When Mike Williams and Matthew Hooten agree on something political it’s time to sit up and take notice. During their regular spot, “Commentary From The Left And From The Right” on National Radio this morning (Monday 5 March) , they talked about Ports of Auckland. They agreed that management is a dinosaur (Matthew’s word), and that the dispute with the union is unnecessary.
I don’t know much about the dispute other than that Ports of Auckland wants to set up a contractual workforce similar to that at the Port of Tauranga.
I also didn’t know much about Ports of Auckland’s expansion plans, and I’ll bet that most Aucklanders don’t either. Particularly as Aucklanders are so lethargic about politics compared with those of us who live the Capital. Should they be worried? Heck yes. Ports of Auckland wants to use 200 hectares of prime waterfront to expand the port. Management wants to compete with Tauranga and Marsden Point.
Problem is, Auckland can’t take the super sized container ships that are the future of shipping. The port could only take them in a very few very high tides. Tauranga is deep enough to take them, but isn’t big enough to take many. Marsden Point easily has 200 hectares available to expand, and it can take lots of these big ships. The cost of expanding Auckland Port is huge and a waste of valuable resources.. Marsden Point is the obvious place for NZ’s major port. All that’s needed is $40 million to build a train line between Marsden Point and Auckland.
So, Aucklanders, get off your butts and do something about the management of Ports of Auckland. At stake is something far bigger than a union dispute. You’ll end up paying mega bucks for an expanded port that won’t be used, and you’ll lose a piece of your waterfront. If i heard correctly, part of this $2 billion spend on roads in Auckland will go on accessing the port.
I haven’t researched any of what I heard on the radio, but like I said, when all this comes collectively from Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton, and they are in total agreement that the management of Ports of Auckland is wasting resources trying to be something that it never can be, then it’s time to delve further.
Something’s wrong at Ports of Auckland, and it goes way beyond a dispute with the union.