Auckland Transport is investigating the feasibility of building a commuter ferry wharf and 200 car-parking spaces at Te Atatu.
The Te Atatu Residents and Ratepayers' Association welcomes the study, but with a strong proviso that the council organisation keeps its hands off harbour view land north of the motorway bridge across the Whau River.
Spokeswoman Rachel Swarbrick says that, having been involved in legal action to protect the land from other development, it wants the study to focus on the Te Atatu Boat Club for a ferry wharf site.
Te Atatu Labour MP Phil Twyford says he is confident the feasibility study, which he understands will be completed within weeks, will look closely at all issues before coming up with the best option.
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Although a ferry service was no substitute for an efficient mass transit system, which he is campaigning for in the form of a separate busway beside the motorway, it would provide an attractive alternative.
Mrs Swarbrick said Te Atatu's bus services were "extremely bad" and there was strong support for an alternative from residents.