Newly elected Mayor of Auckland, Wayne Brown, has called on the Ports of Auckland to stop car imports on Bledisloe Wharf and repurpose it for the public.
Brown recently sent a letter to the council-owned port chairwoman, Jan Dawson, saying he wanted the area between the wharf and the Auckland Ferry Building cleared in a matter of six months.
“There is no one who voted for me who should have been unaware of my view that car importation and container services should cease at the current site,” he said, reports NZ Herald.
The mayor also asked the port to work with Ngāti Whātua Orakei and other community stakeholders to develop a plan and timeline for the wharf.
He expects to receive the plan by March 31 next year.
“While a passenger terminal in the CBD and berth for coastal shipping will always be needed, our strategy must involve a plan for your car importation and container operations to vacate their current location on a fixed date in the future,” he said in his letter to Dawson.
Previous attempts to move car imports away from the port have been met with backlash from the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA).
Without Bledisloe Wharf acting as a processing facility for vehicles, import capacity and delivery times will be severely impacted.
Brown also wants to see Ports of Auckland shift to a full rail transport solution to remove the need for trucks travelling through the city and to lower carbon emissions.