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Stop the privatisation of Auckland port

Ports of Auckland

The future of Auckland is at a critical point. Right now. Auckland Council is consulting the public on its ten year plan which includes a proposal to privatise the Port of Auckland for a generation.

MUNZ opposes this privatisation. So too should all Aucklanders. Privatising the port is an incredibly risky plan. There have been all kinds of claims made about sale price, but nobody knows what would actually happen.

What we do know is that in Australia this form of privatisation has cost local economies hundreds of millions of dollars.

Private port companies – the very same companies that would likely bid for the Auckland port – have ramped up fees and that profit has all gone offshore with little or no tax paid on it.

For example, in the last six years individual container fees at the privatised Port of Melbourne have increased from AU$35 to AU$191.

That’s come at a massive cost to Melbourne businesses and the people of Melbourne.

Now Auckland’s economy and people are at the same risk of losing out. It’s time to speak up.

As many Aucklanders as possible need to stand against this disastrous proposal. The council has to consult on this and we need to take this chance to speak up before it’s too late.

Privatisation of the port will put control of, and profits from, this monopoly infrastructure into offshore control. It will end the stream of strong port profits for the council and for Aucklanders. And it will risk the substantial increase of costs on Auckland businesses, on the people of Auckland, and on New Zealanders as a whole.

Higher port costs will also put pressure on infrastructure and create greater congestion, and carbon emissions, as trucking more freight into Auckland becomes viable.

This is one of New Zealand’s major international ports. When COVID and poor business decisions about automation led to freight delays for just a short while it cost New Zealand more than a billion dollars. That’s too much for a single council to put at risk for all of us.

MUNZ stands against this reckless idea, not just for our members as Port of Auckland workers but as Aucklanders.

If you live in Auckland – make sure you have your say.

Craig Harrison

National Secretary, MUNZ

Craig Harrison was elected the National Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand in 2020. He has wide experience as a maritime worker starting work on the waterfront in 1991, as a job delegate, and for a number of years as Assistant Secretary of MUNZ Auckland Branch Local 13.