The Auckland Mayor rejected Dubai’s port purchase attempts in Auckland, which is wise as our entire economy now relies on imports. Dubai likely see us as suckers after we wasted $53M at their expo in 2020. This government are ensuring that we won’t have any farm goods to export, so there was no need to market ourselves.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has advised foreign port operators and their investment partners not to waste their investors’ funds on proposals to take control of Auckland’s waterfront port land, either by purchase or long-term lease.
Brown was responding to a story in today’s Herald that Dubai-based DP World and Montréal-based CDPQ were looking at a possible takeover of Auckland’s ailing port company.
One source said senior executives from DP World could be in Auckland as early as next week for talks on securing a lease to run Ports of Auckland.
This would be under the operator company/property company – “opco/propco” – model that would see ratepayers continue to own the CBD-based port land and DP World secure a long-term lease to run the port business.
Brown said there are no circumstances in which the Auckland Council governing body would ever agree to sell the port land or enter into a lease agreement that would lock it into used-car and container port operations for decades.
“It is well known I am utterly opposed as mayor,” he said.
A majority of the 20 Auckland councillors are also opposed to the sale of the port.
A source said meetings have been scheduled next week in Auckland for senior executives from DP World, including Asia Pacific & Australasia CEO and managing director Glen Hilton, his business development manager Sean Barrett and senior Vice President for finance and business development Anil Mohta.
The source said the executives plan to meet with the NZ Super Fund, Ports of Auckland, and officers at Auckland Council, which owns the port company and its CBD-based waterfront land.
DP World is a global port operator based in Dubai with more than 70 marine and inland terminals in 40 countries, including four container terminals in Australia.
CDPQ is a Quebec-based pension fund, with funds of about $390 billion worldwide, that made an unsolicited bid through its infrastructure arm with the NZ Super Fund in 2018 to build light rail in Auckland.