Auckland Mayor Len Brown is urging calm among councillors, after defiant comments from the Ports of Auckland leadership over the wharf expansion dispute.
He has called senior legal and governance advisors to a briefing of the Super City's governing body at 3.30pm on Tuesday, by which time he hopes for a formal response from the council-owned port company to a request to stop extending Bledisloe Wharf into Waitemata Harbour.
"This may then require formal decision-making by the Governing Body, which would be possible as an extraordinary item of business on Thursday," he said in a memo to councillors this afternoon.
Calls among councillors for the port company's board to be sacked are understood to be likely, although any such move would have to be done through Auckland Council Investments Ltd.
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Mr Brown has taken a dim view of comments by the company's chair, Graeme Hawkins, broadcast by Radio New Zealand today indicating the board has no intention of stopping work which began this week on two huge extensions to the wharf.
"I am disappointed that this continues to be played out in the media, and will be conveying that to the chair," the mayor said his memo.
"I urge all of us to keep calm heads and work through a considered process that will reach a robust and enduring solution."
Mr Brown said he had asked, through council chief executive Stephen Town, for a formal response from the company by the beginning of next week to a council resolution to put the extensions on hold pending a year-long port study.
But Mr Hawkins indicated to Radio NZ that a formal response may still be a week away to what he said was a request, not an instruction, and that council politicians were close to crossing a line meant to keep them out of business decisions.
He said his directors did not have to do what the owner wanted if they considered that to be against the company's interests, and indicated it would be his legal duty to resign rather than back down over the impasse.