Artificial urgency has its uses, particularly when trying to cut through intractable issues.
Whether, how and where to move Auckland's port is such an issue.
And there is artificial urgency aplenty.
New Zealand First, desperate for a win to secure its return to Parliament next year after failing to shift the polls with the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund, now seeks to push its coalition partner into supporting a plan to shift the port to Northport, near Whangarei, at a cost that dwarfs the PGF.
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Its cheerleaders decry any further studies. There have been 22 port studies in the last 13 years alone, let's just get on with it, they argue.
Chief advocate of the move north, Wayne Brown, has a point when he says: "There's nothing more permanent in New Zealand than calling something temporary."
Indecision over all kinds of public infrastructure upgrades seems to be bred into New Zealand politics, notwithstanding the big boost announced this week by Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
On the other side of the argument are a port company and Auckland businesses that want to keep cargo operations at the current Auckland site for as long as possible.
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Comment: Shifting Auckland's port north may not be feasible
And there will be an almighty stoush if the answer to port relocation has even a whiff of expropriating Auckland Council's asset in support of a political argument dressed up as nation-building.
No wonder Labour is keen to put it on a slow track that will likely prevent final conclusions before the 2020 election.
In the middle of all this, and feeling far less heat than it should be, is consulting firm EY, which has managed in the space of three years both to damn and to recommend Northport as first choice for relocation, depending on the client.
Unseen from its first report, for the 2016 Future Ports Study, is the so-called Scenario 1.3: a partial move of Auckland's port to both Tauranga and Northport.
Yet that is surely the most likely medium-term outcome, with Tauranga by far the larger beneficiary.
The existence of that unpublished analysis goes to the heart of the unnecessary emergence of all-or-nothing positions on both sides of the debate.
For a start, even if a decision were taken on a future port site today, the Auckland port would still be most likely to undertake a staged, 30-plus year withdrawal from its current site, with the container wharves the last piece to go.
The incremental pace of development on the old wharf and industrial land of the Wynyard Quarter is an instructive guide to how quickly a port can simply be 'replaced'.
The move should and will take time.
And while Northland – or another port site – would expect gains over time, the biggest immediate winner will be the Port of Tauranga, which has slowly been entrenching its position as Auckland's 'second port' for years now.
The chief executive at PoT, Mark Cairns, has been conspicuous by his absence from the recent public debate.
For one thing, PoT owns a half-share of Northport. Any move to favour Northport as Auckland's new second port is likely to excite Commerce Commission interest.
And Cairns, regarded by most parties to the port debate as one of the smartest people in the room on this issue, has nothing to gain by repeating in public what he's said in private about the UNISC study, which is not appropriate for a family publication.
The reality is that Tauranga could take every single scrap of imported goods that comes over the wharves at Auckland today, and into the foreseeable future.
It is planning more than $300 million of capital spending to accommodate the freight growth it can see coming at it, and is committed to using rail to the greatest possible extent.
Unlike Northport, Tauranga is also in the right place to take additional import and export freight. Northland's exports could boom, but nothing will change its location at the top of the North Island versus Tauranga's connection to the three-city convergence happening between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
None of this means Northport is a bad option as a secondary port for Auckland as the CBD port contracts. Resilience arguments alone suggest that Auckland cannot afford to rely on weak points in Tauranga's connections to the city, particularly the one-track Kaimai Tunnel. The 2016 study put a $44b negative net present value on the cost of building a completely new port in the Firth of Thames, so it deserves a lower ranking than Northport.
However, stripped of the political heat and parochial emotion, the port shift from Auckland need not be anywhere near as dramatic as it is being built up to be.
Under foreseeable and rational choices available now, Tauranga will be the big winner, Northport will gain, and – bad news for Baby Boomers hoping for an unobstructed view of the harbour from Parnell – containers will be going over the Auckland wharves long after the last us of us has shuffled off our mortal coils.