The Northland Regional Council has approved in principle the proposed sale of a 19.9% stake in the Northland Port Corp to Ports of Auckland Ltd for almost $24 million.
Councillors heard 69 submissions on Tuesday and voted unanimously for the proposal on Wednesday.
Chairman Mark Farnsworth said councillors believed it would offer improved financial security and a valuable ally in Northland’s efforts to improve infrastructure like roading & rail.
After the sale the council would retain 52.4% of the port company, which in turn owns 50% of Marsden Pt deepwater port operator Northport Ltd.
Mr Farnsworth said the proceeds would initially be deposited in short-term investments. A final decision on what happens to the money will be made next year as part of the council’s annual plan process, which requires public consultation.
The council’s formal acceptance of Ports of Auckland’s offer is awaiting the outcome of inquiries by the Takeovers Panel, which is investigating a complaint regarding the proposed sale.
“The council has provided the panel with information it requested and expects to know the outcome of its inquiries later this week,” Mr Farnsworth said.