Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister of Transport
In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says.
Minister Jones is today releasing the final report by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group.
“Firstly, on behalf of the Government, I’d like to thank the working group, particularly its chairman Wayne Brown, for delivering on a Coalition Agreement commitment to investigate moving Auckland’s Port to Whangarei,” Shane Jones said.
“I’m pleased my Cabinet colleagues have recognised the merit of this report and have agreed move forward with this work.
“To maintain momentum on this work, Ministers have instructed the Ministry of Transport to undertake further work on funding and financing options, governance and commercial considerations, land use planning, legislative and regulatory considerations as well as some additional transport and logistics analysis.
“I expect this analysis to consider environmental effects, including on New Zealand’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, and consideration of Government infrastructure investments in roads and rail, for example, building a rail spur to Marsden Point.
“Ministers have also requested that officials work with the newly-established Infrastructure Commission to ensure we’re taking a holistic view of our logistics network and the major infrastructure needs of New Zealand.
“Shifting Auckland’s Port will be a huge undertaking and, if done right, will have benefits for all of New Zealand, not just Auckland and Northland. Nobody is keen on spending too much longer developing lengthy reports but this is a once-in-a-generation project and widespread buy-in is important, as is the need to make the best decisions for the long-term prosperity of our supply chain.
"The Working Group considered eight scenarios to determine the most efficient arrangement for the upper North Island ports. Their preferred option is the managed closure of the Port of Auckland’s freight operations, the development of Northport and the continued development of the Port of Tauranga.
“It remains my view that Northport is the most sensible relocation option but I accept this is a whole-of-government decision and the report has given us a range of economic, social and environmental factors to consider. I look forward to reporting back to Cabinet in May 2020,” Shane Jones said.