Auckland councillors have accepted legal advice and decided not to intervene in the industrial dispute at Ports of Auckland.
Some 292 wharf workers were made redundant last week following eight months of negotiations, dispute and strike action over a new collective contract.
An extraordinary council meeting on Thursday was to consider a plan by the council-owned port company to replace the workers with contractors.
However, the meeting was given legal advice that the legislation does not allow it to intervene in the business decisions of Ports of Auckland.
A hearing is set down to determine the legality of the port's redundancy plans and councillors were told that case is a further complication.