Plans for a major expansion of the Auckland port into the Waitemata Harbour have hit a road bump – the council has voted to review the role of Ports of Auckland before going any further.
The council had planned to extend the port 250m into the harbour to handle a projected 400 percent increase in traffic.
In January, lobby group Heart of the City launched a publicity campaign, "Your Port, Your Call", to muster opposition to the plans.
Heart of the City said the plans were buried in technical documents supporting the Auckland Draft Waterfront Plan, and released the above image which it says illustrates what the expansion would look like.
Chief executive Alex Swney said Ports of Auckland wanted to increase the area of its downtown container wharves by the size of 16 Eden Parks while selling Captain Cook Wharf back to the city.
The expansion plans have been in the public domain for more than a year but unless someone knew what they were looking for, they were hard to find and recognise, he said.
Ports of Auckland denied trying to hide its plans and said they were available on its website, while the council – which was responsible for the draft waterfront plan – said the ports area was outside its jurisdiction and its report linked to the Ports website, according to the Herald.
The plan involves consolidating and extending container space out into the harbour over 40 years to handle a projected 400 percent increase in traffic.
On the bright side, says the Council for Infrastructure Development, Ports of Auckland would be returned to Aucklanders.
This would give "tremendous access to the waterfront that Auckland doesn't currently enjoy," chief executive Stephen Selwood told Newstalk ZB.
Selwood said the expansion was needed in order to handle the growth of freight volumes.