More weasel words from Crone over the port

Vic Crone

Vic Crone is feeding nice stories to Bernard Orsman constantly now.

But if you actually look at what she is saying it is just more corporate weasel words with no promises for anything other than more weasel words and meetings,

Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone is promising to look at relocating the city’s port, saying its current downtown location is obsolete.

The port, she says, will be unable to keep up with the growth of Auckland in the next 50 years unless is expands further into the harbour.

“The community has spoken loudly and clearly,” Ms Crone said in a speech to the Committee for Auckland today.

“As mayor I will commit to leading a robust decision-making process to seek out a new home and transition our port there.”

A talk-fest…wow, that’s her promise? She is talking about a 50-year process.

A Future Port Study set up after last year’s public furore over wharf extensions into the harbour by Ports of Auckland is currently underway to look at the economic, social and environmental impacts of the port on the wider city.

The study has short-listed the Manukau Harbour, Firth of Thames and Muriwai as possible options for a new port.

What a stupid report that was too. Two of those options are ludicrous, leaving just the Firth of Thames.

Ms Crone said ports were a critical piece of infrastructure for any major city, but questioned the economic value of its 77ha footprint and its dividends with the economic return of similar land in the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter.

“By 2040 the Wynyard Quarter waterfront redevelopment is expected to contribute $4.3 billion to Auckland. The Auckland port dividend of around $50 million pales in comparison,” Ms Crone said.

Once a new home was found for the port, she said, the city could turn its mind to the exciting possibilities of transforming the largest piece of land on the waterfront, not just economically but socially.

I wonder where she is going to find the several billion dollars needed to move the port.

But what Vic Crone won’t tell you is what she told a public meeting in Orewa that I attended.

Her statements on the port were based on two things:

  1. The Port was in the harbour
  2. The containers block her view from her apartment because they are stacked six high.

On that basis she said the port had to move. I’m not kidding; that is precisely what she said.

It might be news to Vic Crone but ports generally sit inside harbours and not on the tops of mountains.

No wonder she is too chicken to have a debate. She would get shown up by professionals like Mark Thomas and passionate people like John Palino. As for Phil Goff he will be just grinning from ear to ear that Michelle Boag and Nikki Kaye thought this deadhead was ever going to challenge him.


– NZ Herald


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  • Terry

    The possibility of Manukau Harbour becoming the site of a container port is far from ludicrous. Costly? Yes. Technically impossible? No.

    What has to be overcome is maintaining a channel through the sandbar separating the harbour from the Tasman Sea (it is done in San Francisco, where its constant one-way drift of sand is admittedly easier than Manukau where the sand can drift in both directions). But it can be done. Once through Manukau heads there is a deep channel right through to almost the site of the International Airport, just dozens of metres from plenty of currently empty storage land and the nearby rail and motorway links .

    Anyone who doubts that there can be a container port close to an airport should look at the Botany container port in Sydney.

    • sonovaMin

      Technically possible yes. The ludicrous part comes from the impossibility of getting it pass the hordes of greenies that infest the harbour from the west coast to Green Bay.
      It’s ‘their view’ and they wouldn’t stand for endless streams of container ships steaming up ‘their’ harbour. The screaming would be horrendous.

      • Terry

        You mean the hordes of greenies who buy and use the goods carried by those endless streams of container ships? Bring it on! The sooner we enable the dreamy greenies and their political puppets the Greens to choke on their own effluent, the better.

    • PsychoKea

      You would still have to time ship arrivals with the high tide, those channels are still not deep enough for anything other than a very shallow draft vessel at low tide, and how practical is that ?

      • Terry

        You may be right. I’m not sure. I am relying on people who know the Manukau Harbour well who have told me that there are a variety of channels, some deep enough at all times for the largest of container ships that will come into service. Presumably, these factors will be addressed in the Port Study due for release in June.

        • PsychoKea

          I think the key factor is deep enough at times, the Harbour is very dynamic in terms of its morphology not a great prerequisite for a large scale port operation

          • biscuit barrel

            Current minimum depth at low tide for Auckland is 12.5m, they need to go to 15m.
            Just checked my tablet app which has NZ topo/aerial maps and marine charts all in one

            Manukau is mostly 6m minimum from Cornwallis Pt to Onehunga, some deeper spots.

            There is a deeper channel with 11m which heads straight to Puktutu Is, so would be likely location for port around area between Puketutu and airport. Considerable dredging still required. Up to 50m off Paratutae Is at mouth of harbour

            Trouble is just past the heads the sandbanks give you only 5 to 7m

          • PsychoKea

            Would be interesting to know how current reality varies from the date the chart was produced, there is a lot of remodeling that goes on in the Manukau.

          • biscuit barrel

            Thats being silly. These things dont change that much and they do get updated.

    • Greenjacket

      Manukau is not technically possible.

      The channel you talk about is not deep enough. At its entrance it is 7m and very difficult to navigate with strong currents (there is a reason why so many ships have come to grief on the Maukau heads). Once past the heads, there is the Papakura channel but this is not “deep” and would need to be continually dredged out.

      Your idea that “there is a deep channel right through to almost the site of the International Airport, just dozens of metres from plenty of currently empty storage land” is wrong. There are these mudflats between the Papakura Channel and the airport called the Karore Bank. It isn’t “just dozens of meters” but actually nearer to 5 kilometres. What exactly do you do about that?

      • biscuit barrel

        No terry is right. Im looking at marine chart in front of me.

        Plus its too far away from greenies in Titirangi

        • Anthony

          Here is the chart for Manukau Harbour
          For scale Auckland Airport runway length is 3635m.
          Reclaiming west of the runway on the karore bank would minimise dredging, whereas south of the runway may make road/rail connections easier.
          Keeping a channel open at the heads is the killer. It would be about 2km long, nearly 10m deeper than the seabed requiring it to be quite wide. That sand will shift around so much that it’d probably be just about a continual dredging process. Unless a mining company were permitted to operate I doubt it’d be feasible given what are internationally quite low freight volumes.

      • one for the road

        The Manukau will not work, not only because the varying depth and currents, esp at the Heads/Bar, BUT the biggest issue is the swell, currents and winds on the west coast…. For example tomorrow the swell will be 10-15 ft breaking across the bar with huge surges making it extremely challenging to pilot a large vessel… Same goes for any thougts on a berthing facility at Muriwai… What monkeys did they employ to write those reports?

      • jonno

        The Manukau and Muriwai are all viable but both require a lot of work to establish. Auckland Harbour has nearly 20 km of dredged channels the Manukau would be very similar. It’s possibly easier digging as it’s mostly mud and sand whilst the Waitemata requires removal of rock by blasting. The Manukau harbour entrance is challenge but the removal of the bar is possible but definitely an ongoing job,

  • Bob Dazzler

    Agree, just corporate buzz/weasel words. She hasn’t a clue.

  • Rebecca

    Good point

    Public opinion not just Vic’s supports exploring all options

    Just like Trump mantra – lets make Auckland great again

    Yes – the nay sayers argue Vic has worked in monopolies – in my opinion that is fantastic because if the Council is not a monopoly then i’ll eat my hat

    Palino will fail the public scrutiny – he is still surrounding himself with the rat bags of the last campaign

    The race is Crone and Thomas but one needs to step aside or it’s over for the right

  • JohnO

    Campaigning for mayor of Auckland with a policy of removing the port is like campaigning for mayor with a policy of going ahead with the eastern motorway. It is political suicide.

  • Odd Ball

    Heh, that old Ports of Auckland chestnut again.
    The port suffers from having an obsolete layout, in that its wharves are perpendicular to the shore, rather than parallel to it. This leads to it needing to expand into the bay.
    The expense of moving the port, plus having to deal thru the RMA, effectively mean it’s just not going to happen.

    • Greenjacket

      I understand PoA already have the consents to develop. RMA is not the problem.

      • biscuit barrel

        Judge overturned the RMA consents

        • Quinton Hogg

          That was for the consents to put extensions at Bledisloe.
          The beginings of which, co-incidentaly, have not yet been removed.

  • Brad

    Disagree, the port needs to be gradually relocated and replaced with tourist infrastructure like cruise ship terminals, hotels, restaurants etc. It’s embarrassing that we use that land as a giant car yard, and the trucks travelling to and from only add to congestion.

    • Platinum Fox

      The vehicle import operation could be relocated as the first step – somewhere in the Firth of Thames would be a good choice as it’s close to Wiri where most of the importers have their distribution/storage yards. That would remove about 1700 vehicle transporter movements from the inner city streets and the southern motorway every week (PoAL says that up to 10,000 vehicles arrive each week).
      Some operational inefficiency would result as tugs would be needed at both locations. However, relocation of vehicle imports would free up berths and space on the existing wharves for the container trade and the Pacific hub operation that PoAL says is developing in scale. A longer term project could then be implemented to relocate those operations to either a new location or to Marsden Point.

      • biscuit barrel

        The harbour board used to own waterfront land at TeAtatu just for that sort of thing. But in our wisdom it was sold off for housing

        • Uncle Bully

          But could you imagine the amount of dredging that would have been required to make a Te Atatu wharf viable for large vessels? The channel as it is is quite narrow and tortuous, so straightening, widening and deepening would likely have destroyed the inner harbour ecosystems.

    • Greenjacket

      “the port needs to be gradually relocated”
      Where to? Modern container ships need 14m, so they need a deep water harbour.

      “It’s embarrassing that we use that land as a giant car yard”
      So you are embarrassed by roads, motorways and carparks?

      • Mark

        All that supplying first world stuff makes it hard to concentrate on sipping your latte that got to the cafe in a truck,that you can afford to pay for because of the higher wage your earn in Auckland from the number of peons working their butts off to get ahead.
        Seeing the Port makes me think of success not embarrassed.

  • Jp

    Consider for a second how long it would take to passage from Napier/Tauranga/Gisbourne to Manauku Harbour should stop any chance of moving the port there.
    (Unless of course they build a canal)

  • Anthony An alternative location to the current port is difficult. There is no obvious alternative. The best / easiest / cheapest / achievable option is shifting the import of cars to Northport (Marsden Point), and leaving the rest of the port operation where it is. If you look at the coast line bathymetry within 200km of Auckland, the only locations that wouldn’t require a lot of dredging are Marsden and Tauranga. Tauranga doesn’t have much available space and is a bit shallow. Murawai is reasonable close to Auckland, the motorway and railway, just needs a big breakwater and some reclamation. It’s no worse than any of the other bad options.

  • geoff

    The land Port of Auckland occupies is worth billions- which would be a windfall to the city if it was freed up.
    The best option is Marsden Point, but conveniently the study has ignored this option.Sure about twelve tunnels would have to be widened and a spur to the Point laid, but long term it would be worth it.

    • chwaga

      Marsden Point may be an option but have you considered the enormous number of containers that will come from one of the new container vessels. Say 8000 containers which will require 200 trains just one way…that is a total of 400 trains there and back. What will that do to the western line…maybe no room for passenger trains and a massive revolt from adjoining land owners. Just think of all those trains going through New Market. May be best to look at the Firth of Thames and a rail through to somewhere near Pokeno from where goods can go both north and south.

    • jonno

      Residential development has choked out the land available to expand on. the channel is quite restricted and not well protected from adverse sea and weather from the east. Marsden Point isn’t an option.

    • Just how much are you prepared to pay as the hideous freight costs on virtually everything Auckland consumes are added on?
      Who exactly benefits from this billion dollar land?

  • andrewo

    Aucklanders votes won’t generally be swayed by anything to do with the port. it’s politically irrelevant.
    She needs a solid policy platform on just two issues:
    1/ Making the council more efficient, thus allowing rates rises to be capped.
    2/ A practical plan to resolve the housing issue

  • PsychoKea

    I had assumed that the 3 alternative options were a piss take , because they are all clearly ridiculous options, would love to know how you would build a container wharf at Muriwai beach, just not going to happen , I’m sure the operations at the present site could be optimized, even consider a shared use concept at Devon port Naval base

  • T Mardell

    Put a tunnel through the Kaimais, then join forces with Port of Tauranga, and get a well managed operation in the process.

    • biscuit barrel

      There is a rail tunnel. Tauranga has an ‘inland port ‘ in Manukau where they pick up containers and deliver them to Tauranga

      • T Mardell

        Given the preponderance of trucking based transport options, I should hasten to add I meant, “road tunnel”. With the associated linkages to the Waikato expressway that is now down to Cambridge. So not far to go in that regard.

        • biscuit barrel

          Recently ruled out – by Mp for Tauranga and Transport minister. A whole different story than shallow tunnels just dug in Auckland. You would need traffic like those alpine tunnels in Europe to justify it.

          • jonno

            Tauranga like Auckland has a port now surrounded by residential and industrial development. A second rail tunnel is required to improve flow as the existing one is single track. I doubt the people of Tauranga will be any happier with having their harbour filled in either. No long term future there either.

  • one for the road

    Weasel words from crone, any monkey could ‘promise’ to look at it!!! All shewould have to do is read the last 20 years of reports on cost benefits options, then she would be able to say nothing can be done!! What an absolute muppet