Court Decision Puts Northport Back on the Table

Urban Auckland’s successful High Court challenge to the consents issues to expand the Ports of Auckland should see Northport expanded instead, said New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The High Court has set aside these consents because they were issued on a non-notified basis when rightly they should have been notified,” said Mr Peters.

With such massive opposition in Auckland, the notified process is going to be long and involved and it can all be avoided if Whangarei’s Northport is used to expand sea freight instead.

“Northport is a natural deep water port with serious land resources. It does not require dredging like Auckland does. It should be a leading New Zealand port and that in turn creates a business case for an upgraded rail link to Auckland and a new rail connection to Northport. It is a testimony to successive governments neglect of Northland that this is the only port without a connection to it.

“New Zealand First also has the Waitemata Harbor Protection Bill in Parliament. If passed into law, it will ensure the Ports of Auckland is kept to its existing operational footprint. The future is not in reclaiming more of the Waitemata. Already the Auckland port has had to admit that their present plans are not adequate for the long term future.

“Northport has long been the most sensible and unencumbered option to grow sea freight in northern New Zealand,” concluded Mr Peters.