February 27, 2024

Aucklanders – including government voters – strongly reject Auckland port privatisation

New Talbot Mills polling on behalf of the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) shows a vast majority of Aucklanders are against the proposal to privatise the Auckland Port – including a majority of voters for each of the current coalition government parties.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the new polling shows no appetite for the costly and risky privatisation. 

“Eighty percent of Aucklanders who vote New Zealand First are against this proposal, and even a majority of Act voters don’t like it.

“Anyone can see that whatever dollars the council gets for selling the rights to the port the new operator will need to take just as much and a big profit margin from the Auckland economy over the term of the lease.

“The Mayor wants to talk about what the council could do with $2 billion more in the bank, but that money and much more will come out of Auckland businesses pockets, and the pockets of Aucklanders if privatisation goes ahead. You can’t talk about privatising this strategic asset without looking at both sides of the balance sheet for Auckland – there’s no magic money here.

“But it’s not just Aucklanders who would pay for privatising the port. It is a nationally strategic asset that acts as a gateway for our economy. Any private operator would seek to exploit that position and would have the resources and the incentive to challenge any attempts to increase competition such as expanding operations at other ports.

“Now that the council has agreed to take this unfit proposal out to Aucklanders it is important that the real costs and risks of privatisation are made clear. 

“Privatising the port is being pitched as a way to get cash now, but it will be Aucklanders and Kiwi businesses that pay the price for it for a generation.”

Notes on polling

Polling of 1034 Aucklanders was conducted over the period 14 November to 12 December 2023. Full results and methodology are available here. This aligns with earlier polling on this issue that can be found here.

MUNZ notes that methodology (including the question asked) for the Mayor’s Curia poll on this issue has still not been released.

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