15 Mar 2012

Port financial return demand realistic, says agency

6:03 am on 15 March 2012

An Auckland Council agency is rejecting claims that new financial targets for Ports of Auckland are unrealistic.

Ports of Auckland is making up to 292 largely unionised stevedores redundant saying contractors will be more efficient.

Opponents say the council itself has put pressure on the port, by requiring it to double financial returns to 12% over five years .

The council's investment agency rejects claims that figure is unrealistic, saying the port has been doing much better in recent years.

The agency says labour flexibility was agreed last year between the port and council as part of a strategy to boost returns.

Auckland Council will on Thursday debate whether to request the port company to resume talks with the Maritime Union, to try to retain the jobs.