Road carriers say leave port in Auckland

Wednesday 13 Nov 2019

Moving port will cost Government, consumers and environment says National Road Carriers Association - Making Northport Auckland’s main port will require massive investment in rail and road and will increase carbon emissions and the cost of goods says National Road Carriers Association CEO David Aitken.

Mr Aitken was responding to news reports that the final report of a working group led by Whang?rei mayor Wayne Brown recommends the Ports of Auckland be moved to Northland. If it goes ahead, it will reportedly be the largest infrastructure project in New Zealand history, costing $10 billion.

“Although it would be good for road freight as they would get a lot more work and travel a lot more miles, it doesn’t make sense,” says Mr Aitken, whose organisation represents 1,800 trucking companies nationally.

“Where else in the world has a port for a country’s largest city been moved 140km away from its main market? This will increase freight costs which will inevitably be passed on to consumers.”

Rail will only be able to carry a small portion of the freight said Mr Aitken. Road will carry most freight based on the current volumes going through Ports of Auckland.

Mr Aitken said any relocation of Ports of Auckland functions to Northport needs to be based on sound economic analysis and proper costings of all the infrastructure improvements needed including:
> Ports – Northport development and de-commissioning Ports of Auckland
> Rail, including a freight line from Whangarei through Auckland to service the lower North Island;
> Roading, four-lanes, some through difficult terrain.

Mr Aitken said Northport should build and compete on its own merit.

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