News: 12 February 2015
Like many great cities, the location of the fledgling settlement of Auckland was chosen because it was an ideal place for a port and developed as a consequence.
The city grew around the Port, and as the city grew, waterfront development, land reclamation, more wharves and infrastructure followed.
The actual waterfront has moved many times as reclamation pushed further seawards, filling in areas that were marshy, shallow or just inconvenient. Victoria Park and The Strand in Parnell are a couple of good examples of these reclamations.
News added by: Don Malcolm 12 February 2015
Naturally enough, traders built warehouses and stores around the port, many of which still remain today, (as apartments and office blocks) relying on easy access and convenience.
Over time and with progress, the era of all cargo being man handled and transported by horse and cart eventually gave way to the advent of mechanisation, containerisation, bigger trucks and greater efficiencies. Whilst, by pure necessity of the requirement of space and resultant cost, the warehouses moved further from the port, to Penrose and Onehunga, the Airport and Wiri, no one has been able to put forward any viable or sensible options for moving the Port.
For reasons best known to themselves, the powers that be have allowed the Port to become a victim of its own success, and like those lovies who move into trendy areas near the Zoo and Western Springs, who and then complain about the roaring of lions or the sound of midget race cars, there are those who would see the Port hamstrung, or better still, banished to places unknown so the existing area can be “opened up for public recreation”.
Whilst some have been ever critical of the Port’s requirement to grow to cope with the ever increasing needs of the city, the Council has been very appreciative of the considerable revenue it generates.
The willingness of the “Left” to treat the Port as a political football serves little purpose other than to add considerable costs to the people of Auckland – the carriers whose trucks lie idle for hours due to inefficiencies caused in part by the constraints of space have to pass on the costs to someone.
Whilst it may not suit everyone’s agenda, and there will be the inevitable trade-offs, it is a dead certainty that there will be a considerable price to pay if development cannot continue – all businesses need to move with the times, to occasionally tear down the old and to rebuild anew, and the Port is no different.