Monday, February 16, 2009

Pier 2 Auckland

We mustn't forget the other end of our commuting ordeal, the wharf system in Auckland City, which is maintained and financed by (mostly) the passenger levies on Waiheke travellers. The dispute between Auckland City and Fullers over the wharf tax (which is in practice a "departure tax" similar to what used to be levied separately at Auckland International Airport) is still ongoing and unresolved and still being collected by Fullers and still sitting in a high interest earning account. But that isn't the subject of my entry here.

This morning the 8am Superflyte docked at the western end of Pier 2, where the Halfmoon Bay ferries depart from. It has for years had an impressive double gangway, complete with a somewhat aesthetically pleasing canopy and hydraulic floatation and levitation devices. The problem is that it has been months (I can't recall the last time) since it has last been used by disembarking passengers. All have to use the lower gangway, no matter how heavy the demand is, leading to delays in disembarkation. Why is this? Is it another engineering white elephant like the Matiatia $360,000 sheep run? Does anyone actually know, let alone care? Hello, come in, ARTA?


C4FFF member said...

There needs to be a lot more transparency about the wharf tax. I can't help wondering if the money collected in that high interest account is what made the most recent reduction possible, with no impact on the profits of Fullers. And why is ACC so silent on this? And what bits of infrastructure does it cover? With ARTA, ACC and Fullers all owning different bits of the wharf, who owns the bit you disembarked on today? It's a complete unregulated mess and needs to be sorted out, soon!

Don said...

Another point to note is that the levy for users of the wharf in Auckland is the same for all services leaving / arriving there.
However in Waiheke's case we cross one ARTA wharf per trip whereas most other services cross two ARTA wharfs per trip but incur only one levy charge per trip. This means that we are paying (in effect) twice the amount for use of pier 2 than other ferry services in Ak. This probably explains why a quick comparison between the conditions on pier one and pier two give us such a better "Wharf Experience" (not)