If proponents of moving Auckland's port north believe this will alleviate the city's traffic congestion (NZ Herald, December 2), the numbers are against them. Between 300 and 400 trucks serve the
port on an average day, a number dwarfed by the 170,000 vehicles a day using the Harbour Bridge, for example.
Road congestion is the result of an increasing population using more and more cars. Various surveys have shown trucks account for between 7 per cent and 8.9 per cent of motorway traffic. If the port moves north, the only difference in truck traffic will be the starting point at the proposed West Auckland inland port rather than the downtown port.
Some 16.2 per cent of the nation's entire freight movements occur within Auckland and won't change either.
The numbers are also against a shift of freight from road to rail. Between 2012 and 2017, the tonnes/kilometre carted by rail dropped 17 per cent while trucks carried 16 per cent more and coastal ships 12 per cent more.
Rail is most efficient at moving large freight volumes over long distances. The 140km from Marsden Point to Auckland is so short that a truck picking up a container at the Northland port could deliver it to Marua Rd or Rosebank Rd before a train was even loaded.
In an era where deliveries by drone are being trialled and electric trucks are already at work, it's difficult to see a burgeoning future for 19th-century technology.
Jon Addison, Milford.
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The discussion of the future of the Ports of Auckland has moved to another stage.
In recent weeks we've had Wayne Brown, chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group, quoting the waterfront land as being worth $6 billion.
Auckland Ports CEO Tony Gibson said that was wrong, "... skilled and experienced valuers say the land is worth less than a billion dollars."
I've heard Waterfront 2029 spokesperson Michael Goldwater say that three years ago a valuer put the value of the land at $3 billion.
You'd think that accurate information would be needed for sensible, reasoned public debate.
What value on that?
Peter Nicholson, Ruatangata.
Though a political cliché being "quoted out of context" can mitigate some singularly insensitive or just plain dumb utterances of public figures, surely the reported comments in your Port in a Storm piece (NZ Herald, December 2) of Chris Carr, Tony Gibson and David Vinsen are so gratuitously self-serving and just plain arrogant makes you realise what an entitled and self-serving business model these guys operate in.
From people who believe the moon is made of cheese that alludes to Aucklanders who want to get a used-car operation off our prime waterfront, to a CEO who green-lighted a five-storey soon-to-be white elephant Bledisloe Wharf car park, to a self-interested car importer sneering at our city's aspirations for a good life beyond the Red Fence you have to wonder what world these guys inhabit.
If it's their intention to head off what's an increasingly apparent relocation of a root-bound port operation, they could start acting like real business leaders and work on future proofing their respective operations. That or go down in history as yesterday's men who failed to understand how to change gear when it really mattered.
Phil O'Reilly, Auckland Central.
Simon Wilson's articles are certainly going to make for a good read over the next week.
The case so far for moving Auckland's port to a location 150km north is underwhelming
and based on the best spin possible from parties more likely than not to be blinded by ulterior motives and vested interests.
Some questions that go well beyond the wishful thinking of a few are basic but fundamental:
• Northport, situated at the entrance to a very tidal and narrow waterway, would appear to have serious limitations as a substitute port
• The southern section of SH1 on Brynderwyn Hills is probably the most dangerous section of road in the country and any additional use in a port freighting capacity would be both reckless and irresponsible
• The validation of every detail and stage of the project will need to be "watertight" otherwise NZ Inc will potentially face catastrophic economic losses
The clock maybe ticking but action must be supported by the detail otherwise its validation by trial and error that will not have a happy outcome.
Bruce Eliott, St Heliers.
The article by Professor Boyd Swinburn (NZ Herald, December) is another call for food safety action by all parents and grandparents. Our governments are failing us. The health and safety of our present and future children is at stake.
There are adverse consequences for adults also, where obesity and its attendant diabetes, heart disease and other outcomes are rampant. Indeed, the health and safety of our health system itself is at stake. As an American nutrition scientist said, "if 'food' comes in a cellophane wrapper, tear it open, empty out the contents and eat the wrapper - you'll be better off".
So, if the food health and safety of our children, our adults and our very health system itself is not enough for governments to act decisively, then it is over to us - shun unhealthy foods, the manufacturers of unhealthy foods, and challenge politicians, who either don't care or are captives of the processed food industries.
Governments shout about prevention of disease needing to be the focus but end up doing nothing effective in one of a government's most important responsibilities – healthy food. Why does this happen? We need to know.
Patrick Frengley, Remuera.
It would be disappointing if comments attributed to Tau Henare at Thursday's hui were correctly reported. "Hate speech" only serves to further distress people and drive groups further apart.
Much of the distress about this issue is a result of poor communication by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority (TMA) which seems to be ongoing, judging by the lack of publicity about the recent hui.
Everyone involved cares deeply about the maunga. Most people concerned about the tree removal accept the vision of the TMA to restore it to conditions which would have existed before all human settlement (including Māori).
We are asking the TMA to consider a compromise, leaving a few of the mature trees (perhaps some of the beautiful old oak trees) for a staged removal of over a longer period. This would allow large native birds such as keruru a chance to relocate, and also allow some shelter and an increased chance of survival for the planted native seedlings.
J M Neutze, Mt Albert.
Accidents happen. Thousands of people die on our roads and workplaces.
For the families of every one of these there is grief and trauma to be dealt with over succeeding years. None of the bereaved expect public memorials or apologies; and it's unlikely many would want or find comfort in an ugly concrete and steel walkway-going-nowhere in a nice green public park.
Please, Jacinda, act like a Minister for the Arts with good taste, and spare us this piece of arty junk.
C K Stead, Parnell.
Short & sweet
Value released from realisation of the port property, reportedly for $6 billion, would allow Auckland Council to progress its other essential infrastructural capital developments. Any proposal relating to the port must, as a minimum, deliver this payback. Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
John Key's claim that unless we move the port we will never be able to compete with Sydney is somewhat specious. We do not and never will compete with Sydney. Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
Exporting our garbage is a truly immoral concept and must be stopped. Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
In its infinite wisdom, Auckland Council taketh away e-scooters and giveth back almost twice as many. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Wherever the proposed memorial ends up, a miniature should be commissioned and permanently affixed to the Air New Zealand board table. P D Patten, Albany.
Many thanks to R Dalziell, pilot on the November 7 flight to the Antarctica, for keeping my husband and many others safe during their once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Antarctica. June Krebs, Sunnyhills.
Thank you Simon for having the guts to confront the major issue that is facing the demographic that built this nation. Graham Steenson, Whakatāne.
Is it really common sense or a totally uneducated decision to decimate over 400-plus colonial trees, the canopies of which do so much to help offset climate change? Cecilia Forrest, Howick.