Cargo ships may continue to use part of central Auckland's waterfront earmarked for a showcase cruise passenger terminal.
Auckland Regional Council is supporting a feasibility study into the possible mixed use of Queens Wharf.
Ports of Auckland managing director Jens Madsen says it will not be easy for fruit and car importers who use the wharf to move.
However, Mr Madsen says the length of time it would take to transform the wharf into a passenger terminal would give Ports of Auckland the opportunity to rehouse them if necessary.
He welcomes the decision to look at whether the cargo business could co-exist with the cruise liner terminal, but says Ports of Auckland has assured its customers it will work to protect their interests.
Mr Madsen says an international-standard cruise terminal would be an asset for Auckland and New Zealand.