The summer cruise ship season is causing consternation among commuters who receive regular notifications alerting them of ferry delays or cancellations.
The responsibility of scheduling the arrival and departure of cruise ships sits with the Ports of Auckland, and the Harbourmaster can adjust timings only on the grounds of maritime safety. Ports of Auckland publish cruise ship arrival and departure information on their website months in advance. To negate any hold-ups cruise ships are not allowed to manoeuvre within the ferry basin between peak times of 7.30am and 9am, and 4.30pm and 6pm. A Ports of Auckland spokesperson says these regulations are being adhered to.
A POAL spokesperson also told Gulf News that they were unable to answer the question, “If these times are being strictly adhered to, why are ferry cancellations and delays still occurring regularly?”
“As you say, we’re keeping to the times designated for cruise ships to berth and depart. We have no idea why Fullers360 are taking this new approach.”
Harbourmaster Andrew Hayton says he believes Fullers360 have introduced a policy preventing their masters entering or leaving a basin when a cruise ship is docking.
“I’m afraid I can’t make ferries enter and leave if they choose not to,” he says.
The decision to cancel or delay a ferry sits with Fullers360, not Auckland Transport, and Waitematā and Gulf Ward councillor Pippa Coom says she believes Fullers360 needs to “take responsibility for the reasons for any cancellations and ensure that customers receive clear communications well in advance”.