Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A storm in any port

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  • Russell Brown,

    Well worth a listen: Nigel Haworth, Professor of Human Resource Development at the University of Auckland and former board member of Ports of Auckland on Nine to Noon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    According Rudman:
    - Cost of offloading a container in AK: about $200
    - Same service in Sydney: aboiut $400

    The more I think about it, the more it seems that Ak Council's requirement of doubling POA's ROI to 12% is pie in the sky, CEA or not.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I heard (but can't find article) that a third contractee in 18 months had been killed at the Port of Tauranga. It is dangerous work and requires skill and above all cooperation. Both under threat at POAL.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2095 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    The $91,000 figure was something of a PR masterstroke. It had zing. Everyone started using it. And it was deeply misleading.

    It was not only misleading ,it was a downright lie.
    A stevedore at 40 hrs a week at 53 weeks, $56,187.00 before tax, by my math.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6260 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Mr Key,
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6559219/Port-protesters-block-entrance
    So many contradictions, so little time. One that sticks out to me is this,

    "Unless that's an efficient workplace, unless it's competitive, ultimately they will continue to lose business."
    The company was trying to make savings at the port to protect all its jobs, he said,
    "And I guess they have moved to this issue where they want to go to outsourcing."
    The company needed to find almost 300 workers and would take people with experience.
    "I suspect quite a lot of the people who have been made redundant will actually reapply and funnily enough get their job back just through a different vehicle... the conditions will be different."

    Not a very savvy business model but thanks for the tips.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The $91,000 figure was something of a PR masterstroke. It had zing. Everyone started using it. And it was deeply misleading.

    Why? What is the real figure and what are the assumptions? I'm guessing the median is lower and I'm also guessing it includes an assumption of overtime which is also unreasonable.

    It would be nice to know what the relevant number really is and of course at the same time what the salaries of the SET are currently set at.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I'm still trying to find the article (Stuff, Herald?), that seems to be gone...from a ports of Whangarei person suggesting that, POAL, Whangarei and Tauranga amalgamate. Auckland sells it's harbourside land, moves infrastructure north, keeps it's Southdown yards. All the ports work together with streamlined structures (I have experience with Ports of Tauranga's I.T. structure).
    Auckland gets to enjoy it's harbourside, less trucks and motorway expense for that hideous Parnell motorway on change, more rail...
    Apparently the costings have been done and the major cost, that is not that substantial (150m?) is to upgrade the rail link to North Port, Whangarei. That cost is significantly less than the continued need to maintain or upgrade the Parnell on change for trucks - not including Mr Joyce's proposed super heavy trucks.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I think one issue lurking in a background is the justification for having the Port at Auckland at all.

    It seems to me there is a lot of logic in the argument that the whole venture could be more efficiently run at an entirely different site.

    With that prospect lurking in the background then if the managers of POAL want to keep the port at all and hence their jobs, they need to demonstrate a return on investment greater that that which could be achieved by turning the land to other uses.

    In short if the land is worth more as apartments and offices than it is as a port then the managers of POAL are out of a job.

    So they'll do anything to increase the return. That basically means cutting costs to the bare bones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Attachment

    I heard (but can’t find article) that a third contractee in 18 months had been killed at the Port of Tauranga.

    Bay of Plenty Times
    From Steve Barnes link over at the unwarranted risk thread

    Bear in mind Tony Gibson set up Ports of Tauranga before comimg to do the same in Auckland after having worked for Maersk line after P&O Line.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6260 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    I'm still trying to form an opinion on all of this. Rod Oram came out with some strong arguments in favour of POAL last week, which was interesting. Is any of what he was saying untrue?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    The more I think about it, the more it seems that Ak Council's requirement of doubling POA's ROI to 12% is pie in the sky, CEA or not.

    And the CCO structure put in place by Rodney Hide was likely a calculated attempt to put PoAL, and other companies of its ilk, outside the control of its shareholders. Unaccountability that makes Wall Street look like the Red Cross.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    This struck me from the Metro editorial.

    POA is carrying so much debt and is required to pay such heavy dividends it cannot invest in its own future properly. Last year, interest on the debt was $20.7m

    Love to know how the debt was accrued- and what the figure (whatever it is) for POA ‘equity’ is based on. ROE appears to be one major factor in the dispute- which raises the question: how has ‘equity’ been defined and assessed?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    This article is close but not the one I was looking for,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/transport/news/article.cfm?c_id=97&objectid=10789832
    Rail versus roads again. Now if we own POAL, how come we have no say?
    Oh and those container cranes, they are stationary engines (as in train), and the people who drive them are stationary engine drivers (as in rail). The Cook Strait ferry is deemed a connection of the main trunk railway line.
    All these things seem linked. As does Marsden Point. Namely the council needs to have a peak oil based strategy for us...nek minnit.
    Also this seems apposite,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10791365
    Clearly defined responsibilities

    Under the current Local Government Act, councils are responsible for promoting the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities, in the present and for the future. This very broad purpose can be (and is) used as a justification, and community expectation, for almost anything.
    Without this clarity councils often stray into activities which could be considered the role of the Government or the private sector such as subsidised housing or car races.
    The Government must give more clarity about what local government should do and, more importantly, should not do. Councils need to be able to explain their decisions for focusing more on the delivery of traditional services and push back on the numerous requests for funding marginal activities.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    Personally I'd shut down PoAL altogether and move the North Island's main port to Tauranga. Currently they simply compete with each other, we duplicate the costs for little gain and could use the money from the sale of the land on the waterfront to pay for a harbour crossing/light rail link/free puppy for every household/venture of the day.

    But that's just me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 174 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Why? What is the real figure and what are the assumptions? I’m guessing the median is lower and I’m also guessing it includes an assumption of overtime which is also unreasonable.

    I understand it includes the cost of non-cash remuneration such as health insurance provided by the employer.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to merc,

    What about all the stuff being trucked from Tauranga to and from Auckland?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I don't get the question.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Perhaps more relevant questions might be
    How much of what comes into Auckland actually stays in Auckland as opposed to being sent elsewhere
    and
    How much of what goes out of Auckland actually comes from Auckland as opposed to being made elsewhere

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Why? What is the real figure and what are the assumptions? I’m guessing the median is lower and I’m also guessing it includes an assumption of overtime which is also unreasonable.

    I understand it includes the cost of non-cash remuneration such as health insurance provided by the employer.

    Yes the question will be how far "down the stack" that number goes - is it a full "cost per employee" including things like lunchrooms etc etc or is it just salary plus bonus plus benefits stuff. Presumedly it's somewhere in the middle...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Presumedly it’s somewhere in the middle…

    POA management don't seem the sort to seek a happy middle ground. It probably includes a pro rata management fee :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Well, yeah. You'd notice, if you ever drive south, a whole lot of big sheds where they make and store stuff. These are a remnant of the 20th century and are called "factories" and "warehouses".

    I would guess that they have some need for a port to ship stuff overseas. If the port closed, they might either truck the stuff they deal with to Tauranga, or move their operations elsewhere.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Brislen,

    Personally I’d shut down PoAL altogether and move the North Island’s main port to Tauranga. Currently they simply compete with each other, we duplicate the costs for little gain and could use the money from the sale of the land on the waterfront to pay for a harbour crossing/light rail link/free puppy for every household/venture of the day.

    But that’s just me.

    I still think Auckland should have a working port, especially if the alternative is yet more luxury apartments. But this needs some high-level thinking of a kind that is difficult to achieve when the various ports are trying to cut each other's throats, to the delight of Maersk and company.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    What Bart said
    But think about it, bulk of NZ population lives in Auckland, all the stuff it uses (apart from food) comes from off shore, dragging it from another port seems........trying to think of the word here......stupid

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah I've been Sth and noticed those odd buildings and had no clue what ...

    nah too much sarcasm for one day

    The point is "is it more efficient to ship those goods to and from the Auckland port through the heart of the city or more efficient to use another port?"

    And I'm not being silly about this but I'm just aware that sometime the obvious answer (closest port) is not the best answer.

    I tend to think that we probably need some level of port in Auckland but I also am not certain that we need as much as we have nor that we need to expand what we have.

    While Russell may not want more luxury apartments there may still be better uses of that land in the centre of our city. And by better I mean better for all New Zealand not just better for developers or better for councilors.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

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