Cruise liners visiting Auckland could face longer early morning berthing restrictions as Waitematā Harbour users try to resolve ferry disruptions.

A jammed harbour this week saw ferry services cancelled after the operator Fullers said two docking cruise ships caused congestion and tied up outside their schedule.

Two Devonport ferries and one from Waiheke were cancelled on Tuesday, with residents saying it was part of a string of hold-ups over the past week.

"We've got a pretty frustrated community over on Waiheke at the moment," said Chloe Barker, a local resident.


Auckland Transport maintains the cruise ships were not to blame, saying the Auckland Harbourmaster found the ships' impact on other vessels on Tuesday morning was negligible.

Fullers said: "We have requested an urgent intervention with Auckland authorities and those that oversee the cruise ship activity to find an immediate and long-term solution for everybody."

Cruise ships are not allowed to enter the ferry basin on weekdays between 7.30am and 9am and 4.30pm and 6pm.

Mayor Phil Goff responded yesterday by convening urgent talks with the ferry company, AT, the Ports of Auckland and local political figures.

He said that as a result a working group chaired by the harbourmaster, and involving interested parties, including a cruise-ship industry representative, would try to resolve the issues.

Goff asked the group to consider extending the current 7.30am until 9am berthing restriction, look at safety issues during berthing and improving communications among the port users.

He has asked the group to report as soon as possible.

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