Napier Port is the largest port in central New Zealand and the fourth largest container terminal in the country, processing more containers than Wellington, Nelson and New Plymouth combined. The Port supports thousands of jobs in the region and is a crucial part of New Zealand’s export-led economy.
Napier Port's success and growth is largely a reflection of the success and growth of the regional businesses the Port serves, and that it fits seamlessly into the supply and logistics chains of many key exporters. In 2015, Napier Port processed more than a quarter of a million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit containers) up 16.5 percent over 2014.
This increase reflects the growth of the region, which is forecast to continue. Overall growth at the Port is predicted to climb substantially in the next 10 years.
In addition, the Port also needs to be able to keep pace with the changes in the international shipping industry when they occur.
Positioning the Port for further growth
The Port has already made significant investments to build capacity. However, further investment is required in the next 10 years to provide adequate berthing options for the number of, type and size of vessels. It is vital the Port can service all these ships or they are likely to go elsewhere.
The Port has considered a range of options to meet this need, from not making any changes, or expanding the current breakwater, to looking at other sites for a new berth. The Port’s preferred option is the most flexible, balanced and economically prudent outcome.
Proposal for public consultation
Napier Port plans to seek resource consent to build one new berth within its existing operational footprint at the northern end of the container terminal. This will be long enough (350 metres) and deep enough to handle the current vessels calling but also provide some scope for larger vessels in the future.
This may require the Port to deepen the shipping channel in stages from its current consented maximum of 12.8 metres. The Port plans to apply for a resource consent in the last quarter of this year for its phased dredging programme and for the subsequent disposal of the dredge material. Planning must start now so the Port is ready to start work as soon as the need arises.
Consultation will inform our consent application
Napier Port is consulting with iwi and its key export and import partners along with the wider Hawke’s Bay community before applying for the development resource consents. The objective of consultation is to understand stakeholders’ perspectives and gather additional information the Port may not have yet considered.
In parallel with consultation, the Port is investigating potential environmental effects through a series of independent, specialist technical assessments and reports. These reports and the consultation discussions and responses will help shape the consent application.
Lodging its application in the last quarter of 2016 allows the Port to signal to the local exporting community and international shipping companies that it will be ready and able to handle the predicted volume increases, and the vessels required to accommodate those volumes to world markets in the foreseeable future.