What you need to know
New Zealand’s ports, freight services and coastal shipping are critical to New Zealand’s economy, and promote opportunities for regional development and employment, as well as international freight. Understanding future freight and logistics demand is critical to ensure that New Zealand’s supply chain is fit for purpose in the longer term. The North Island supply chain is particularly important because about 55% of New Zealand’s freight originates in or is destined for the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.
In 2017, we set up a working group to complete a review of the upper North Island supply chain. The Government released the group’s final report in November 2019, and Cabinet tasked Ministry of Transport officials to work with Treasury and the Provincial Development Unit to consider the options the working group explored for moving the Port of Auckland (POAL). To help our analysis of the working group’s options and recommendations, we commissioned Sapere, an economic consultancy, to produce an independent report. The report was released in July 2020.
Finding a solution for the upper North Island supply chain strategy has many issues and implications. Officials have deferred providing any further policy analysis until 2021.
Independent report released
The Government released an independent report by Sapere on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations.
Working group’s report considered and further analysis commissioned
In December 2019, Cabinet considered the working group’s final report and noted the POAL was not viable as the upper North Island’s primary port over the long term.
Working group’s final report presented to the Government
The Government released the working group’s final report, which examined the issues around the POAL’s future and concluded that POAL freight operation in central Auckland is no longer economically or environmentally viable. The working group considered 6 scenarios to determine the most efficient arrangement of upper North Island ports.
Second interim report released
This second report built on the working group’s interim thinking and provided a strategic investigation of the upper North Island supply chain. The group focused on determining the possible options that different stakeholders had and used a strategic approach to analyse whole system performance.
Interim report released
The interim report noted the results of the working group’s initial investigations, stakeholder engagement and the main themes that had emerged.
Terms of reference decided
Cabinet agreed on terms of reference for a review that would guide the development and delivery of a supply chain strategy for the upper North Island, including ports. This work would also offer advice on the priorities for investment in rail, roads and other supporting infrastructure.