Gulf 2025 was born out of NZIER report quantifying the value and potential of ferries; report reveals ferries save Auckland up to $16.6 million per year through reduced congestion
Fullers360, the iconic Auckland ferry company, introduces Gulf 2025: a bold plan to encourage greater prioritisation of ferry planning. Gulf 2025 is outlined in Fullers360’s report Unifying the Hauraki Gulf and calls for commercial and public collaboration and investment across the Hauraki Gulf to meet Auckland’s exponential population and visitor growth.
The report details the extensive benefits of ferry travel to Auckland as qualified by New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER): Ferries decrease road traffic congestion, reduce carbon emissions, increase productivity and contribute to the economy, boost tourism spending, and improve social and community connectivity and wellbeing.
Auckland not equipped to cater for growing population
Auckland’s population is anticipated to reach two million by 2029, and research from NZIER commissioned by Fullers360, found ferry passenger numbers are forecasted to reach 8.59 million by 2025 – this is up from the 6.16 million who travelled the Hauraki Gulf in the year to March 2018.
Fullers360 Chief Executive Officer, Mike Horne, says growth in ferry patronage is exciting, but it means increased pressure on the fleet and wharf infrastructure across Auckland – and on commuters and visitors.
“Currently, Auckland does not have the infrastructure to support the numbers expected in 2025 – nor the large-scale events we’re hosting before then, such as America’s Cup in 2021,” Mr. Horne says. “We require more vessels, more routes and improved wharf infrastructure to cater to these numbers.”
Collaborative Gulf 2025 investment will expand Auckland’s opportunities
To service this growth, Auckland will need to invest in developing new commuter and visitor routes and greater frequency on current routes in under-served, high-growth areas, such as Hobsonville Point. Gulf 2025 also calls for a tourist-style hub for ferries in the Wynyard Quarter area, increased servicing areas for commercial craft and more innovative, custom-built vessels.
“Our ambition is to invest in a larger, more effective water-based transport network that expands the commuter offering and supports the Auckland tourism sector,” says Mr. Horne.
“With our vision for Gulf 2025, the forecast passenger numbers could be much, much bigger, and benefit many more Aucklanders living and working around the Gulf in high growth areas who currently don’t have access to water-based travel, because it doesn’t exist.
“Fullers360 is committed to developing a strategy with partners and competitors who have a shared interest in actively shaping the future use of the Hauraki Gulf. Catering to forecasted growth is a complex challenge, calling for investment into Auckland beyond central and local government spending.”
Auckland leaders engaging in Gulf 2025 working group
Fullers360 has gained general support for forming a working group around Gulf 2025 ideas and has shared early views of the strategy with key Auckland decision makers including Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), HLC, Panuku, Tourism NZ, Chambers of Commerce, and McMullen & Wing.
ATEED Chief Executive, Nick Hill, says: “The Hauraki Gulf is a jewel in Auckland’s crown and its integral role in Auckland’s visitor economy, as well as its consistent ranking as a top tourism experience, confirms investment in its future is, without doubt, essential.
“It is pleasing to see Fullers360 is taking its role in Auckland so seriously and as Auckland grows, the ferry network needs to grow with it. The best way to manage this growth is through collaboration with all involved, including government, private sector and Gulf communities.
We welcome the opportunity to be part of this process, which supports the positive and sustainable vision for Auckland’s visitor economy outlined in the recently launched Destination AKL 2025 strategy.”
NZIER research validates collective focus needed to maximise the untapped potential of ferries
Gulf 2025 is informed by NZIER’s findings that reveal the value of Auckland’s ferry network – quantifying ferries’ role in improving the accessibility of one of the world’s most congested cities.
NZIER research reveals:
The full report includes key statistics and case studies around ferries’ benefit to Auckland, including time and emissions savings, bolstering the economy and boosting tourism – as well as Fullers360’s support of local communities and environmental programmes to protect the Hauraki Gulf. To download the full report, Unifying the Hauraki Gulf, visit gulf2025.co.nz.