Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said a two port solution was workable, subject to land-side infrastructure development, and would address concerns about economic land use in Auckland.
Mr Cairns agreed with the working group’s observation that the economic analysis needed some refinement, as some of the cost, future capacity and cargo forecast figures were at odds with Port of Tauranga’s data.
“We haven’t discussed the assumptions with the consultants and would welcome the opportunity to do so,” he said.
“We recently engaged Netherlands-based container terminal experts TBA Group to complete a capacity development review that shows we can accommodate up to 2.8 million TEUs per annum on our current footprint.”
“The report points out that Port of Tauranga is among the world’s 10 most efficient ports. Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s busiest port, with room to grow and the next stage of capacity expansion already under way,” he said. “There is also the opportunity to factor in the current and future freight handling capacity of the inland freight hubs in the Waikato, including the Ruakura Inland Port in Hamilton.”
Mr Cairns said freight owners would continue to choose the most reliable and cost effective supply chain.
“The working group’s challenge is to now ensure that its preferred scenario can achieve this, given the cost of developing the necessary rail and port infrastructure to unlock Northport’s potential.”