A stop-work meeting of Ports of Auckland's front line workers is underway to discuss systemic health and safety issues uncovered at the country's main imports gateway.
About 140 members of the Maritime Union of New Zealand are attending. Despite being invited, no company representatives have shown.
The union has about 164 stevedore members but some could not attend because of work commitments, general secretary Craig Harrison said.
The port company has been approached for comment.
The union, along with some leaders of the port worker community, have called for the resignation of port chief executive Tony Gibson.
Worker safety concerns have been simmering at the port for years. Since 2017 there have been three deaths involving the port. The site also has a history of serious injuries.
Tensions have spilled over with the recent publication of an independent review of the port's health and safety culture which revealed systemic failures.
The review by Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHSNZ) was commissioned by the port's owner, Auckland Council.
It found "systemic problems at POAL in relation to critical Health and Safety risk management and organisational culture that relate to Health and Safety" and "opportunities for significant improvement".
While the port company is wholly owned by Auckland Council, it operates under the umbrella of the Port Companies Act 1988, meaning the council cannot cut across operational management.
But Mayor Phil Goff said his ordering of the independent review was an unprecedented step towards addressing safety concerns and said he was demanding accountability from the board of directors, which the council can influence.
At a press conference following release of the review's findings, the mayor said the question of confidence in chief executive Tony Gibson is a matter for the board.
"I don't hire and fire the chief executive," he said.
Goff said the board and a number of new appointees are in no doubt as to their role in ensuring proper oversight of governance of the chief executive and management.
"If the board doesn't carry out its role then they will be replaced," he said.
"I have made it very clear to the chair of the ports that changes need to be made to the way the ports run and it is my expectation that he and the board will hold management accountable for these changes. Council in turn will hold the board accountable."