Could the new port be on the Firth of Thames?

Richard Harman from Politik seems to think so.

The study on the future of Auckland Port to be released on Friday is likely to recommend a “super port” near Waimangu Point in the Firth of Thames to be built within the next 35 years.

And the port is likely to replace  both Auckland and Tauranga.

POLITIK understands the study will reject the Manukau Harbour proposal because it would pose huge technical and resource consent challenges.

Northland has also been rejected because of the difficulty transporting cargo backwoods and forwards across Auckland city. POLITIK has spoken to two sources close to the Study Group and has been briefed on the details of the report.

One source  says  offers several advantages:

  • There is 15m of water depth almost right to the shore
  • It is closer to South Auckland
  • And it is closer to the Waikato

Waimangu Point has been investigated as a potential port and oil refinery since at least 1960.

However, it would involve a large infrastructure build. It is approximately 40km by current roads from the southern motorway and the main trunk line.

A second source, familiar with the report has told POLITIK that the proposal is predicated on both the Auckland and Tauranga ports reaching capacity within 35 years.

Waimango would take over the big container ship trade from both existing ports to serve the Auckland and Waikato markets.

There will, of course, be huge resource consent and iwi issues involved in establishing a new port on a pristine North Island east coast location.

But though iwi have not been formally consulted, POLITIK understands that 13 iwi have been closely involved in the Port of Auckland study group and that another source has suggested that  iwi might have some financial involvement in the eventual port.

I must say this is a far more sensible option than the Manukau Harbour, and also the West Coast option. Still, it is a long way off and is going to require a significant investment.

A greenfield operation, though, should be easier to get up and running than trying to fit future operations into the existing sites.

Looks like another election policy is off the table for the Auckland candidates, though this plan fits more in with John Palino’s plans for regional growth than any other candidate.


– Politik

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