Sometimes Farrar says the most ridiculous things

Usually it is Wellingtonians talking about what is best for Auckland.

David Farrar is one of the worst offenders.

Today he says this:

The waterfront is now the?crown jewel in a city. It wasn?t 100 years ago, but times have changed and long-term the ports should be in places like Manukau and Petone ? industrial areas. Yes it will cost a lot to move them, but it would be w worthwhile long-term investment for better cities.

What an idiot.

Let me begin.

Firstly he shows how Wellington CBD centric he is. Auckland has two harbours…not one…and therefore more waterfronts. He is suggesting that the Waitemata waterfront is best as a jewel in?the?crown. I am sure the residents of Onehunga and surrounding suburbs would disagree, who btw would probably out number the total of Wellington residents just quietly.

Even his comment about Petone is blessed with stupidity…it is at the end of a crappy little harbour and therefore more susceptible to tides. That would require massive wharf structures and then dredging to be suitable for even tiny container ships.

While we are talking about dredging, if Farrar is to be taken seriously then the Resource Management Act would destroy his fantasies in a nano-second as the Manukau harbour is highly tidal, very shallow and would by necessity require huge dredging operations for ships to even cross the entrance let alone navigate the harbour.

The harbour has a water surface area of 394 square kilometres. There is a tidal variation of up to 4 metres, a very substantial change, especially since the harbour, being silted up with almost 10 million years of sedimentation, is rather shallow itself.

Because of the large harbour area and narrow mouth between the Manukau Heads, tidal flow is rapid and a bar at the mouth makes navigating in or out of the harbour dangerous. New Zealand’s most tragic shipwreck occurred on the bar in 1863 when HMS?Orpheus ran aground in clear weather with a loss of 189 lives. For this reason, along with the harbour’s shallowness, it is not Auckland’s favoured port, and the facilities at Onehunga are not very large compared to the other Ports of Auckland facilities on the?Waitemata Harbour on the northeast of the isthmus.

I’m not sure he even realises the vast amount of shipping traffic there is in Auckland. Right now I can see 4 ships parked up in the channel and more come and go each day. Having only that number navigate, turn and avoid each other in Manukau would require massive dredging works. At low tide navigation abilities in the Manukau are severely restricted.

I’ve only briefly mentioned the harbour entrance, which is narrow, dangerous and again highly tidal with shifting sands and a bar. A quick look at one coast…the one at Whatipu and a brief look at the history of the area should tell even the most dim-witted Wellingtonian that the Manukau Heads is a poor option for a harbour entrance for New Zealand’s premier port.

There is a pronounced sand bar across the harbour mouth which has limited shipping into the harbour since European vessels arrived in the area which had enough draught to be affected by such shallows. This limitation (which ensured an effective maximum ship size of about 1,000 tons in pre-modern times), was no barrier to early success of shipping to local ports in the harbour – but eventually meant that the Waitemata Harbour overtook the Manukau Harbour in prominence as a port location.

New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster occurred just offshore in 1863 when HMS Orpheus ran aground on the Manukau Bar and sank with the loss of 189 lives.?The area remains dangerous for watercraft

Those are just the facts, let alone spending time waiting for the Greens to object because some rare sea snail lives int eh Manukau.

The reality is that Auckland’s port is probably best located at Whangarei/Marsden Point.

That brings its own issues though, like a massive roading and in rail upgrade to ship goods from the port to Auckland…which Labour and the Greens would oppose.

Moving all that heavy transport northwards would of course clear some of the clogged lower city streets but choke the already max capacity harbour bridge. A second and third crossing would be required, which I am all for.

And while we are talking about transport…having, as Farrar suggests, the port in Manukau would necessitate awful heavy transport transfers ACROSS the city, on roads that are barely coping with traffic from the airport driving through suburban streets, let alone now dumping tens of thousands of containers a week into Onehunga for them to be transported across town into the city where the customers are.

Silly CBD centric Wellington arts, travel and lifestyle bloggers really should shut up about Auckland until they have actually bothered to live here and somewhere outside of the CBD.


– Kiwiblog