The Maritime Union says Ports of Auckland is back on track and there is no need to “mess with success.”
The Union was responding to news of a review of the Ports of Auckland by Flagstaff Consulting Group being funded by the Mayor’s office.
Maritime Union Auckland Branch Secretary Russell Mayn says the history of the Ports of Auckland in recent decades provides one lesson.
“When there is pragmatic management that works with the workforce, and focuses on getting the basics right, we get a successful port.”
Mr Mayn says stated goals for the Ports of improving safety, operating performance and return on assets are all positive and are all being achieved.
He says the turnaround of the Ports performance in the last year has been remarkable.
“The Ports of Auckland is rapidly improving dividends, it has dumped the failed automation project, it has transformed the workplace culture by working with the Union, and it has taken leadership in areas like health and safety.”
My Mayn warns that part-privatization or multiple operators in terminals elsewhere often led to a destructive process.
“Wages, conditions, and health and safety become bargaining chips, and it would move us further away from the integrated, focussed plan we need for New Zealand ports.”
Mr Mayn says it is not a good time to introduce further uncertainty around New Zealand’s major import port.
“New Zealand will continue to experience shocks to its supply chain, whether from extreme weather, pandemics, or a volatile global situation, and we need to be firming up our capability.”
Mr Mayn says Mayor Wayne Brown has in the past expressed his concern about the performance of the Ports of Auckland, which was reasonable since the previous management and Board had made many errors.
Likewise, there was a widely agreed need to develop other ports in the northern region to cater for the growing freight task.
“However, our view is the Ports of Auckland is now on an extremely promising trajectory which will deliver dividends to the people of Auckland while maintaining its important strategic role in the supply chain.”
“We need to let the Ports do its job.”