May 20, 2024

Aucklanders show strong opposition to port sale in new poll

The Maritime Union has released a new poll that shows an overwhelming majority of Aucklanders support keeping the Port of Auckland in public ownership.

Polling was carried out by Talbot Mills from 4–9 October 2023 on a sample of 517 Aucklanders.

In answer to the question “Do you think Aucklanders should continue to own and profit from the Auckland Port?”, 63% of respondents answered yes, 7% answered no and 30% were unsure.

In answer to the question “Mayor Wayne Brown has suggested selling the Auckland Port to overseas investors. Do you support or oppose the sale of the Port?”, 64% were opposed to the sale, 15% were in support and 21% were unsure.

Maritime Union Auckland Branch Local 13 Secretary Russell Mayn says the poll confirms Aucklanders are opposed to privatisation of the Ports of Auckland by an overwhelming majority.

The polling follows the September 2023 release of a report commissioned by the Maritime Union that detailed how port privatisation in Australia had led to major increases in port charges as private owners sought to recoup their investment.

Mr Mayn says there has been no convincing argument for port privatisation and there is no mandate for a sell off.

“This is an asset that is immensely important to Auckland’s economy and to New Zealand’s supply chain. The Mayor of Auckland needs to share the details of his privatisation plan and party leaders need to tell voters where they stand on this risky and reckless privatisation proposal.”

He says the Mayor of Auckland has a difficult job in dealing with the financial pressures on Auckland City, but the clear message is Port privatisation is not the answer.

“As the Mayor has acknowledged, the Port of Auckland is currently making good returns for Aucklanders.”

Mr Mayn says the Maritime Union is calling on Auckland Councillors who have not yet stated their position on port privatisation to confirm their views in the interests of transparency.

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