NRT: Bringing Ports of Auckland to heel

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, May 7th, 2012 - 11 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, infrastructure, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Over the past few months, we’ve seen Auckland City’s wholly-owned port, Ports of Auckland, waging war against its own workforce, costing the city millions of dollars in lost dividends. Now, the Auckland Council has acted, requiring its intermediate Auckland Council Investments Limited to impose “good employer” provisions on its subsidiaries. Which should end the current dispute permanently. “Good employers” don’t contract out their workforce to the lowest bidder, and work with their local unions, not against them.

I’m glad the Auckland Council has finally seen sense and reined in its rogue port. But shouldn’t they be demanding accountability as well? Port management has wasted millions of dollars of ratepayer’s money pursuing this pointless dispute – and they need to lose their jobs for it.

11 comments on “NRT: Bringing Ports of Auckland to heel”

  1. BLiP 1

    WTF? The council has done nothing like “bringing the Port to heel”.

    . . . The Auckland City Council has directed its investment company Auckland Council Investments Limited (ACIL) to endeavour to ensure that Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) comply with ACIL’s personnel policy and good employer provisions, and work with the Council to agree the best productivity target for the Port . . .

    All the council has done is told ACIL to “endeavour” to do its fucking job! Good grief. Thanks Rodney, you da best. Oh, and Len, do you want to be Mayor of Auckland or what? Piss or get off the pot. We need leadership not fucking management and PR bullshit.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      I think you are right here. The Council can only change POAL by changing the board and their hands are partly tied here. When the Ports arent even following the law on employment issues, what chance they will obey their distant shareholders

    • Dr Terry 1.2

      Yes, the word “endeavour” stands out like a sore thumb! How tame can they be, afraid of issuing an “instruction”. Now we must wait for employers to “act in good faith” I expect (we might spend long in waiting!!)

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    yeah, Rodders and Mark Ford etc created a corporatist structure that not enough people detected, Phil Twyford, the odd 10,000 or so hikoi members and a few hundred politics junkies excepted.

    The small ACIL concession if it is one, only happened due to the local and international solidarity generated by the wharfies.

  3. irascible 3

    Hide’s agenda, supported by KeY, was to strip the Councils of their roles as managers of the cities and their council assets so that central govt could over rule decisions made to protect ratepayers’ assets and social provisions and thus asset strip the country for the benefit of their corporate sponsors. The PoAL was the jewel they wanted first….
    The super-city was legislation to legitimise corporate corruption in the name of nactional policy.

    • ad 4.1

      Council can pass as many strategies as they like, but if the time it has taken to get even a basic change to the ACIL SOI like “Be a good employer” ( a CCO SOI requirement anyway), then turning anything from a new strategy into a Ports reality will just be another shelved report.

      The best thing the Mayor could do – even now – would be to pick up the phone to the Mayors of Tauranga and generate a common rate card for Ports landing charges.

      The real driver of all of these changes to the Ports productivity is the price it charges its customers, particularly Maersk. The only way to stop Maersk playing ports off who in turn play each other off in New Zealand, is to have a common rate.

      If there is a case for a service oligopoly like ports to be regulated, well all the ports should face up to the competition watchdog and make the case for exactly that, just as they do with our airport landing charges. Air New Zealand is in the middle of another round of this in the High Court.

      Meantime, Auckland Council should simply dissolve ACIL and turn the Ports back under direct Council control. It is not a specific part of the Auckland 2009 Legislation, so no change there required. From there they can sack any board they like directly.

      Or from there they dcould turn Ports of Auckland into a Council department – like Stormwater – and dissolve the company structure itself. Strip out some fo the corproate duplication.

  4. james 111 5

    Dont see much change private contractors will be running the Port before to long

  5. John72 6

    Surely the results are demonstrating that the presant management is not competant. They need fresh blood. Some one who cares about people, not money. Perhaps the Port of T. could show them how to do it?
    For $35/hr (+ a bed) I would give it a go. At that rate you would know that I was there for the “challenge of the job”, not a big dollar.
    Personal relationship has been the Archillies Heel of the exercise. Auckland is too big to understand humility.

  6. John72 7

    (Quote M. Scott Peck) “Dividing into compartments happens in every large organisation. It happens in governments, businesses, hospitals, universities, churches. When any institution becomes so large and compartmentalized, with departments and sub-departments, then the conscience of the institution will become so fragmented and diluted as to be virtually nonexistant. The organisation might even become evil. ”
    Is this happening to the Auckland City Council and the Union.?

  7. John72 8

    The subject appears to be DEAD.
    Is the port working again? If so, why did the success happen so quietly. Is the media embarrassed?
    I will assume a lack of comment to imply agreement.

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