Mayor’s plan to make the most of Auckland’s port and prime waterfront

Publish Date : 07 May 2024
IMAGE Port Agreement USE
IMG 7578
IMG 7584

Today, Mayor Wayne Brown announced a new plan, backed by Port of Auckland and the unions, to make the most of Tāmaki Makaurau’s port and prime waterfront.

“Port of Auckland has agreed to deliver much improved profits to Auckland Council. And, we have agreed to take the proposed sale of a long-term port lease off the table,” says Mayor Brown.

Under the new plan, Auckland’s port land, assets, and operations will be retained under council ownership.

Port of Auckland will contribute $1.1 billion in profits to Auckland Council over the next 10 years, which exceeds the projected net returns from investing the proceeds of a port lease by $172million.

The arrangement will be formalised by way of Port of Auckland’s annual statement of corporate intent and the council’s Long-term Plan (10-year Budget) 2024-34.

“By trade, I’m an engineer. I solve problems. We looked at a couple of options to improve returns and this is the best solution,” says Mayor Brown.

“This plan reflects my commitment to get better value and better returns from our strategic assets, and strengthen the council’s long-term financial position. These higher returns will require increased port charges and improvements in productivity, and all parties are supportive of this.”

Chair of Port of Auckland, Jan Dawson says the tripartite agreement brings parties together with a clear path forward. 

“The Port Company welcomes the Mayor’s plan, as it provides a clear direction and certainty for the port staff, our customers, and the community. We are pleased to enter into a tripartite arrangement with our owner and our unions, as together, we will continue to deliver for the people of Auckland”.

Auckland Council’s enhanced oversight of the Port’s strategic direction and long-term planning, together with Port of Auckland’s High-Performance High-Engagement model, have contributed in part to the Port Company’s financial turnaround.

“Upon entering into office, I immediately put pressure on all council-controlled organisations, and raised our expectations of Port of Auckland’s profits. To their credit, the board and CEO raised the Port’s performance and returns, and met our demands head-on,” says Mayor Brown.

“We will work together to make the most of the port and the space it occupies.

”The new plan is based on a tripartite relationship agreement between Auckland Council, Port of Auckland, and the unions, represented by the Maritime Union of New Zealand. It will provide a foundation for good faith, cooperation, and long-term strategic alignment.  

“We’ve taken time to explore all options for the Port, and test the market. It’s helped us understand what the opportunities are and what our expectations ought to be. Had the process been any less rigorous, and the debate any less robust, we may never have reached a consensus,” says Mayor Brown.

Secretary of the Maritime Union, Grant Williams says the agreement acknowledges the importance of the port to Aucklanders. 

“The Mayor’s focus on the future of the Port has highlighted its importance to the city, and brought us together around a common cause. We’re pleased to see that the value and contribution of port workers has been recognised by the Mayor, councillors, and the community”.

Auckland Council and Eke Panuku have developed a Framework Plan for the central wharves to make better use of prime waterfront space.

Port of Auckland supports the Mayor’s proposal to return Captain Cook Wharf and Marsden Wharf to Auckland Council, which have no impact on the Port Company’s profitability in the short-term. The Mayor has also negotiated public access to parts of Bledisloe Wharf, as a shared space for public use and cruise.

“Auckland’s harbour and waterfront is a big part of what makes our city special, and it’s important that we get this right. The success of the plan will be based on cooperation and joint planning, and the inclusion of mana whenua, stakeholders, and the public,” says Mayor Brown.

The plan will be part of the Mayor’s proposal on the Long-Term Plan to be considered by the Budget Committee and Governing Body next week.

The plan also makes progress on the vision and longer-term planning for the Port and waterfront. A process to consider the appropriate commercial model for Port ownership in the Upper North Island will continue.  

Auckland Council has secured a firm commitment from Port of Auckland that its current infrastructure plans complete the Port for the future.

Key benefits:

  • A tripartite relationship agreement

  • Higher financial returns for Auckland Council

  • An economic boost from cruise and freight

  • Greater certainty for the port, its workers and customers

  • Greater certainty for the port and upper North Island supply chain

  • New outstanding public spaces on the waterfront

  • Better, more reliable ferry services

  • Reduced city centre port-induced congestion

  • Reaffirmed protection for the environment

For more information please refer to the following documents:

AMWB Ports V1.5

Ports Of Auckland Council MUNZ Heads Of Agreement Tripartitie Accord On Auckland's Port & Waterfront

Back to News