26 Nov 2017

Northport denies grab for Auckland business

9:22 am on 26 November 2017

Northport said the launching of its vision for its port at Marsden Point is not a grab for business from Auckland.

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Photo: Supplied / Northport

The port, which is jointly owned by Marsden Maritime Holdings and the Port of Tauranga, has published its vision for growth and is seeking public discussion on it.

It includes doubling the length of its wharf to 1390m and increasing its land area from 48 to 75 hectares.

In the recent election campaign, New Zealand First suggested the Ports of Auckland should be shifted to Northland.

The party's coalition agreement with Labour includes a commitment to look at the feasibility of moving Auckland's port somewhere else, with a statement that Northland would be given serious consideration in any study.

Northport chief executive Jon Moore said no decisions on extending the port had been made yet.

A wharf expansion would not need to extend north into the harbour but would increase its existing wharf east and west, he said.

There had been a lot of talk about what should happen at Northport and that included incorrect statements that it was not possible to grown Northport beyond its existing size, Mr Morre said.

The Government's upper North Island port and freight study would address the issue and Northport's vision plan would assist with that.

Northport was well positioned to support economic growth in both Northland and Auckland, he said.

The company said cargo volumes had more than doubled since the port opened in 2002, to a record 3.64 million tonnes last financial year.

Ship calls have increased from 93 a year to 250 over the same period.

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