Auckland's waterfront port land

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Our central proposal for Auckland's port land

Marsden and Captain Cook wharves are currently used for port operations like:

  • storing steel
  • timber, dry and liquid bulk cargo
  • shipping containers
  • imported vehicles.

These wharves are on Quay Street in Auckland's central waterfront area on the Waitematā Harbour.


Map showing Captain Cook Wharf, Marsden Wharf, Bledisloe Terminal and other areas managed by Port of Auckland on Auckland's central waterfront in front of Britomart and next to Auckland Downtown Ferry Terminal and Viaduct Basin.Map showing Captain Cook Wharf, Marsden Wharf and Bledisloe Terminal

Our central proposal includes a plan to make the most of our waterfront by using Captain Cook and Marsden wharves for something more useful to Aucklanders.


This could include:

  • new public amenities like open spaces
  • residential development
  • commercial development (like shopping areas, restaurants and bars).

We propose to transfer Marsden and Captain Cook wharves from Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) to direct council ownership within two to five years.

The wharves would become available for other purposes during this timeframe and current port operations would be transferred to the Bledisloe Terminal.

We also propose an option to transfer the Bledisloe Terminal to direct council ownership so it can significantly reduce port operations and become available for other uses within 15 years.

Another option is to leave the wharves as they are without making any changes to their ownership or use.

Decorative image of a cargo ship at a port with shipping containers and cranes.

Options for our wharves

Option 1: transfer ownership of Captain Cook and Marsden wharves within two to five years

This option would see legal ownership of Marsden and Captain Cook wharves transferred to Auckland Council, and current port operations transferred to the Bledisloe Terminal within two to five years.

Advantages

With this option the wharves could:

  • become available for other uses in the near future
  • provide new public facilities for Aucklanders
  • provide revenue (income) for Auckland Council if used for new commercial activities.

Disadvantages

This option could:

  • involve around $110 million of investment to relocate current port operations to the Bledisloe Terminal. The lease holder would fund this investment if we lease the port's operations. If we do not lease the port's operations, POAL will fund the investment as part of its ongoing operations. (Visit Auckland Future Fund for more information about the leasing option)
  • create additional capital (assets) and operational costs depending on the future use of the wharves
  • mean POAL would need to secure resource consent for construction works at Bledisloe North Wharf and at the POAL car handling building.

Option 2: No change

This option would mean no changes to the ownership or use of the wharves.

Advantages

The advantages of keeping the port's operations as they are would mean:

  • no additional costs for the council
  • no impact on the value of port operations.

Disadvantages

Keeping the port's operations as they are could:

  • be a lost opportunity to provide new public facilities for Aucklanders and revenue for Auckland Council
  • keep the wharves tied to port operations for a longer period of time.

Option 3: transfer ownership of Bledisloe Terminal to Auckland Council within 15 years

Option 3 would likely occur in addition to option 1 rather than instead of it.

This option would:

  • reduce the overall scale of port operations
  • see ownership of the Bledisloe Terminal transferred to Auckland Council within 15 years so it can used for other purposes.

Advantages

This option would:

  • make a large amount of waterfront land available for other uses
  • provide new public facilities for Aucklanders and revenue for Auckland Council.

Disadvantages

Transferring ownership of the Bledisloe Terminal to Auckland Council would:

  • reduce the lease prepayment (a payment you make before a debt is due) the council would otherwise receive by up to $300 million, meaning less available funds to invest in the proposed Auckland Future Fund
  • reduce POAL profits and require higher rates payments to deliver the same level of services currently funded by POAL profits and dividends (return on investment)
  • require transporting bulk cargo from outside Auckland adding costs to supply chains (the process of making and delivering products) and increasing road congestion and emissions
  • permanently reduce the space available for port operations at the city centre waterfront and limit future strategic options (ways a company can meet its long-term goals) and adapt to changes for the port.

Decorative image of a man wearing a shirt that says central while holding a large bag in one hand that says more and a smaller bag in the other hand that says less.

You should know

The information on this page is an edited version of the proposed Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document.

For more information about our proposals for our ports, see page 74-77 of the Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document [PDF 17MB].

Our central proposal for Auckland's port land

Marsden and Captain Cook wharves are currently used for port operations like:

  • storing steel
  • timber, dry and liquid bulk cargo
  • shipping containers
  • imported vehicles.

These wharves are on Quay Street in Auckland's central waterfront area on the Waitematā Harbour.


Map showing Captain Cook Wharf, Marsden Wharf, Bledisloe Terminal and other areas managed by Port of Auckland on Auckland's central waterfront in front of Britomart and next to Auckland Downtown Ferry Terminal and Viaduct Basin.Map showing Captain Cook Wharf, Marsden Wharf and Bledisloe Terminal

Our central proposal includes a plan to make the most of our waterfront by using Captain Cook and Marsden wharves for something more useful to Aucklanders.


This could include:

  • new public amenities like open spaces
  • residential development
  • commercial development (like shopping areas, restaurants and bars).

We propose to transfer Marsden and Captain Cook wharves from Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) to direct council ownership within two to five years.

The wharves would become available for other purposes during this timeframe and current port operations would be transferred to the Bledisloe Terminal.

We also propose an option to transfer the Bledisloe Terminal to direct council ownership so it can significantly reduce port operations and become available for other uses within 15 years.

Another option is to leave the wharves as they are without making any changes to their ownership or use.

Decorative image of a cargo ship at a port with shipping containers and cranes.

Options for our wharves

Option 1: transfer ownership of Captain Cook and Marsden wharves within two to five years

This option would see legal ownership of Marsden and Captain Cook wharves transferred to Auckland Council, and current port operations transferred to the Bledisloe Terminal within two to five years.

Advantages

With this option the wharves could:

  • become available for other uses in the near future
  • provide new public facilities for Aucklanders
  • provide revenue (income) for Auckland Council if used for new commercial activities.

Disadvantages

This option could:

  • involve around $110 million of investment to relocate current port operations to the Bledisloe Terminal. The lease holder would fund this investment if we lease the port's operations. If we do not lease the port's operations, POAL will fund the investment as part of its ongoing operations. (Visit Auckland Future Fund for more information about the leasing option)
  • create additional capital (assets) and operational costs depending on the future use of the wharves
  • mean POAL would need to secure resource consent for construction works at Bledisloe North Wharf and at the POAL car handling building.

Option 2: No change

This option would mean no changes to the ownership or use of the wharves.

Advantages

The advantages of keeping the port's operations as they are would mean:

  • no additional costs for the council
  • no impact on the value of port operations.

Disadvantages

Keeping the port's operations as they are could:

  • be a lost opportunity to provide new public facilities for Aucklanders and revenue for Auckland Council
  • keep the wharves tied to port operations for a longer period of time.

Option 3: transfer ownership of Bledisloe Terminal to Auckland Council within 15 years

Option 3 would likely occur in addition to option 1 rather than instead of it.

This option would:

  • reduce the overall scale of port operations
  • see ownership of the Bledisloe Terminal transferred to Auckland Council within 15 years so it can used for other purposes.

Advantages

This option would:

  • make a large amount of waterfront land available for other uses
  • provide new public facilities for Aucklanders and revenue for Auckland Council.

Disadvantages

Transferring ownership of the Bledisloe Terminal to Auckland Council would:

  • reduce the lease prepayment (a payment you make before a debt is due) the council would otherwise receive by up to $300 million, meaning less available funds to invest in the proposed Auckland Future Fund
  • reduce POAL profits and require higher rates payments to deliver the same level of services currently funded by POAL profits and dividends (return on investment)
  • require transporting bulk cargo from outside Auckland adding costs to supply chains (the process of making and delivering products) and increasing road congestion and emissions
  • permanently reduce the space available for port operations at the city centre waterfront and limit future strategic options (ways a company can meet its long-term goals) and adapt to changes for the port.

Decorative image of a man wearing a shirt that says central while holding a large bag in one hand that says more and a smaller bag in the other hand that says less.

You should know

The information on this page is an edited version of the proposed Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document.

For more information about our proposals for our ports, see page 74-77 of the Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document [PDF 17MB].

Page last updated: 02 Apr 2024, 06:48 AM