POAL

I can feel the money (and my life force) draining away…

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

 

The port extension are either a good idea or not. How can you go through the middle?

Auckland Council has decided to accept a compromise by Ports of Auckland to stop building one of two wharf extensions that began last week.

This acceptance this afternoon, only by the casting vote of mayor Len Brown, came four weeks after councillors voted unanimously to ask Ports of Auckland to hold both the extensions to Bledisloe wharf.

The port company had written to the council with an offer to proceed with the eastern wharf extension and remove it if a wide ranging ports study finds it is not required.

The company said it would not proceed with the western extension until the outcome of the study was known.

This hurts my head. Read more »

Anti port extension people go for the emotions: who will save those killer whales?

Photo credit:  Amos Chapple

Photo credit: Amos Chapple

A clear sign the protesters are on the back foot, they have abandoned rational argument (such as it was), and gone straight for the heart strings.

Proposed Auckland port developments could be a killer blow for the harbour’s already endangered New Zealand orca population, a wildlife expert fears.

Ports of Auckland wants to build two 100m extensions from the end of Bledisloe Wharf and eventually reclaim 3ha of seabed between them, a move which has sparked fierce public backlash.

Orca Research Trust founder and principal scientist Dr Ingrid Visser feared a narrower Waitemata Harbour would make boat strikes more common and increased noise could put the endangered mammals off entering a vital feeding and sleeping area.

Oh dear.  Of all the places in the world Orca want to feed and sleep, it’s exactly off the current port extension.  Right.  Not doing yourself a lot of credit there Ingrid.  This is how you lose support from people who care about your work in general. Read more »

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More pork pies being sold by Mayor

The Mayor continues to tell porkies about what he knew regarding the Ports wharves and reclamation fiasco.

Only on Sunday the POAL CEO called Len Brown out for being a liar – stating that Len knew the whole time.

Now Lenny’s digging his hole deeper.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has conceded the first he knew about two wharf extensions at the Ports of Auckland was from the Herald.

Mr Brown had previously indicated he knew about the finger wharves at Bledisloe Wharf before the Herald broke the story on February 11.   Read more »

Reader Content: Auckland Port – what about the big picture?

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The key issue that I see is that there is no coordination between Auckland Council and Ports of Auckland Limited regarding a plan to provide both sufficient port capacity for anticipated shipping volumes and public access to the waterfront, or if there is, it hasn’t been disclosed to the public.

In the absence of any disclosure of the parties’ motivations, it appears that PoAL has no appreciation of the bigger picture and that AC does not have the will or the nous to exercise its authority as the owner of PoAL.

I can see no reason why we shouldn’t have a rational discussion about whether downtown Auckland is the appropriate location for the working port that serves Auckland.

There are international precedents for a working port to be relocated from the downtown area of a city – San Francisco and Sydney are but two examples which come readily to mind. The reality is that many sites chosen for ports pre-1900, when the volume of freight and the method by which it was shipped were both far different from those today, are no longer appropriate.

Auckland failed dismally on where our principal sporting stadium should be located back at the time when the old north stand at Eden Park was replaced and again when the south stand was replaced, but those mistakes have cost us much less than stuffing up regarding the port could do.

While the cost of building a new working port elsewhere might be substantial, it’s a discussion we should have before further capital expenditure is committed to the current location. I wonder whether AC considered the bigger picture before it and PoAL recently consented to Holcim building a 28m high cement silo on a site adjacent to Quay Street (in a zone previously subject to an 18m maximum height).

The major objection to the current location is its effect on city traffic. When I moved to Auckland in 1977 Auckland Port was a ‘railway’ port. Wagons were marshalled on the land between The Strand and Quay Street that is now occupied by Vector Arena, apartment buildings, train tracks leading to Britomart and a holding yard for some of the new train set which don’t yet seem to be in service.   Read more »

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Auckland Council brass and Len Brown are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Ports expansion

Auckland Council brass and Len Brown are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Ports expansion with PR spun porkies.

Today the Council is saying ‘heads might roll’ and that ‘it didn’t know anything about the wharf expansion’ which they claim should have been communicated to Council by POAL.

Heads could roll over Ports of Auckland expansion plans, according to a senior Auckland Council source.

Auckland Council has started to flex its muscles on plans by the ports company to build two massive wharf extensions nearly 100m into the Waitemata Harbour.

Council chief executive Stephen Town has written a letter to the council body overseeing Ports of Auckland asking it to “encourage” port bosses to halt the extensions until a wide-ranging port study is done.

Mr Town and councillors have also delivered a firm message to the port company to become more engaged with the community.

“It is my view that Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) has not engaged sufficiently with key stakeholders, or the public at large, in relation to the proposed wharf extensions,” Mr Town said in his letter to Auckland Council Investments Ltd (ACIL).

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse told a council meeting yesterday the letter contained an “iron fist in a velvet glove”. If all else failed there was a “thermonuclear” option.

A senior council officer indicated the “thermonuclear” option could see heads roll.

Read more »

Len’s wet bus ticket response to Port Expansion

Len Brown is playing us all for the fool.

Rather than do the right thing Len has instructed Stephen Town to ‘encourage’ Ports of Auckland to halt wharf expansions.

Auckland Council has formally asked Ports of Auckland to halt construction of two massive wharf extensions.

At a meeting today, Mr Brown said council chief executive Stephen Town had written a letter to Auckland Council Investments Ltd, the council body overseeing the port company, requesting it to encourage the port company to hold off the wharf extensions until a port study had been completed.

Read more »

Len Brown hedging his bets over Port

Nobody believes Len Brown for a second that he and his Council have been powerless to stop the ports from obtaining a Resource Consent to extend wharves.

Auckland mayor Len Brown said he is hoping discussions with the Ports of Auckland will result in the port “cooling their heels” on the construction of two massive wharf extensions, due to begin next month.

Mr Brown told TV3’s The Nation today that a study on the economic, environmental and social impact of the port on wider Auckland has begun.

He has told the council and the port that he wants discussions around the study between the council and Port of Auckland to be held in the coming days and weeks ahead of the start date on the extensions.   Read more »

POAL: What a fiasco!

So far I’ve stayed out of the fiasco that is the Ports of Auckland expansion of their wharfs into Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Lying Len Brown is doing such a good job at sticking himself in the neck over the issue it’s no wonder his team have defected to Phil Goff’s camp.

But the tip line has been hot over the issue, including being sent a POA paper explaining what’s happening and why.  It’s part of their PR offensive.

But explaining is losing. And boy are they losing.

So who is behind this PR mess?   Read more »

After two years the union caves and declares victory at Ports of Auckland

More than two years have elapsed since the Maritime Union led by old crusty dinosaur Garry Parsloe brought the Ports of Auckland to a standstill.

Their demands were to work less for more money, despite eye-wateringly generous payments for the little work they did already.

It was die in the ditch stuff for them, and they held strong right up until they caved and agreed to the terms released by the arbitrator two years ago.

As expected, Maritime Union members have ratified a collective employment agreement with Ports of Auckland.

A stop-work meeting of members unanimously voted in favour of the new collective employment agreement first thing this morning.

Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the new agreement is a positive step for workers at the Ports of Auckland that should ensure the continued success of the port.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson concurs.

“We are obviously pleased and look forward to working with the Maritime Union to deliver even more for the people of Auckland,” he says.

The agreement between the port company and the union will be signed off today.

Parsloe has declared victory…but it was a victory his members could have had two years ago.   Read more »