Any decision not to let Auckland’s port expand under its new plan is effectively a decision to close it down, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says.
“In the absence of an alternative, and there is none, the port at Auckland is essential for the city and for New Zealand,’ said Kim Campbell, EMA’s chief executive.
“We can’t understand where those opposing it are coming from, with so many jobs at stake.
“Business and consumers need the port to expand its footprint modestly so it can re-organise its operations to allow it to become at least as competitive as the Port of Tauranga.
“But nothing will happen until the long running industrial dispute with the Maritime Union is settled.
“The port has said it will abide by the mediator’s ruling on this and its time the union did likewise.
“Without the planned development all our northern ports will be full to capacity in short order.
“Tauranga couldn’t handle the recent overflow from Auckland, and expansion at Whangarei is limited.
“Shifting the port elsewhere would incur costs of at least $4 billion plus back up infrastructure.
“Access to waterfront land is being satisfied by the Wynyard Quarter developments and that will soak up investment for the foreseeable future.”