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Push for electric ferries begins

Flagstaff Team

Auckland Transport (AT) is involved in commercial negotiations over the development of electric ferries.

However it is keeping tight-lipped over what type of discussionss are taking place or what stage they are at.

In January, under the Official Information Act, the Flagstaff sought any reports, emails or letters AT officials had created on investigations into electric ferries on Auckland Harbour.

AT called a couple of times saying it was gathering emails and documents, and that a response would come soon.

Then last week, AT decided not to release the information at all, responding instead with a one-page letter.

“While there is an appetite to progress electric ferries within AT, we are in the early stages and still in our “discovery phase”, Colin Homan, AT Group Manager Integrated Network Enablement said.

“AT is looking at the feasibility across the current ferry network, exploring the design and funding options.

“Accordingly, the information that we can share at this stage is limited. This is due to the commercial sensitivity, as AT needs to continue negotiations without prejudice or disadvantage,” he said.

Electric ferries are being increasingly used overseas. In New Zealand, a $4 million 19m-long, 135-passenger ferry is under construction to service the Eastbourne – Wel- lington route.

This article originally appeared in the 14 August 2020 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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