cater for much of that anymore that’s a significant CBD redevelopment opportunity.

    Also I’d have to say this union action was probably merely the last straw. Fonterra must have done significant analysis on this in order to make this call and it could not have done that in the timeframe since this all started.

    That doesn’t make it any better of course, it is still a totally mental thing the unions have done here. Personally I was amazed all this didn’t come during Key’s first term, I don’t understand why they’ve held off. This term though I bet this is but the harbinger of a long multi-industry rolling campaign. Regardless of economic damage. Fucking lefties. Scum, aren’t they.

    • Politically Unstable

      I thought that Fonterra was already 50/50 with Akld and POT? This would now take the 50% from POAL and send the balance to POT and Napier. I recall it was a close call when the Waikato hub was first set up.

  • Steve and Monique.

    Once again we are seeing the outcome of short sighted unions. All in the name of workers eh.Good on you,hope you get all you deserve.Assholes.

  • Karl Laird

    “Shut the port, Contract out all the jobs, re-open with the freedom and flexibility of contractors.”Why not just stop after the first point?  Would free up more land in Auckland than just the port area – would also free up their depo’s all over auckland (like the car lot on the manukau harbour)

    • MrV

      Well provided the council is prepared to take a loss on the port you could do that. Then there is the question of long term port capacity  for upper NI (as per Tony Gibsons first Editorial).

      What is most annoying is where is the press interviewing Uncle Len on this? Plenty of reporters were available to orgy over teatapes, but when a huge council (read ratepayer) investment is under threat they are AWOL.

      • Gazzaw

        I have just emailed and asked Mathew Dearnley from the Herald why there was no comment from Len Brown but I am not holding my breath for a reply.

  • beenthere

    Auckland is by far the largest city in New Zealand, by population & economy. Does anyone seriously think it’s a great idea to use say, Tauranga as the major port, then freight everything to Auckland via either train or truck?, if so do you expect prices to stay the same, given the extra transport expenses.

    • Bertie

      Typical dumb Aucklander. Most of NZs goods are produced south of the Bombay hills. Tauranga is way closer/easier access/cheaper than Auckland. We dont actually need Auckland.

      • Gazzaw

        Write civilly Bertie – provincialism doesn’t sit too well here.

      • Anonymous

        beenthere was referring to imports. You are referring to locally manufactured goods, which has little to do with either POA or POT and is quite a bit different from imports.
        You sound like a typical dumb person regardless of where you live.

    • The Shipping companies are wanting to reduce the number of ship calls to NZ. Auckland and Tauranga are the biggest Ports in NZ. They would prefer one major port in New Zealand to do all their buissness – each port call costs money. If we muck things up all that will happen is that they will start shipping our goods to Ausi and then shipping them on from there. 

      • Gazzaw

        Precisely Bawaugh. The Fishermans Island facility at Brisbane has had the door open to act as the regional port facility for NZ for ages.

  • Joes

    This is making Robyn Malcolm look like a PR specialist.  I’m glad I don’t have any shares in PoA….. oh hang on a second….

  • Bill Barnsley

    You clowns are not looking at the bigger picture.
    The maritime union has probably been taken over by the greenies. They are working hard to ensure that the good ratepayers of Auckland will soon have a massive waterfront park to plant grass on. Awesone.

  • EX Navy Greg

    I would think the port is infrastructure of national importance, Surely there is “emergency measures” the government could take ?

    • Gazzaw

      Didn’t Cullen declare AIA as being infrastructure of national importance to prevent the sale of shares to the Canadians?

      • EX Navy Greg

        Exactly. I purchased a small parcel shortly afterwards when the share price dropped, which I still hold. Very well managed company.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    When this was discussed the other day, someone sugested Len was waiting for POAL to go belly up. Then the land could be sold and Uncle Len has a cash cow for his train set.
    Was just a rumour though

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Spending other people’s money again

    • MrV

      The flaw in that ‘plan’ is there would be restrictions on what you could do with it, hence the value wouldn’t be as much as Len thinks it’s worth.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        Len just wants the deposit to kick it off. Then the RATEPAYERS pay. Len will not be around to take responsibilty

  • crashnburn

    All part of the overriding plan to privatise the POA. This has been on the agenda for a while.

    will do what they can (instigate strike action by treating workers like
    crap and not paying them ) to make the ports appear to
    run at a loss. (They can also then blame the workers). What better
    motivation for then saying only option is to privatise.

    What next
    – well they will be run by a private Co, for a period of time, they
    will spend nothing on maintenance/infrastructure as they will be sucking
    the profits out. When they are in a state of ruin, the GOVT will say,
    shit we cannot lose the ports they are a vitalm after which the tax
    payer will then, step in and perform the maintenance, which will be done
    by a Company run by a mate of the govt :-)

    I bet ya

    • Vij


  • Bart

    Hey, maybe we can build a new sports stadium on the waterfront …………..

    • BD

      Council wont agree because it will lose millions of dollars……………

  • Anonymous

    Why would Len want to do anything? He knows its better to be in a Union than in a job.

  • Jim Henson lives and his hand is up the rear end of the MWUNZ head honchos.  Muppets the lot of them.

  • Anonymous

    This is just hilarious. The union is losing work for their own members. Pretty soon there won’t be any members in work left, therefore no money coming in for the union. What a bunch of muppets.

  • 1951

    health warning – beware of scabs

  • Anonymous

    Apparently leftards are against selling assets, but are perfectly ok with running them down until they are worthless.