Former prime ministers Helen Clark and Sir John Key, formerly from the Labour and National parties respectively, have joined forces in support of New Zealand First’s plan to relocate Auckland's port to Whangārei.
While Ms Clark and Sir John spent their political careers on opposite sides of the political divide, they have found themselves to be unlikely allies in support of NZ First’s port move. The pair are part of Waterfront 2029 - a new campaign backing Northport, at Marsden Point near Whangārei.
While neither the contemporary Labour Party nor the National Party have picked a side at this point, their two former leaders have publicly voiced their support of the long-held NZ First proposal.
Ms Clark said the move would be a win-win for both Northland and Auckland.
She said it would provide regional development and employment benefits for Northland and could realise benefits for the development of Auckland as a world-class city.
Sir John said it was a sensible initiative.
A Waterfront 2029 spokesperson, Michael Goldwater, said Auckland had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unlock the values of its waterfront for its people and ratepayers.
"Great waterfront cities grow around ports," Mr Goldwater said.
"But as those cities grow, their ports move to less densely populated areas and less expensive land. Auckland is now decades behind. The time has come to stop the endless report writing and for our government to make final decisions about the future,” he added.