Goff calls for clarity over ferry cancellations

8:13 pm on 22 January 2020

Recent cancellations by ferry company Fullers are unacceptable and must be addressed, Auckland mayor Phil Goff says.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The mayor called a meeting with Fullers today after it cancelled three ferries on Monday, blaming cruise ship congestion.

However he has rejected calls to move where cruise ships can dock.

Goff said the inconvenience to Aucklanders was unacceptable, but discussions today with several parties were productive.

He said he had asked for a working party to explore tightening restrictions on cruise ship activity and improving communication between cruise ships and Fullers.

Cruise liners cannot berth from 7.30am to 9am, but Goff said this could be extended.

Today's meeting included Fullers, the Harbourmaster, Auckland Transport and the Ports of Auckland. Auckland Transport has maintained the cruise ships had little impact on other ships on Monday and Fullers made the decision to cancel ferries on its own accord.

"I think that there was a lack of communication," Goff said.

"We expect, the people expert, in this area to get together to sort out their differences and to come forward with one story, one interpretation and one set of recommendations - not to have conflicting stories and conflicting recommendations."

He said he had asked the working group appointed to report back "as soon as possible".

Waiheke Local Board chair Cath Handley said on Tuesday the cruise ship terminal near Auckland's Princes Wharf should be moved because it was congested.

Goff said cruise liners were a valuable source of income for the city and that was not an option being considered.

"There are more cruise liners and more ferry services being provided and more pressure on a relatively small space."

He said there instead needed to be better communication when coordinating ferry and cruise ship departures.