What’s the latest ?

A round-up of news and views on transport issues from around the country..



Freight companies like Mainfreight had to grapple with extra costs when the rail line from Picton to Christchurch was knocked out by the November 2016 earthquakes and they were forced to use the Lewis Pass road. Photography by Chris Hutching.

 Mainfreight​ workers are in for a bonus of thousands of dollars each after the freight company posted another record profit, partly thanks to New Zealand’s tourism boom and immigration.  The profit after tax was 17 per cent higher at $103 million, on turnover of $2.3 billion, and also meant staff get $19.7 million in bonus payments, up 18 per cent on last year.

Managing Director Don Braid said Mainfreight performed strongly in spite of the earthquakes affecting cargo between the North and South Island, and momentum was being maintained into the new financial year. Staff bonuses were shared among branches based on their performance and the number of staff at each branch, so it varied widely but would be in the thousands of dollars for most staff, he said.

“If there hadn’t been the earthquakes we would have done better because we had to set up a new branch and road freight through the Lewis Pass. The extra fees we charged didn’t cover our costs,” Mr Braid said.

He expected the main rail line between Picton and Christchurch to be restored by the end of the year in time for next Christmas, reducing demands on the inland roads.

NZ Transport Agency has spent more than $60m upgrading the inland route to accommodate the increase from 50 trucks to 600 trucks a day as well as car traffic.

“We move a lot of food and beverage and there’s no doubt we’ve seen volumes rising through tourism and immigration,” Mr Braid said. He was confident about the outlook for the year ahead, with a focus on improving revenues and profits in Asia, America and Europe where there were significant growth prospects.  An additional 180,000 freight consignments were handled, and the extra business from tourism and immigration has prompted the company to buy more land for warehousing and freight facilities.

Mainfreight will spend $75m on more land and facilities in New Zealand and Australia with associated expenditure including software of approximately $37m.  Air freight and sea freight teams have been operating out of new facilities at Christchurch International Airport. From the turnover of $2.3b, about $1.7b was earned from overseas operations, with New Zealand cargo operations contributing $609m.

Australian road, warehousing, and air and sea freight activities increased 6.3 per cent to approximately $564m, allowing for currency movements. European trade was up 10 per cent at approximately $460m, US logistics and sea freight declined 4.7 per cent to $618m, while results from operations in Asia were disappointing at $63m and Mainfreight withdrew from an unsuccessful leased warehouse business in Hong Kong.

Shares in the Stock Exchange-listed company have risen from $17.30 a share in August 2016 to $22.28 this month. The profit means shareholders get a healthy 24 cents fully imputed (taxed) dividend.

 Source – Stuff


Phil Burgess is the 2017 winner of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand Young Achiever Award. cbaff winners for 2017 v2

The award, announced at CBAFF’s annual conference in Napier, recognises  a young person who is a high achiever within their chosen field in the customs broking, freight forwarding or international freight logistics industry, and who has the desire and skills to further themselves and their career. Entrants submit a detailed report describing a complex shipment process, import or export, and shortlisted applicants are then interviewed by a panel of industry representatives. The ward is supported by Singapore Airlines Cargo, Leadership Management Australia (LMA), WiseTech Global and Fiji Airways.

Mr Burgess receives an al-exposes paid trip to Singapore to meet agents and view an airport and seaport operation, along with $NZ1500 spending money, an LMA course, an award plaque and complimentary attendance at the 2018 CBAFF conference. He is currently South Island Manager for Burnard International Freight Services.

Runner up was Adela Bright, (above left ) customs broker at  Go Air Land Sea, Auckland. She receives two return air flights to Fiji with Fiji Airways. Both finalists also received complimentary flights, accommodation and attendance to this year’s conference.

Source – FTD Magazine, July 2017.


Ports of Auckland is to eliminate Methyl Bromide Emissions.

As part of Ports of Auckland’s ambition to be the most sustainable port in New Zealand, the company will require the total recapture of methyl bromide gas used for container fumigation by September 1, 2017, and for all cargoes by the end of the year.

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson said: “Methyl bromide is a very effective pesticide and a key part of New Zealand’s biosecurity defence, but it is toxic to humans and depletes the ozone layer. By recapturing the gas after use we can improve safety, protect the environment and still keep unwanted pests out of New Zealand.”

At Ports of Auckland both containers and loose or ‘breakbulk’ cargo are fumigated by pumping the gas into a container or a tarpaulin covering the freight. After fumigation, the gas is vented to the atmosphere and it is this last stage that will be stopped.

Ports of Auckland has a history of innovation to reduce methyl bromide use. It is the first and only port in New Zealand to use heat treatment, instead of fumigation, for some cargoes. Heat treatment is not suitable for all cargoes (for example fresh fruit) so fumigation is still necessary.

“We are not a major user of methyl bromide, but when it comes to caring for our people and the environment we think it is important to address every issue even if it seems small. Every step we take to reduce our emissions takes us closer to our ambitious goal of having zero emissions by 2040,” said Mr Gibson.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has welcomed the decision by Ports of Auckland to stop releasing methyl bromide emissions into the air. The move to fully recapture the toxic gas after fumigation sets a new benchmark for industry best practice. Methyl bromide, linked to motor neurone disease and harmful to the ozone layer, is used to kill insects in logs before export.

MUNZ National Secretary Joe Fleetwood said the decision is an example of what publicly owned ports can deliver, if and when they prioritize community interests.

“We will continue the campaign to stop rogue employers exposing people to methyl bromide for another decade if need be,” said Mr Fleetwood. “Eliminating the risk from our ports and communities will save lives.”

After fumigation is complete the gas can be recaptured and turned into a disposable salt. However, some ports instead release the toxic fumes into the air, endangering workers and nearby communities.

Maritime Union members working in New Zealand ports that use the fumigant have voiced serious concerns, fearing their employers are not taking health and safety seriously around methyl bromide.

In the Port of Tauranga there is a 200 metre buffer zone put in place during cruise ships visits to protect the tourists. Port workers, by contrast, are expected to conduct ‘normal operations’ as close as five metres away from the toxic gas.

MUNZ members describe coughing, light headedness and nasal congestion during gas release, despite being told they were out of range and in no danger of exposure.

The union believes unnecessary rivalry between publicly-owned ports is undermining best practice standards, and driving a race to the bottom in the industry.

“The Government must not allow best practice in some ports to be undermined elsewhere,” said Mr Fleetwood. “If Wellington and Auckland can do the right thing, all ports must.”

The Maritime Union continues to call for a total ban on the use of methyl bromide.

“The regulatory bodies are toothless tigers,” said Mr Fleetwood. “The government must stop ports releasing this poison into the air, or live with blood on their hands.

NB: Methyl bromide is an effective and versatile fumigant used to kill unwanted pests. It is used in New Zealand for the eradication of quarantine pests from import and export cargo. While it is a useful tool at the border, it toxic to humans and is an ozone depleting substance. New Zealand’s current annual consumption of methyl bromide is about 525 tonnes. A total of 561 containers were fumigated at Ports of Auckland in 2015 and 282 ‘tent’ fumigations took place. 5.3 tonnes of methyl bromide was used on the port, about 1% of the New Zealand total.

Source – Scoop Media

auckland aerial port


By Catherine Harris

Ports of Auckland is the country’s busiest port, with a record number of cruise ships this year and the biggest port for imports. Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua Orakei has put its hand up if there are to be any talks of Auckland Council selling Ports of Auckland. The surprise suggestion came from Auckland mayor Phil Goff when talking to port staff, possibly involving the council holding onto the land and splitting out the operational element of the port.

However, Ngati Whatua spokesman Ngarimu Blair said his people had long harboured an ambition to buy back their former land and the Waitemata sea bed.

“We have made this known over many generations to every incoming mayor and, more recently, signalled this to Phil Goff before and after the election. If the opportunity arises we would like to buy it – we are the natural owner and we would do the right thing by the city,”he said.

He said a consortium could be put together with other iwi and the NZ Super Fund to help the council unlock much-needed capital for the city.

NZ Super Fund spokeswoman Catherine Etheredge said the fund had met with Ngati Whatua on a number of occasions but nothing formal had been discussed.

“We meet with Ngati Whatua and many other potential co-investors on a regular basis and discuss various investment opportunities informally. We are not part of any consortium,” she commented.

Ngati Whatua Orakei has become an active property player in Auckland, owning about 160 hectares of land on the Tamaki isthmus and developing affordable housing in Orakei. Its assets include AECOM House and leasehold land in the Quay Park area.

​Mr Blair said the iwi understood the wider public interest in the Waitemata “and the desire of many people to keep this precious land in the hands of Aucklanders”.

Keeping the council-owned port in public ownership was a hot topic during the local election and Goff campaigned to keep it in council hands. But previous studies have shown that council ownership is constrained in terms of expanding the port, and private ownership could be more conducive to reclamation and development.

One source this week suggested either a sale of the operating company, or a part sale of the entire entity could raise $500 million for use on other projects.

But Auckland waterfront has also become hot property for commercial and residential use, and the council has had a big hand in the multi-million dollar Wynyard Quarter residential and commercial redevelopment along the waterfront.

Mayor Goff has since clarified that the port land was “not for sale” but that relocating it could open up lots of development opportunities.

“My position on the future of the port is exactly what I said during the campaign – I want to progress plans to relocate the port from the CBD and free up 77ha of land for public access to the waterfront.”

Development opportunities like the Wynyard Quarter could fund development of that open space, although it could take up to 20 years.

In the meantime Mr Goff said he was “happy to discuss with Ngāti Whātua their role as the mana whenua in potential developments”.

The port is said to be valued at $1.1 billion, while a 2013 valuation on the land alone was between $300m and $600m.

Source – Stuff NZ.


By Tim Murphy, co-editor of Newsroom. He writes about politics, foreign affairs, Auckland, and media.

Once a split occurs, the Auckland Council would have the option of selling the operating company and pulling up to $500 million out to spend on city infrastructure needs.  The Government is applauding the council’s newly pragmatic approach but Labour has warned potential buyers it would not let a sale jeopardise a full review of upper North Island ports.

The usually well-informed website Politik.co.nz is reporting the Government is thought to be dangling an extra $1 billion in funding for four transport projects if the council agrees to some asset sales.

Mr Goff initially said he had not been presented with any specific proposal for the port company, which the council wholly owns through Auckland Council Investments Ltd. His staff emphasised no agreement had been reached, no decision taken and stated the obvious in saying the council, not mayor, would have to decide in any case. But the port company soon issued a statement saying Mr Goff and its executive had met and discussed long-term matters on the possible future relocation of the port and, critically, the statement said: “We also discussed work that was started under the previous council to evaluate the potential to split the port land from the operating company. This is the first time these matters have been discussed with the current mayor.”

Subsequently, Mr Goff appeared on John Campbell’s RNZ Checkpoint programme.  To a direct question of whether he was looking at the port company as a way “to cash some cheques”, he answered:

“I think the port company is probably looking at that. That is not my starting point.”  (A well-practised political line. Politicians often say something is not their starting point when it can be, in fact, their accepted finishing point). Probably where we reach agreement is they see some value in separating the port into an operating company and a land company.’

John Campbell: “So this is on the cards?”

Mr Goff: “Yeah. I think it is, particularly around the relocation, particularly if the ports decide to relocate out of Auckland.”

The mayor and his staff had been at pains to say he was one vote of 21 around a council table and this process was not driven by him. But Mr Goff was talking very much in the first person on any port relocation and land sale downtown.

“I’m not going to have the ports sell off the land to the highest commercial bid in order to relocate because that will not guarantee the social, economic and environmental outcomes that I want for Auckland,” he said.

News of the possible company-land split will now see the full council taken into the port company’s confidence at a workshop. Mr Goff said he wanted a briefing for the councillors. “What the options are; what the evidence based solutions may be to the challenges the port faces.”

Ports of Auckland Ltd had an estimated value of $1.04 billion in 2014, with its 77 hectares of land estimated by a property company to be worth between $300m and $600m at that time.

Mr Goff is searching for alternative revenue sources for the council to fund Auckland’s growth, as the central government has turned down a regional petrol tax and the mayor has promised to keep rate rises to an average of 2.5 percent across his term. He has received backing from Prime Minister Bill English for his and the council’s efforts to find new funding – but saw his former colleagues in the Labour Party come out firmly against a sell-off of the port company.

Mr English said: “He’s trying to come up with his share of funding.  It is good to see the council there is working pretty hard on that. The taxpayer is making some quite big contributions in Auckland and the rest of the country want to see Auckland being positive about its growth and funding its fair share of the costs of infrastructure.”

Asked if he was surprised the port operations could be on the block, the Prime Minister said it was not clear yet what would happen, but backed a pragmatic approach. “I think people are much more interested in getting some actual solutions when they are sitting stuck in traffic. They are less interested in political arguments about how they might happen. I think between the government and the council if we are open to a whole lot of solutions then we are going to get there.” While the government was helping “fill in some of the gaps” in infrastructure now, “in the long run they need to be able to fund it,” Mr English said.

But Labour’s Auckland spokesman Phil Twyford said any potential buyer of the port company operations needed to know an incoming Labour-led government would not support a sale.

“Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short-term cash crisis caused by the Government’s blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure.”

He said “the usual cheerleaders for privatisation are telling the council to flog off the port company to fund the infrastructure deficit. Of course the merchant bankers and the international investors will be salivating at the chance to sink their teeth into the port but let’s stop for a second and think about what’s good for New Zealand.”

Labour wanted a national freight strategy first, looking at the upper North Island ports of Tauranga, Auckland and Northport before any sale proposal put that in jeopardy.

Mr Twyford said: “Any potential buyers of the Auckland port company need to factor that into their due diligence.”

Source – Newsroom .co.nz



Christchurch’s Lyttelton Port temporarily shut down to secure its IT system after global security threats from WannaCry cyber group. In a post on its website, the port said it had scheduled an unavoidable urgent systems outage from 11pm on Tuesday until 7am on Wednesday.

The IT department would “apply the required security measures necessary to respond to this threat that is affecting systems worldwide”, the company said.  Operations at the port were halted and there was no receiving or delivering of goods. The outage also affected the use of the N4 Export Pre-advise system, the terminal’s container management system. There was no shipping scheduled.

Overnight on Friday, a virus named “WannaCry” affected thousands of computers across the globe.The virus demands victims pay several hundred dollars ransom to have their encrypted data restored, known as ransomware.

Source  – Stuff



Motueka port submitters  motueka promotion stuff

Authors of the Whanganui to Motueka ferry service feasibility study Nik Zangouropoulos, left, and Warwick Walbran with Midwest Ferries director Neville Johnson in the TDC chamber.

Port Motueka could undergo a massive transformation if a proposed $100 million Whanganui-Motueka ferry service gets the go-ahead. The project is proposed to involve a 7-metre deep channel through the internationally recognised Motueka Sandspit, and a Y-shaped turning area to allow ferries to reverse and dock. Reclamation of an adjacent area for parking and marshalling is also proposed.

A proposed Motueka-Whanganui ferry could cut up to four hours from a typical journey from Auckland to Christchurch compared to the current Picton to Wellington route.

The proposals outlined to the Tasman District Council (TDC) caused one councillor to raise environmental concerns about the impact on the sandspit. It is recognised as an internationally important site for shorebirds, including migrating godwits. Advocates for the Midwest Ferries Ltd project presented a feasibility study to the council and asked for funds to help develop a detailed business case. They requested TDC form a joint taskforce with Whanganui District Council.

Co-author of the feasibility study Nik Zangouropoulus said the proposal to offer a daily return freight trip over the 115-nautical mile route, was commercially viable.

“One vessel and only the freight market initially – that’s the best scenario at this stage,” he said. A second ferry for passengers would come later.

The initial one-ferry operation was expected to provide about 120 jobs.  Mr Zangouropoulos estimated about one-third could be Motueka jobs.

“It’s hard to know,” he said. “It depends on the crew and where they stay, where are they from.”

Though the backers of the project were seeking some local government funding and would also request a contribution from central government during the establishment phase, once that past “there’s to be no claim on the public purse – it’s to be privately funded”.

“Now, the quid pro quo that we’re seeking with the port owners is an agreement, which is we would put in something in the vicinity of $75m to $100m of investment in return for a long-term usage agreement,” Mr Zangouropoulos said.

Whanganui District Council’s commercial arm, Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited, had given indicative support for $70,000 and a “subsequent support package” into the next financial year of $100,000, Mr Zangouropoulos told Tasman district councillors. After the presentation, Mr Zangouropoulos said he expected that proposed financial support to go before the full Whanganui council in early June. A matching financial contribution from TDC was sought, he said.

Mr Zangouropoulos confirmed Midwest Ferries anticipated it would pay no berthage fees since it would fund the port development.He told TDC that the operation was predicted to achieve $6m to $7m in earnings before interest and taxes.

“That’s a very strong return . . . that we believe is achievable within three years and if we get our job right, it could be achievable within a year.”

Mr Zangouropoulos, a business consultant of Wellington, said he was a sceptic when he started investigating the ferry proposal “and now I would consider myself as an advocate to the extent that I’ve taken over the position as project director”.

Co-author of the feasibility study, Warwick Walbran, of Walbran Transport Analysis Ltd, said once a passenger ferry was operating, there was “enormous opportunity” for regional development.

“At the moment, nearly all the tourist traffic runs down SH1 with some side trips left and right and we think the ferry could start an alternative route and maybe they’ll go down one side and back up the other,” he said. “This is something . . . that the ferry will not be sufficient to make happen but you can’t make it happen without the ferry.”

Cr Dana Wensley asked about the environmental feasibility of the proposal.

“The Motueka Sandspit is internationally important for the godwit. The Moutere Inlet is the feeding ground for the godwit so I guess I feel personally a sense of unease with you coming to council seeking funding when you haven’t, to my perspective, put much effort into the environmental impact,” Cr Wensley said.

“I think that is something you will need to put a lot more effort into to gain support from me personally and to get it off the ground.”

Mr Walbran said the team recognised it was “weak on environmental assessment, it’s one of the first two cabs off the rank for the next stage”.

Mr Zangouropoulos said the full impact on the environment could not be assessed until a detailed engineering design was complete, due in the first half of 2018.

“We believe there is a sound case for a technical and commercially feasible project in principle. What we now need to do with your support and with Whanganui’s support and with national Government support and private investment support is to establish that it’s technically and commercially feasible in practice, which we want to do in the next 14-16 months.”

It was agreed a formal request for TDC funding would be submitted in writing. The first sailing is tipped for mid-2021.

Source  – Stuff


By Tom Lee, Fairfax NZ.

1494210997950 chris joblin at ruakura

 Tainui Group Holdings CEO Chris Joblin at the Inland Port at Ruakura.

Ten years of pen pushing and bureaucracy is coming to an end as earthworks begin on the Inland Port at Ruakura. The Tainui Group Holdings project is underway with the commencement of the first seven hectares of what will eventually be a 31 hectare inland port.

It’s a humble start but it’s exciting to be showing rather than telling people what is happening to the 480 hectare site, TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin said. Once completed, it will cover an area larger than the Auckland central business district, as some 18,000 cubic metres of topsoil is being stripped from the port site.

“We’ve deliberately kept a reasonably low key profile over the last wee while as we just get everything going. So now you can physically see what we’re doing and where we’re going,” he said.

Mr Joblin has been with TGH for eight years in some type of capacity so he’s more than pleased to see machines on the ground. The first stage of the Inland Port should be completed in 18 months.

The official sod turning was done at the end of March, and the Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia, blessed the project during a tribal ceremony attended by Waikato-Tainui leaders and tribal members. It will be stage by stage process with the site forecast to be worth more than $3 billion at the end of its 50-year build.

Fulton Hogan is contracted to do the first stage, that includes moving 18,000 cubic metres of topsoil and bringing 250,000 cubic metres in to compact the earth and level it with the railway tracks. It’s expected to take around 18 months to complete.

The first stage will allow for the handling of containers for local importers and exporters across the upper North Island. It’s already attracted national interest and the size and scale of what people are looking at has surprised Mr Joblin.

“We’ve got people wanting to build warehousing facilities that are 30,000 to 60,000 square metres in size – she’s pretty big stuff. We thought they would probably be a little bit smaller than that.”

Ruakura is ideally positioned to access all arterial transport links via road and rail which is critical to the efficiency of North Island freight movement. There is also a big push from Auckland people looking to relocate as they get squeezed out of Auckland, Mr Joblin said.

The next process for TGH is to appoint a port operator. After opening expressions of interest in October, the search went global and they have been rewarded with plenty of experienced international interest.

The port is expected to play a positive role for the region and has the potential to create 6000 to 12000 jobs in the precinct.

“That, in an economic sense, for Waikato is huge. It will be eight per cent of the city’s land mass and 10 per cent of the city’s rating base,” he said. “It will also enable the Waikato to grow, to use Ruakura as an attractant to get business out of Auckland. So if you can bring people out of Auckland and other regions into the Waikato it means it’s going to create new jobs, better economic prosperity and that’s just going to flow back through the community.”

Source – Stuff


By Gerard Hutching

nm cherry blossom

NM Blossom heading into Gibraltar just before taking on the phosphate load in Morocco.

NZ Fertiliser company Ballance could have avoided having a US$5 million shipload of phosphate stranded in South Africa if the vessel had taken a different route.

South Africa is one of only about a dozen countries which recognises the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, a group that is seeking independence. At present Morocco claims the Western Sahara as its territory. A South African court will hear a pre-trial case of the New Zealand-bound 54,000 tonne-shipment of phosphate on May 18.

Ballance chief executive Mark Wynne said the hold-up was costing the co-operative because as charterer it was accountable for the delay, but he was optimistic insurance would cover costs.

“Usually we ship through the Panama Canal or around South America. We won’t go through South Africa again,” he said.

Kamal Fadel, the Saharawi representative for Australia and New Zealand, said the two leading New Zealand fertiliser companies – Ballance and Ravensdown – should re-assess their policies.

“I think they would be better off to seek phosphate from other areas like Morocco or Algeria. It’s up to them.”

New Zealand, due to its pastoral economy, is the second largest importer of phosphate from Western Sahara, after Canada. The resource was not going to last long and would be better used assisting the indigenous people, most of whom were living in refugee camps on the Algerian border. The Saharawi population numbers less than a million. Since 1975 they have been fighting for their independence from Morocco.

Mr Fadel said Ballance had two options to free the cargo: it could “admit the wrongfulness of what is a buying of stolen property” or it could release it in exchange for posting or offering its value as security for an eventual judicial decision over who owned it.

Mr Wynne rejected the latter, saying the process of getting the security back “is not clear”. He said the political decision over the future of the region should be left to the United Nations.

Mr Fadel has invited the chief executives of Ballance and Ravensdown to visit the refugee camps and “see for themselves the interests and circumstances of a people living in exile”. However, Mr Wynne said he had recently visited the social programmes for the Western Sahara people introduced by the state-run phosphate agency OCP and had been satisfied with what he saw.

Ballance imports 200,000 tonnes of phosphate from the Western Sahara a year, worth between $28-30m, depending on the exchange rate. New Zealand is the second largest importer after Canada.

Ravensdown imports $31.2m worth. A Ravensdown spokesman said the political situation was very complex. If the mine in Western Sahara was to close, it would put 2500 people out of a job and would have a damaging impact on their families. Recently two leading Australian fertiliser companies, one of them Wesfarmers, decided to no longer import from the region.

“In theory” Ballance could go elsewhere for its phosphate, Mr Wynne said, but the Western Sahara product suited the superphosphate recipe it created.

Meanwhile, Lincoln University has been forging links with Morocco and OCP. In 2015 a Moroccan delegation led by Amine Mounir Alaoui, head of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, visited the campus. The university was set up by OCP.

The delegation discussed cooperation in the agriculture and agri-tech area for the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University’s new School of Agriculture. Lincoln vice-chancellor Professor Robin Pollard said it was expecting to host four Moroccan PhD students.

Source – Stuff


customs house wellington

Customs New Zealand is “on track” to return to Customs House, adjacent to Statistics House on Centreport owned land in Wellington in early May. Photo  – Ross Giblin/Fairfax NZ

The first of CentrePort’s modern office towers could soon be reoccupied, even though the port company says it is still determining the building’s future. Customs New Zealand is “on track” to return to its building on Hinemoa St in early May.

But CentrePort has named Customs House among a group of buildings which it was considering the future of, to be determined “once engineers and insurers have completed their deliberations”.

As well as major damage to its port facilities, CentrePort’s portfolio of commercial buildings suffered extensive damage in the November 14 earthquake, most notably the partial collapse of Statistics House. Statistics House, along with Customs House and BNZ’s Harbour Quays building has been empty since, with no clear signal about whether the buildings will be reoccupied or knocked down.

BNZ initially indicated that it expected to be within the building within days of the earthquake, however has confirmed that the building was stripped of desks and computers before Christmas. The Harbour Quays building was also closed for months following the 2013 earthquake.

Statistics New Zealand chief executive Liz MacPherson has said she will consider the “emotional safety” of staff when considering whether to return to Statistics House.

CentrePort property manager Nick Wareham said the plan was for Customs House to be reoccupied soon, but first assessments of earthquake damage had to be completed.

“The aim is to reoccupy the building in May. However, before reoccupation can be confirmed, engineers and insurers need to finish their assessments of the building, including assessments of any earthquake-related damage,” Mr Wareham said. “We are working closely with Customs, engineers and insurers on this process.”

Neither CentrePort or Customs gave a description of the damage to the building. Assessments of CentrePort’s other modern office buildings are expected to take longer.

CentrePort has also confirmed that the future of Shed 39, the headquarters of the Greater Wellington Regional Council, is also under review. While the building suffered damage and liquefaction during the earthquake, the council quickly moved back into Shed 39.

Nick Wareham and shed 35

CentrePort Property General Manager Nick Wareham in front of Shed 35. The building, which CentrePort had hoped to strengthen and turn into a seven-day market, will be demolished over the next fortnight.

CentrePort has already confirmed it has plans to demolish a number of other buildings, with Shed 35, a century-old heritage listed cargo store, which was set to become a seven-day market, is to be knocked down by the end of April. The process started in January but was delayed by weather and “logistics”, according to CentrePort.

“We spoke to key stakeholders such as Heritage New Zealand and Wellington City Council about the fate of the building and decided it needed to come down for safety reasons,” Mr Wareham said.

A 60-tonne excavator will be used to demolish the building, which should take about two weeks.

Shed 35 was built in 1915 and is listed as a heritage building. In 2012 CentrePort said it wanted to strengthen the building and convert it into a market, complete with a gastro pub.

CentrePort said it was also working on plans to demolish several other buildings, including the former NZ Rugby Union headquarters “which were all assessed as earthquake-prone before the 14 November quake”.

Source – Stuff



Funding options for a Lyttelton cruise ship berth are contained in a secret Christchurch City Council report to be revealed soon and may become part of the port company’s expansion plans.

The clamour from commercial operators for tourist cruise ship facilities has prompted the report on costs and benefits compiled by Christchurch City Holdings. The report was tabled at the March city council meeting and placed in the “public excluded” section.

lyttelton expansion aerial 1491971158520

A potential area for tourist cruise ships has been identified to the west (in the right of the picture) at Lyttelton.

Christchurch City Holdings chief executive Paul Munro said releasing the report could undermine Lyttelton Port’s commercial position as it negotiated with cruise lines customers.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said discussions on funding were progressing. She is expected to make an announcement soon.

Ngai Tahu is concerned about the effect on mahinga kai and the mauri of Lyttelton Harbour from infill and dredging .

Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter Davie said the port could build a berth in the jetty area to the west of the straddle cranes. But it would need to be substantial to hold large ships in the strong nor’westers and southerlies that could blow up.

Funding a cruise ship berth – estimated to cost about $50 million – may require Christchurch City Holdings or the city council to take on more debt, and could affect the modest forecast dividends from the port company which offset rates.

Michael Esposito the chief executive of private company ‘Welcome Aboard’ which operates the Christchurch trams and gondola, said the benefits of cruise ships were enormous. He pointed to other council-associated expenditure such as the new airport hotel and hot water pools for New Brighton.

Mr Esposito said the economic benefits were undeniable but he would not be drawn on how he thought it could be funded.

lyttelton port building under construction

Part of Lyttelton’s post-earthquake recovery includes new corporate headquarters under construction.

A Tourism Industry Aotearoa report on infrastructure listed cruise facilities as third on the list of Canterbury’s priorities behind visitors and worker accommodation. The report prepared by Deloitte said cruise and conference facilities may benefit certain regions, but required substantial investment and “returns may be uncertain in timing and scale”.

Meanwhile, Lyttelton Port is lodging a resource consent application for further reclamation at Te Awaparahi Bay on the seaward side of the port. The application seeks expansion from 10 hectares with an additional 25ha, filled partly by rocks cleared from hills above Evans Pass Road. The application follows an earlier one lodged in December for dredging the harbour for big ships, and preparing the reclamation area.

Environmental planning lawyer Mark Christensen said there was some overlap between the consents. The expansion was a controlled activity under the district plan, and the arguments were only about conditions rather than whether it should proceed.

“Lyttelton Port has an adaptive approach to monitoring events and modifying controls if required. Ngai Tahu’s submissions have reservations about that,” Mr Christensen said.

Port CEO Mr Davie said the company had been gathering data with the help of several buoys installed around the harbour to measure turbidity. For example, the data showed it took about six days for sediment to travel south from the Waimakariri River after a nor’wester.

Source –


“Cruise New Zealand is disappointed to learn that the new build ship planned for P&O Cruises Australia will not go ahead,” said Executive Officer Kevin O’Sullivan.

The new ship was the first ship planned specifically for the Australia and New Zealand cruise market and would have been capable of carrying 4200 passengers. The good news is that P&O will still bring the 3000 passenger Carnival Splendor to Australia and New Zealand in 2019, but it has cited a lack of infrastructure progress in the region as one of the reasons for deferring the build of a bigger ship.

Mr O’Sullivan said that slow progress in building berths for larger cruise ships in Auckland, as well as even slower decision making to provide a cruise ship berth in Lyttelton, is hampering the growth of the cruise ship industry in New Zealand.

The largest cruise ship to visit New Zealand, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Ovation of the Seas, had arrived in Auckland last December, but was too long to berth in Auckland. It anchored in the harbour with passengers ferried on tenders to the Viaduct area.  The tender arrangements for Auckland worked well, but Royal Caribbean has said it is disappointed the ship wouldn’t be able to tie up alongside Queens Wharf this summer and the next. It had hoped a mooring dolphin to enable berthing the new generation of larger cruise ships, off the end of Queens Wharf, would be in place next summer, but a consent application for the structure has been delayed, and it is now uncertain when the dolphin will be in place.

The Ovation called into Dunedin, but bypassed Canterbury steaming straight to Wellington because there are no berths in Lyttelton.

“We have huge opportunities to continue to grow cruise tourism and we are missing out because of delays in providing infrastructure. The decision by P&O is a wakeup call that we must get our act together to improve cruise infrastructure if we are to continue to enjoy the benefits that cruise tourism brings. Auckland must provide a berth for larger cruise ships urgently, and Lyttelton should proceed with bringing cruise ships back, to ensure Canterbury does not miss out on this large tourism market.”

Source – Kevin O’Sullivan, Executive Officer, Cruise New Zealand, tel +64 21 784 968 or email: executive@cruisenewzealand.org.nz

kevin osullivan, with debbie summers

Debbie Summers, (left)  executive director of ID New Zealand, is the chairperson of Cruise New Zealand. Ms Summers, a former tourism manager for Sulivan Shipping in the Falkland Islands, moved to New Zealand nine years ago after being head-hunted by IDNZ. She is a graduate of the Seatrade Academy’s Cruise Master Class in Cambridge and a veteran delegate at Seatrade Cruise Global.

Kevin O’Sullivan, a former chairman of Cruise New Zealand, stood down following his appointment as Cruise New Zealand’s executive officer.  Mr O’Sullivan was formerly regional harbourmaster and maritime manager for Environment Southland, one of New Zealand’s most spectacular cruise areas covering all the Sounds in Fiordland, Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island.


By Dr Bevan Marten, Senior Lecturer at Victoria University, Wellington. (shown at right).

New Zealand’s lack of action over air pollution from shipping is an international embarrassment. This is true of three_col_Bevan_Marten_at_Waterfrontboth the country’s commitment to addressing global climate change and the safeguarding of local air quality. Walking along Auckland’s waterfront, that gleaming white cruise ship may look spotless but the fumes coming out of its funnel might be anything but. It’s time to tell the Government to get serious.

Larger ships mostly burn “bunker” fuel, a grade of oil closer to Marmite than anything the local service station will pour you. It’s also a key source of pollutants such as sulphur dioxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Sulphur dioxide in particular creates a risk to human health, despite not having the telltale smog we associate with the problems faced in cities like Beijing. And while we have largely removed sulphur dioxide emissions from road vehicles and some industries, shipping remains a major source of this pollutant.

The global community has long acknowledged this issue. In 1997, countries agreed to Annex VI of the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (known as MARPOL, short for marine pollution). In addition to rules improving ship engine efficiency, this included a promise to reduce the maximum sulphur content of ships’ fuel to 3.5 percent in 2012 and 0.5 percent in 2020. Between 2006 and 2014, special emission control areas covering much of Northern Europe and North America entered into force, bringing sulphur content there down to just 0.1 percent.

Although 86 other countries are party to the Annex VI agreement, New Zealand has never signed up. This makes us a real outlier internationally. The only other OECD countries in this position are Iceland, Israel and Mexico. The only other countries in the South Pacific Commission to ignore it are Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

New Zealand’s official position to date has been that we are too small to worry about air pollution from ships. But the assumption that other countries will look after this issue for us is unrealistic. Ships can alternate between several fuel tanks. Without laws implementing Annex VI, there is nothing to stop a ship’s operator saving a significant amount of money by using cheaper bunker fuel on the New Zealand leg of a longer voyage. It is the inspections carried out in ports that provide the real “teeth” for international rules of this kind.

Not only does the current position underplay the human health concerns associated with sulphur dioxide emissions, it weakens New Zealand’s international credibility.

Ongoing Annex VI meetings are being used by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the vehicle for discussions around greenhouse gas emissions from shipping more generally. New Zealand is participating in these IMO meetings, but risks being called out for hypocrisy.

It is hardly credible for New Zealand to argue for higher standards when it has not signed up to the widely accepted piece of international law currently governing the issue under discussion. And without signing up to Annex VI, we lack a vote at the IMO emission meetings.

There is also an economic risk to New Zealand if it remains outside Annex VI. Other countries have proposed regulating shipping emissions by way of financial mechanisms based on the distance a ship travels. New Zealand’s geographic position makes us vulnerable to such an approach. We need a strong voice at the table to argue for solutions that target polluters, not isolated consumers in the Pacific.

The arguments for New Zealand’s ratification of Annex VI are therefore not just principled ones associated with international obligations towards the climate. The move would have practical benefits, both in addressing the issue of clean air and in giving New Zealand more sway at the international level.

The growing number of cruise ship visits, and significant increases in ambient sulphur dioxide and particulate levels in the vicinity of ports, have highlighted the issue of air pollution from shipping in New Zealand. Ports of Auckland recently raised the prospect of requiring cruise ships to use shore-based electricity. Many cruise ships visiting our shores already have abatement technology on board that reduces their emissions—but they are not required to use it here.

The time has come for a central government response to the wider issue of shipping emissions, with the long overdue ratification of Annex VI. A waterfront stroll should entail fresh sea air, not sulphurous fumes.

Dr Bevan Marten is a Senior Lecturer in Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Law, specialising in maritime and transport law. He is scathing about the damage that cruise ships are doing to the environment.


By Amanda Cropp, Marlborough Express

peter yealands, port clifford cropped  cloudy bay wide sweep -1490726920855 - kev and tarns photography

Above left, Yealands Family Wines founder Peter Yealands has made a submission to the Marlborough District Council for a “pocket port”. At right is Clifford Bay – first considered for a port in the 1920s – KEV AND TARNS PHOTOGRAPHY

Marlborough entrepreneur and grape grower Peter Yealands​ is considering developing a “pocket port” at Clifford Bay to supplement facilities at Picton. He  bought the 413 hectare Clifford Bay site from KiwiRail​ in 2014 after the Government decided against shifting the South Island ferry terminal there from Picton on cost grounds.

Mr Yealands’ proposal, outlined in a submission on the Marlborough District Council’s environment plan, is for a “pocket port” for exports and interisland road freight, but it would not include rail freight or passenger services.  However, it would be a freight terminal, as a port at Clifford Bay, 55 km south of the current Picton Ferry Terminal, could cut 45 minutes off the road journey time from Wellington to Christchurch. . The submission sought to have the boundaries of the Clifford Bay port zone reduced to reflect the smaller size of the facility envisaged because it said a large scale port replicating Picton was not economically viable.

The submission from Port Clifford Ltd said the pocket port would supplement Picton’s existing shipping facilities and provide a necessary addition to the national and regional infrastructure as demand for port services increased. According to the Companies Office, Port Clifford Ltd was established in late 2015 for the purposes of land development or subdivision (excluding building construction), and Mr Yealands​ is listed as its sole director.

Council manager of environmental policy Pere Hawes said submissions on the plan were due to be heard by a panel of commissioners later this year. Mr Yealands​ was reluctant to comment on the port development saying a media release would be made when the time was right. He said his interest in the project stemmed from the possibly of barging rock from a quarry on his Clifford Bay property to provide fill for the Wellington Airport runway extension if it went ahead.

The runway extension is on hold until a court case over safety issues is settled. A Wellington Airport spokesman said if it proceeded, barging material from Clifford was an option, but it was not currently in the plans.

Clifford Bay has been looked at as an alternative to Picton several times since the 1920s. A two year Ministry of Transport investigation found that building a new terminal at Clifford Bay would cut more than an hour and a half off the journey time from Wellington to Christchurch. But Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee ruled out siting of a terminal there because revenue available from potential ferry operators and major freight users would only pay for about half the estimated $525m development cost.

The Government would have to pay the other half and carry the risk. The investigation also found Picton could handle bigger freight volumes over the next 30 years.

Source – Stuff


Bo Samuelsson has taken up his appointment as the new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Maritime and Logistics, bo samuelsson 4based at the New Zealand Maritime School in Auckland.

Mr Samuelsson has had a 40 years career in shipping, logistics and port management. He was previously Container Terminal Manager at Lyttelton Container terminal, and previous to that, was contracted general manager for a port development company in Vanuatu, and was terminal manager for Toll Shipping’s roll-on roll-off service in Tasmania. He has also worked as a shipping consultant and as operations manager for Hamburg Sud NZ Ltd. He holds a master foreign going ship certificate.

Mr Samuelsson has had an impressive maritime and logistics career. He holds a Swedish Master Mariner’s qualification as well as business qualifications. Bo has spent 15 years at sea and more than 30 years involved with the operational management of vessels, terminals, and stevedoring operations around the world.

Mr Samuelsson replaces outgoing Dean Paul Harper, who has served at the NZ Maritime School since arriving as a lecturer in 2013.


Captain Tim Wilson, Director Strategy, at Manukau Institute of Technology, and a former long term Director of the NZ Maritime School has left the education sector to pursue other projects.

Tim started at MIT in 1990 and has held a number of challenging and high-profile positions. Originally hired as a lecturer, he was Director of the New Zealand Maritime School for 16 years, Director of Service Operations and latterly CEO Enterprise MIT and Director Strategy.

He has also led functions across many parts of the Institute including Finance, ICTS, Facilities Management, International, Student Support, Health and Counselling, Academic Registry, Children’s Education Centre, the Student Village and the Academic Centre.  He chaired the Budget and Investment Committees for many years and has developed and negotiated all of MIT’s Investment Plans with TEC.

MIT CEO Gus Gilmore  said that it was testament to Tim’s ability that he has been bale to make a positive difference across such a wide range of portfolios within MIT.


By Gerard Hutching

tube worms in hull

The Ministry for Primary Industries discovered tube worms and other organisms on the ship’s hull.

The Ministry of Primary Industries has sent an Indonesian ship packing from Tauranga because of its dirty hull.

The DL Marigold containing a load of palm kernel for feeding to dairy cows was inspected by divers this week. They discovered “dense fouling of barnacles and tube worms on the bulk carrier’s hull and other underwater surfaces”, according to an MPI statement.

“The longer the vessel stayed in New Zealand, the greater chance there was for unwanted marine species to spawn or break away from the ship. So we had to act quickly,” Steve Gilbert, MPI’s border clearance director said.

The DL Marigold arrived in Tauranga from Indonesia on March 4. It had been due to stay in New Zealand waters for nine days. MPI understands the vessel will go to Fiji for cleaning. It then plans to return to New Zealand to finish discharging a shipment of palm kernel expeller.

Mr Gilbert said it was the first time MPI had ordered an international vessel to leave a New Zealand port for biofouling reasons. New rules will require all international vessels to arrive in New Zealand with a clean hull from May 2018. During the interim period, MPI can take action in cases of severe biofouling.

Source  – Stuff

august-oetker_416x416  ottmar gast  soren skou, maersk

International shipping deal makers- Dr August Oetker, Dr Ottmar Gast, and Soren Skou.


Maersk Line and the Oetker Group have reached an agreement for Maersk Line to acquire Hamburg Süd, the German container shipping line. The acquisition is subject to final agreement and regulatory approvals.

Hamburg Süd is the world’s seventh largest container shipping line and a leader in the north – south trades. The company operates 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEU.  It has 5,960 employees in more than 250 offices across the world and market its services through the Hamburg Süd, CCNI (based in Chile) and Aliança (based in Brazil) brands. In 2015, Hamburg Süd had a turnover of US$ 6,726 million of which US$ 6,261 million stems from its container line activities.

“Today is a new milestone in Maersk Line’s history. I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the Oetker Group to acquire Hamburg Süd. Hamburg Süd is a very well-run and highly respected company with strong brands, dedicated employees and loyal customers. Hamburg Süd complements Maersk Line and together we can offer our customers the best of two worlds, first of all in the North – South trades,” said Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Line and the Maersk Group.

“We are proud to join the global market leader Maersk Line. While gaining access to a superior network and systems we will continue the Hamburg Süd brand and business model offering personalized solutions to our shippers and consignees. By joining forces both Maersk and Hamburg Süd will strengthen their product portfolio and cost position to the benefit of their customers,” said Dr. Ottmar Gast, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Hamburg Süd Group.

“Giving up our engagement in shipping after an 80 year-long ownership in Hamburg Süd was not an easy decision for my family. We are very confident, though, to have chosen the best of all possible partners. Maersk will preserve and grow Hamburg Süd and what the brand and the whole organization and a highly dedicated workforce stand for: reliable and high quality logistical services to our customers,” said Dr. August Oetker, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Dr. August Oetker KG, the management holding company of the Oetker Group.

On 22 September 2016, Maersk Line announced that it would grow market share organically and through acquisitions.

“The acquisition of Hamburg Süd is in line with our growth strategy and will increase the volumes of both Maersk Line and APM Terminals,” says Søren Skou.

Hamburg Süd and Aliança will continue as separate brands and continue to serve customers through their local offices.

“Hamburg Süd and Aliança have competitive and attractive customer value propositions, which we want to preserve and protect. We wish to maintain the personal touch and engagement they offer their customers. In ,” says Søren Skou.

In the combined network, Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line’s customers will have access to the dedicated end-to-end services provided by Hamburg Süd in the North – South trades as well as the flexibility and reach provided in Maersk Line’s global network. Furthermore, the combined network will enable Maersk Line to develop new products with more direct port calls and shorter transit times.

“Our combined network will provide exciting opportunities to develop new products and exploit operational synergies. Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line customers will benefit from more choice and better products,” concludes Søren Skou.

The acquisition is subject to a satisfactory due diligence, final agreement and subject to regulatory approval in amongst others China, Korea, Australia, Brazil, the United States and the EU. Maersk Line will work closely with the authorities. Maersk Line expects the regulatory process to last until the end of 2017. Until then, Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line will continue business as usual.

With the acquisition, Maersk Line will have container capacity of around 3.8 million TEU (3.1 million TEU) and an 18.6% (15.7%) global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 741 container vessels with an average age of 8.7 years (9.2 years).

The agreement with Hamburg Süd has no financial impact in 2016. Approlval of the sales and purchase agreement is expected early in the second quarter of 2017. Maersk Line expects to close the transaction at the end 2017.

Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd key figures:-

Maersk Line Hamburg Süd Combined
Turnover 2015 (1) USD 23,729 mn USD 6,261 mn    USD 29,990 mn
Employees (2) 29,500 5,960      35,460
World rank (% of world fleet) (3) 1 / 15.7% 7 / 2.9%      1 / 18.6%
Capacity (‘000 TEU / vessels) (4) 3,139 / 611 625 / 130      3,764 / 741
Chartering (vessels / Ratio) (4) 325 / 53%    82 / 63%      427 / 58%
Vessel age (TEU weighted) (5) 9.2 years    6.0 years      8.7 years
Order book, TEU / vessels (6) 367,130 / 27 30,400 / 8      397,530 / 35
Order book, % of existing capacity (6) 12%      5%      11%
(1) Maersk Line 2015 annual report, Hamburg Süd Group 2015 key figures (container line activities), (2) Maersk Line as of 30 September 2016, Hamburg Süd Group 2015 key figures, (3) Alphaliner, as of 23 November 2016, (4) Maersk Line Q3 2016 interim report, Hamburg Süd 2015 key figures (container ships), (5) Alphaliner (6) Maersk Line as of 30 September 2016, Alphaliner as of 23 November 2016


The logistics sector offers a broad range of opportunities for those seeking an interesting and varied career, and studying is the quickest route into the industry.

While looking into joining the armed forces, Bettyena Polima (shown at right) found herself instead drawn towards the fast-paced and energetic world of logistics while she was still at high school.

“Not many people know about it as a career but if you have experience and have studied, you have a good chance to go far,” bettyena polima nzms graduateshe said. “It’ a good industry to get into.”

The 21 year old Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate is now an export agent at international logistics company Kuehne+Nagel.

“ I am an export air freight operator, which means I help companies export their goods to overseas markets. We work with large companies, moving a lot of different types of products, booking space for them on airlines,” she said.

“You need to think on your feet. T’s a fast-paced industry so it keep my mid busy all the time. You need to be organised, and be able to meet certain criteria within a timeframe,” said Betty.

The logistic industry is enormous and constantly chan changing, with roles ranging from managing supply chain, customs, freight forwarding, distribution, air and sea freight and procurement, with starting salaries ranging from $35,000 to $90,000.

After researching the industry while at high school, Betty enrolled in a Certificate in Logistics (level 4) after Year 13, and moved into the Diploma of Shipping and Freight (Level 5).

Studying logistics at MIT meant Betty gained the practical understanding of all transport sectors and their global applications, including logistics principles, cargo care, the import and export of all types of products and the law relating to transportation.

“The lecturers at MIT were really good,” said Betty. “They would always take time to help you and make sure you’re up to date with your work.”

Betty was offered the job at Kuhne+Nagel two weeks before she graduated from MIT.

“The team I work for is great. Everyone helps each other – if you have a large workload, they’ll stay behind and help until you’re finished.”

She has set her sights on moving from operations into management in the future, but will definitely stay in the industry.

For those already in work, the New Zealand Maritime School offers evening, part time and online study options in shipping, forwarding, supply chain and logistics, ranging from Certificates to Graduate Diplomas.


 ovation of the seas 44

The cruise industry says delays in providing port facilities for large ships, such as Ovation of the Seas, are beginning to bite.  

A big new cruise ship planned for the Australia and New Zealand run has been deferred in part because of our poor port facilities.

Cruise New Zealand executive officer Kevin O’Sullivan said it was disappointing to learn that the new 4200-passenger ship planned for P&O Cruises Australia, the first planned specifically for the region, would not go ahead. Lack of infrastructure progress was cited as one of the reasons for deferring the build.

“The decision by P&O is a wake up call that we must get our act together to improve cruise infrastructure if we are to continue to enjoy the benefits that cruise tourism brings,” he said. “Auckland must provide a berth for larger cruise ships urgently, and Lyttelton should proceed with bringing cruise ships back, to ensure Canterbury does not miss out on this large tourism market,” Mr Sullivan said.

The largest cruise ship to visit New Zealand, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Ovation of the Seas, arrives in Auckland on December 27, but it is too long to berth there.

Mr Sullivan said it would have to anchor in the harbour with passengers ferried on tenders to the Viaduct area. Installation of a mooring “dolphin” to allow larger new generation cruise ships to berth off the end of Queen’s Wharf was supposed to be in place next summer, but a consent application for the structure had been delayed, and it was now uncertain when the dolphin would be in place, he said.

The Ovation will call into Dunedin, but because it cannot not berth in Lyttelton, it will bypass Canterbury and steam straight to Wellington.

“We have huge opportunities to continue to grow cruise tourism and we are missing out because of delays in providing infrastructure,” said Mr Sullivan.

europa 2 europa pool deck


A focus on bringing high-end over high-volume cruise ships to Nelson is seen as the way forward in establishing the region as a regular destination on operator itineraries. Nelson-Tasman is gearing up for one of its busiest cruise liner seasons ever, with eight ship visits expected to bring 2592 passengers to the region this summer.

The first of these is the Europa 2 which is scheduled to arrive in Nelson on December 23, entering The Cut around lunchtime after spending the morning in Kaiteriteri.

Described as “the ritziest ship in the industry”, the 225.6m long Hapag-Lloyd vessel contains 251 cabins to accommodate 516 passengers, seven restaurants and six bars. It is part of a 19-day trip which departs Auckland on December 18 and finishes in Sydney on January 6 next year, at a cost of €9,990 (NZ$14,943) per passenger.

The 225m long Europa 2 is due to arrive in Port Nelson on December 23, the first of seven to visit the region over the summer months. It will be the largest cruise ship to visit Nelson and for those looking to further the city’s reputation as a cruise destination, presents an opportunity to demonstrate Nelson’s long-term potential to the industry. Another Hapag Lloyd vessel, the 111m-long Bremen, will bring 164 passengers to Port Tarakohe in March.

Most of the visits are one-day stays, with only the February 9 visit of The World making an overnight stop in the city. It is understood 99 per cent of Europa 2’s passengers will be German-speaking, while the other visiting ships will be predominantly made up of European, US and Australian nationals.

Port Nelson marine operations manager David Duncan said that while Nelson has welcomed similar numbers of cruise ships before, the Europa 2 visit would be the largest of its kind to berth in the harbour. He said “considerable” risk assessments and infrastructure development had taken place, as well as working closely with local tourism agencies to organise activities for the passengers.

“There’s quite a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes for one of these vessels, but it shouldn’t be a problem on the day,” he said.

Nelson Regional Development Agency chief executive Mark Rawson said the cruise business presented a opportunity to showcase Nelson as something unique from traditional itineraries.

Given Nelson’s size and infrastructure, Mr Rawson said the current strategy centred on appealing to the high-end cruise ship rather than high-volume ships, based on passengers’ tendency to engage in shore excursions.  While in dock, Europa 2 passengers are expected to take part in a range of onshore excursions during their stay, from arts and craft tours and thrill-seeker experiences at Happy Valley to more than 200 passengers taking part in a kayak and hiking trip through the Abel Tasman National Park.

Approximately 100-200 passengers as well as crew members will be in the Nelson city centre for the afternoon before the ship departs at 7pm that evening.

Mr Rawson added that putting extra strain on the retail sector during the Christmas period was another factor.

“Our whole strategy is around value, not volume – that’s why a 2000 [passenger] ship arriving across peak probably wouldn’t offer the best experience for those who are only there for a short period of time.”

Mr Rawson said short-term cruise visits, especially at the higher end, resulted in around 50 per cent of passengers returning to destinations for longer return visits, something that had been considered as part of the NRDA strategy. The other thing Mr Rawson hoped to work on was extending departure times so that passengers could enjoy a longer stay in the city and have a hospitality experience before they get back on the ship.

“What we’re saying is we’d like to put together an itinerary that actually have a bit more time flexibility around the leaving times,” he said. “We haven’t nailed it yet but it’s looking pretty good to be able to get a couple of ships over the next period of time looking at those sort of options, leaving at 10 o’clock, so they can get their day in the [Abel Tasman] as well.”

Simon Duffy of Uniquely Nelson had seen the benefits of passenger ships to a local economy from his involvement with the New Caledonia cruise market, which welcomes 800,000 passengers annually. He said that in terms of benefiting the Nelson CBD the cruise market should be encouraged, from a retail point of view as well as introducing more people to the range of attractions in the wider region.

“There’s a lot of potential there and I think Nelson with the product offered….it’s great for the cruise market.”



Jim Barker, pictured with wife Bev, was an inaugural inductee of the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame in Invercargill in 2012 … Photo: Sarah Brook

OBITUARY: A legend died on August 28 and Jim Barker’s funeral was huge – well over a thousand people attended. The mourners gathered from all over the country – his wife, siblings, his children, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren, his friends, his admirers, and those who respected a tremendous man who had tremendous humility. There were truckies, stock agents, farmers, politicians, business people, and a host of others.

On the day of the funeral, 60 of Jim’s great gleaming “Green Machine” low-loaders, curtain-sides, tippers, B-trains, bulk trucks, stock trucks, flat-decks, and freighters lined both sides of Truman Lane in Tauranga leading to the Bay Park event centre.

The Tauranga funeral of Jim Barker, NZOM, who died at the age of 77, marked the passing of an extraordinary Waikato man. Earlier this year he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the transport industry and philanthropy. Many say he should have been knighted.

James Barker was born on December 7, 1938 in Ngaruawahia. He was the first of three children born to Rotowaro farmers James and Hannah Barker – he has a sister, Cynthia, and a brother Neil.

His early years were spent on his parents’ dairy farm where his first experience with business was working the milk-run for the Rotowaro township, nearby Waikokowai, and also Pukemiro, delivering milk at four pence a pint or tuppence-ha’penny a half-pint. Jim told writer Kingsley Field he was eight years old when he had to get up at 4am, help his dad milk the cows, do the pre-breakfast milk delivery run with him, and then get ready for, and walk, the 2km to school. These days that would sound like a Monty Python joke.

Jim was educated at Pukemiro and Huntly District School and then worked as a Huntly bank clerk and as a miner down the Alison coal mine in Rotowaro.

Meanwhile, he had been continuing his courtship of Beverly Ann Butterworth, a Waingaro school teacher, the eldest of two daughters of Aubrey and Mamie Butterworth, who were farming at Raglan. Jim had known Bev, her younger sister Val and her parents since their days as children when the Barker family had taken regular annual summer holidays at the Raglan camping ground.

“I was working with Dennis Dow, and he was going out with my sister Cynthia. He was also playing rugby league for New Zealand in those days. We used to get more money than we knew what to do with, but we didn’t save any of it. I used to drive out to Raglan to see Bev, but on the way I had to go past the Waingaro pub and sometimes I wasn’t able to get past. Then I’d be in trouble … She had a record – ‘You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog’.”

But Jim’s courtship efforts paid off and he and Bev married. Jim quit the mines, Bev quit teaching, and the couple moved to Auckland where they bought a dairy in Dominion Rd, next to Eden Park. Bev ran the shop and Jim took a job driving a delivery truck for Stormonts’ Bakery. His sister Cynthia later married Dennis who was to become Jim’s business partner.

It was while he was a travelling calendar salesman that Jim noticed an advertisement detailing a small trucking company in Otorohanga that was for sale. Dennis was interested, and they went in as partners, with Jim running the business side and Dennis carrying out the vehicle maintenance.

Their company, Otorohanga Transport, was founded in 1963 and based around two rattle-trap trucks from the ancient carrying firm of Whittington and Perry. Today that operation has expanded into the massive enterprise of The Barker Group – Freight Lines, Stock Lines, Bulk Lines, Stream Line, Strait Shipping, and Bluebridge with the businesses of Otorohanga Transport and Lime Haulage now owned and run by Dennis Dow’s son Rodney and daughter Carolyn. The Barker Group owns two Cook Strait ferries, hundreds of big trucks, offices and depots from Whangarei to Southland, and employs about 750 people nationwide.

Jim was inducted into the New Zealand Road Transport Hall of Fame in 2012.

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley said Jim’s legacy, not only with Strait Shipping and Otorohanga Transport, but across the entire industry, will be felt for decades to come. “He was instrumental in modernising the efficient movement of freight across the country.”

And long-time friend Pat Anselmi says Jim did more for New Zealand farming than anybody else.

“He had a brilliant mind, and a tremendous memory. He should really have been knighted for all he did. Before he started with his own ships across Cook Strait, it used to cost $120 to $130 a beast to truck them across. Now it costs about $1000 to take a truckload of 60 animals across – do the maths on that, and it’s more than 20 years on. And Jim did it with no government backing. Cook Strait used to cut the country in half. Now it’s all one country, it’s way less expensive to get across the Strait, and Jim Barker is the man who did that.”

In the New Zealand 2016 New Year’s Honours List Jim was acknowledged for his work in transport and the extraordinary philanthropy he and his wife of 56 years, Bev, have long bestowed on a number of good causes around the country.

Bev spoke with extraordinary courage at Jim’s funeral, thanking the considerable crowd for attending. “Jim always said, and we have always believed, that it’s all about people – and here you are. It’s overwhelming.”

James Barker was a warm and loving father and grandfather to his three children, Maree Barker, Sheryl Ellison, and Peter Barker and his 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Source – Stuff.


Cook Strait ferry service Bluebridge and trucking company Freight Lines have been sold to a group of investors for an undisclosed sum. Strait Shipping, which operates Bluebridge, and Freight Lines – both founded by transport industry legend Jim Barker – have been bought by funds managed by Champ Private Equity Group. Freight forwarding business Streamline is also part of the deal. However the Barker family will retain ownership of Bulklines and Stocklines.


A Freight Lines B-train unloads from Strait Shipping’s Straitsman at Centreport in Wellington.

Strait Shipping managing director and Barker family spokesperson Sheryl Ellison said the sale represented the end of an era for the family and a positive future for the businesses.

“We are extremely proud of these three leading New Zealand transport businesses and we are excited about their future under a new growth focused ownership.”


Bluebridge ferry Straitsman is now owned by funds managed by Champ Private Equity Group. Photo -Ricky Wilson, Fairfax NZ

Ms Ellison’s father – Jim Barker – had been closely involved in the sale process up until his death in August.

“It was Dad’s vision that these businesses would continue to thrive, grow and lead New Zealand’s transport industry into the future and we’re confident that this sale will ensure this.”

Champ Group manages about $3 billion for private equity investments in New Zealand and Australia. Its managing director Cameron Buchanan said his company was excited about the acquisition and potential the three companies offered.

“We’re committed to building on the strong foundations the Barker family has created and growing these businesses for the benefit of not only investors but also the wider New Zealand freight and passenger transport markets.”

Strait Shipping has been moving freight between the North and South Islands since 1992 and diversified into the passenger market with the launch of the Bluebridge service in 2003.

New Zealand Shipping Federation executive director Annabel Young said Strait Shipping was established by Jim Barker after realising the need for a second ferry service during the strikes from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

When Mr Barker launched Strait Shipping, it was the only competitor to the Interislander ferries – and still is to this day.

“Mr Barker made the most spectacular difference to New Zealand’s shipping industry,” Ms Young said. “We can’t say enough about the family and the impact of the decisions they made in the 80s.”

Ms Young was positive about the new ownership, saying it was great they wanted to invest and grow the business, she said.

The sale is expected to settle in early 2017, but in the meantime it would be business as usual for the three companies as they head into the peak summer travel and transport season.

Source – Stuff


Damage to Wellington’s port is more extensive than during the 2013 Seddon earthquakes, CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said. Container shipping operations remain suspended, and many buildings were off limits, but despite the damage, most services were up and running one week after the earthquake.

“We have moved from a situation six days ago when we had no water, no electricity, no phone lines and no email to the current position where we have large areas of the port up and running,” Mr Nind said. “It’s important to note all the work carried out in the last week has been done amid continued aftershocks, adverse weather and king tides. We’re also operating in an environment where we’ve been advised there is likelihood of another major earthquake.”

Potential solutions might mean the port had to work differently in the short, medium and long term, he said. Some staff were working in backup locations across the port and outside the CBD, and CentrePort was looking at possible employment opportunities at other ports for other staff.

“We understand the importance of the port to the regional economy, and are committed to resuming operations as soon as practicable,” Mr Nind said.

Within 24 hours, the ferry link between Wellington and Picton was re-established. Within 48 hours the first commercial vessel unloaded cargo at the port. And within 72 hours a rail link was reopened to begin moving cargo out of the port. Boaties were banned from sailing near Wellington’s main wharves while engineers carried out post-earthquake inspections.

Wellington regional harbourmaster Mike Pryce said the 7.8 quake has caused damage to wharves and engineers needed time and space to assess and plan any work required. The exclusion zone stretches from the Kings Wharf Pile light to 200 metres east of the Thorndon Pile light and then to the mouth of the Kaiwharawhara stream.

Mr Nind said the company was working to find ways to restart as much of its “key trades” as possible without exposing workers to danger.

“We need to get operating again as fast as we can. In all aspects of the business that’s what we are trying to do.”

Log shipments are due to start this week, although the ships will probably be loaded by truck rather than loaders, which spreads the load more evenly on the wharfs, but inevitably means loading will be slower.

Container freight will begin moving through the port again next week, despite its container terminal still being out of action. The port is working on a variety of temporary measures, which included using container ships with their own cranes. Mr Nind said the suspension of container operations had forced it to think creatively.

“With our two gantry cranes and container berth out of action, our staff have worked with shipping lines, customers and suppliers to find alternative ways to move containers in and out of the port and across the region, which will give customers options to get their freight to Wellington.”

Other measures the port is looking at are bringing in mobile cranes or building a bespoke platform to support the existing gantry cranes. However, the latter option would take two to four months.

Last week Ports of Auckland announced it would boost its rail freight links between the Manawatu and south Auckland to help keep cargo flowing in the central North Island. With Centreport having been out of action, ships that would have called at Wellington have been going to other ports.

It was still too early to tell how long it would take to repair the port or how much it would cost, but it was insured and it would be fixed. Two badly damaged buildings also belonging to the port, Statistics House and the BNZ building, were also fully insured, he said.

“I suppose our focus, rightly or wrongly, has been on getting operating again and there’s a lot of discussion about resilience and a lot of discussion about the economic importance of the port, and we believe the best mitigation to that is to get operating again.”

Source- Stuff NZ.


log barge   beau simonsen and rossco

Above: Nautilus Pacific barging logs in the Marlborough Sounds. At right:Nautilus Pacific operations manager Beau Simonsen with the tug Rossco at Shakespeare Bay wharf. Beau Simonsen/supplied pix.

A family owned Marlborough Sounds barge and tug company is looking to expand as log harvesting volumes increase over the next decade.

Nautilus Pacific operations manager Beau Simonsen​ said the company had bought a new diesel powered 39.5 metre flat top barge Geronimo which was paired with a 21m 15 tonne bollard pull twin screw coastal tug from Dampier, Western Australia to increase its cartage capacity in the Marlborough Sounds and around the national coast line.

A Marlborough Forest Industry Association report on the logging industry in Marlborough in 2008 showed about $31 million worth of logs was exported from Shakespeare Bay, Picton, with exports up 19 per cent from the previous year. The report showed the region harvested about 750,000 cubic metres of logs a year and estimated this figure to increase to about 1.5 million cubic metres annually to 2023 before dropping off to 1.1 million cubic metres.

Marlborough District Council estimated about 500,000 tonnes of logs will be harvested in Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds annually over the next 50 years.

Nautilus Pacific is contracted mainly to carry logs in the Sounds but has also been involved with house relocations, dredging, wharf construction, salvage, and delivery of oversize and overweight project cargos, and bulk aggregate cartage, Mr Simonsen said. The company was established in the early 1990s by his parents, Ross and Cherrie. Mr Simonsen took over the day to day running of the company after his father, Ross, died 18 months ago.

“Ross’s death was massive loss and the success of the company comes from our tight knit staff who are crucial to our operations,” he said.

Nautilus Pacific is carting harvested logs from three loading points at Awapara Island and Tory Channel in Queen Charlotte Sound, and Homewood in the outer Pelorus Sound, to the Shakespeare Bay export log yard in Picton.

“We are also looking to pursue more coastal shipping operations after already making trips to Bluff, Whanganui, Lyttelton and Wellington.”

The company is shifting between 1500 tonnes and 2000 tonnes of logs each week from the Sounds.

“The log market is increasing but we are always mindful we are working in a challenging environment and road transport is not always reliable in the Sounds.

“We can focus on areas which are more beneficial to the company where road access is too difficult, or non-existent to bring logs out from.”

The company aims for a loading rate of 100 tonne per hour for log cargos to achieve a targeted turnaround in a day.

Arapawa Island had its own challenges and cartage was dependent on weather conditions which could affect harvesting operations on the island, he said.

The four-year-old Geronimo, is rated to carry 1200 tonnes, and tug Rossco​, proved itself after the company towed the barge from Western Australia in January – a 70 day delivery.

“We struck really bad weather in the Bass Strait off southern Australia which held us up. There also a shocking weather system which plagued the units from Dampier down to Fremantle on the first leg.”

The company now had two ‘dumb’ barges, Geronimo, Harvest Star, a motorised barge Patiki, and two tugs, Levanter and Rossco, giving it the biggest capacity of barge vessels in Picton.

“We’re chasing more domestic coastal work but at the moment we are mainly barging logs, and occasionally towing salmon cages for New Zealand King Salmon, in the Sounds.”

In 2007 the region accounted for 28 percent of the annual harvest and had about 40 per cent of the planted production forests within the total Nelson Marlborough forest harvest capacity.

More than half of the logs harvested from Marlborough forests were exported from Shakespeare Bay, with a further 24 per cent processed in Nelson, and 24 per cent processed in Marlborough.

Source  – The Marlborough Express.


By Hamish Rutherford

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) chairman Chris Laidlaw has vowed not to let CentrePort fail and warned the government may be asked to invest money into the quake damaged port.

CentrePort saw extensive damage to its wharf assets in the November 14 earthquake, while the future of one of its major commercial properties, Statistics House, is unclear, after two floors partially collapsed. While some log and container movements have resumed, many aspects of the way the port operates have been heavily modified, and are likely to be disrupted for years, chief executive Derek Nind said on November 21.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Chris Laidlaw says CentrePort will not be allowed to fail and that talks about a recovery plan have been held with central government. While it remained unclear what losses the port company may face or the potential liability for the council, as majority shareholder the council stood behind the company.

“This is a public asset that is now being seen as a very important strategic asset for the city and the region as a whole, so there’s no way we’re going to let the port fail,” Mr Laidlaw said. “We’ve had a conversation with senior members of government departments in the last few days which suggests very strongly to us that they take the same view.”

Asked if GWRC could be asked to inject more money into CentrePort, Mr Laidlaw raised the prospect of a central government bailout.

“Well, there’s a chance that the government will have to invest money and the government regards it as a strategic asset, and we’re all on the same page.”

GWRC owns just under 77 per cent of CentrePort, with the balance held by Horizons Regional Council, which covers the Manawatu-Whanganui regions. The two councils shared $7.5 million in dividend payments in the year to June 30, 2016.

The port and city and regional councils would work on a recovery plan for the port in the coming weeks which would be shared with central government in the coming weeks, Mr Laidlaw said.

CentrePort declined to comment on Mr Laidlaw’s comments. Previously the port’s management has said it is “well insured” but refused to discuss what losses it, or its shareholders, may face.

Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, a long time critic of CentrePort’s commercial property ventures, called Mr Laidlaw’s comments “alarming”.

“If the regional council was in discussions with the government for some sort of bail out, that means that the situation is much, much worse than previously thought.”

CentrePort’s commercial property investments had left the company in a “vulnerable position”, Mr Williams said.

GWRC has for some years agreed to guarantee CentrePort’s debt up to $150m, which Williams said meant the council “don’t have a choice” but to stand behind the company.

Mr Laidlaw said he was comfortable with the company’s position.

“The buildings are fully insured and they’re insured separately, so there’s no difficulty there. We’ve satisfied ourselves of the extent of that, and that’s good.”

He could not say whether the council would certainly need to invest money in the port, or what the potential liability might be.

“The port may have to invest in other ways. That investment could come from a number of sources,” Mr Laidlaw said.

“The regional council is not spooked by this; we’re quite comfortable with the way the arrangement is.”

A clearer picture of the costs faced by the port could be some time away, Mr Laidlaw said.

“We don’t know what the extent of the damage is and I’m loath to talk about where the insurance business will go because, as you will know, a lot of that is pretty sensitive stuff.”

Source  – Stuff.


By Chris Hutching and Thomas Manch.

KiwiRail has entered the coastal shipping market amid criticism of the Government’s support. The state-owned enterprise is now offering customers a coastal shipping service between Auckland and Christchurch.

“The disruption to New Zealand’s key supply route between Auckland and Christchurch rai ltunnel for kiwirail storywill continue for many months as the rail and road links are rebuilt,” KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said.

Using existing capacity on ANL shipping’s North to South Island line, KiwiRail cargo will be shipped from Auckland’s Wiri Inland Port to Lyttelton’s Midland Port or the company’s Christchurch terminal. There are plans to provide a similar service from the South Island to the North Island.

KiwiRail general manager of sales and commercial Alan Piper said the service was a “fairly cost-effective” way of moving freight and will run “as long as there’s demand for it”.

“There were conversations of freight doubling, but I think it’s something in the 500 to 1000 boxes a week that the market’s looking to move via coastal, that’s over and above what’s already going,” Piper said.

NZ First transport spokesperson Denis O’Rourke said it took the Kaikoura earthquake to “awaken” the need for a coastal shipping service, “which successive governments have allowed to be run down”.

The Government must consider funding KiwiRail roll-on roll-off ferry services between Wellington and Lyttelton, he said.

“State Highway 1 may be out of action for possibly a year or two causing intense congestion on the Lewis Pass route so we need a better freight route.

“I’m not sure Lyttelton has capacity so the Government needs to step to ensure it happens.”

Mr O’Rourke said such a service should be permanent.

Meanwhile, the Taxpayers’ Union is calling on KiwiRail to disclose the extent of its insurance and expected cost of damage to the South Island rail network from the Kaikoura earthquake.

Taxpayers’ Union executive director, Jordan Williams, said KiwiRail was lobbying the Government for funding before the full costs of rebuilding hundreds of kilometres of Kaikoura coastal line becomes clear.

“It knows that previous analysis by the Treasury has questioned the viability of most of the South Island rail network, even prior to the quake. Rebuilding the rail needs to be weighed against a higher capacity, or more secure, road corridor inland from the east coast.”

Source – Stuff.



rail logs 1475692736460

The  Napier to Wairoa rail line is reopening to cope with an expected ‘wall of wood’.

The mothballed Napier to Wairoa rail line is to come back to life late next year after a five-year hiatus. KiwiRail and Napier Port have announced a commercial agreement that would see the port company run a dedicated log service from Wairoa to the port from late next year. The agreement depends on the port company approving KiwiRail’s updated forecast cost for restoring the line to service.

The line has been mothballed since 2012, when washouts on the Wairoa-Gisborne section led KiwiRail to stop all rail services north of Napier.

Port chief executive Garth Cowie said the East Coast region was expecting a major increase in log exports from late next year, with significant volumes forecast to come through both Eastland Port in Gisborne and Napier Port.

“The increasing long-term log volumes from Wairoa will stretch the capacity and infrastructure of both road and rail in the whole East Coast region,” he said. “It’s vital that we have the capability within the wider region to transport these in a reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly manner, and the reopening of the rail link will enhance transport options for our log exporters.”

The Wairoa log service will initially run over the weekend, with two services each Saturday and Sunday.

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said: “We had always signalled that the line could reopen in the future, as long as there was sufficient freight volume available to support rail operations and the necessary investment in infrastructure was made”.

The port is owned by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. Interim chief executive Liz Lambert was delighted.

“The community regularly gave us feedback supporting this line being reinstated. It makes perfect sense to see this arrangement sit commercially between Napier Port and KiwiRail.”

Source  – Stuff


chinese spy ship

Chinese spy ship has come in from the cold to berth in Auckland harbour, but according to one security analyst, its presence is no cause for concern.

According to port records, the ship, shown above, arrived on Sunday and is expected to stay until Thursday, but some observers claim the vessel was spotted in Auckland as early as last Thursday. The vessel is named the Yuan Wang 5, which translates to “long view” – an apt name for a ship equipped with satellite technology.

Security analyst Dr Paul Buchanan said it was a spy ship.

“They’re what we call multi-platform. Their public mission is to monitor their satellites and missiles. That’s about 30 per cent of what they do,” he said. “Signal intelligence, predominantly of the United States, naval threats and observing other countries telemetry data … they try to listen to submarine communications. That’s probably 60, 70 per cent of what they do.”

There were similar American and French vessels with a South Pacific presence, Mr Buchanan said.

He said the crew of 450 was disproportionate to the number of people required for its public purpose. “Most of them will not be sailors.”

But there is no reason to be concerned.

“There’s no real big deal. We’ll be listening to them listening to us … our spies will want to have a look, and probably will,” he said. “Some people are saying ‘they’re coming in to listen closer’ but they don’t need to come into port to listen to us if they wanted to.”

Mr Buchanan said we can expect similar ships to dock in our harbours in future.

“It’s part of a bigger scene, and that game is only going to become more intense. It’s part of China’s push to be a great power … in order to be a great power, you need to make your presence known in a far-off place.”

China recently signed a deal with Argentina allowing them to have a satellite station on Argentinian territory, meaning many spy ships in the vicinity of South America could be re-deployed to the Pacific in future, he said.

Representatives from the Chinese Embassy were not immediately available for comment.

Source – Stuff


Ports of Auckland will shortly start work to partially automate its container terminal.  It will be the first New Zealand port and only the third straddle carrier terminal in the world to automate.

When complete in 2019, automated straddle carriers will be used to load and unload trucks and operate the container yard.  Manually-driven straddle carriers will continue to work between the yard and ship-to-shore cranes.

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson (below at right) said “This is a game changer for us.  We need more container terminal capacity but we can’t expand through reclamation, so we have to go up.  Automation allows us to do that safely and efficiently.”​

“This stage of automation will increase our terminal capacity from just over 900,000 TEU a year to 1.6-1.7 million TEU annually.  That is enough to support an Auckland population of around 2.7 million.  In other words, this technology gives us an additional 30-40 years of capacity.”

“Automation will also help us operate sustainably.  Automated straddle carriers will use up to 10% less fuel, reducing our carbon footprint.  They need less light and operate more quietly, reducing our impact on neighbouring communities.  And they will lower our costs, making our operation more competitive and sustainable long-term,” he added.

The decision has been made after a year of consultation with staff and unions and detailed studies to prove the concept’s safety and effectiveness.

As a result of auttony gibson among containersomation, around 50 stevedoring roles could go.  As the project will take about three years to implement, we will endeavour to manage the reduction in roles through a combination of staff turnover, retirement and retraining.

Ports of Auckland currently operates a fleet of 13m tall manual straddle carriers which can stack containers up to three high. The automated straddle carriers will be 15.8m tall and will be able to stack containers up to four high.

Automated straddle carriers will operate on the truck grid and in the yard, where the work is less complex.  POAL stevedores will continue to drive straddles between the container yard and the ship-to-shore cranes.  This is because automation is more complex in this area and while it has been done at two other ports, it delivers lower productivity than Ports of Auckland currently achieves, but manual operation in this area is the best option for customers.

The main reason the new automated straddle carriers deliver more capacity is because they can stack containers one higher than the existing manual straddles.  This, combined with changes to the terminal layout and completion of our current reclamation project will increase capacity by nearly 80 percent.

Automated straddles also deliver significant savings over manned straddle carriers.  As well as the obvious saving in labour costs, automated straddles use less fuel, reducing fuel cost and carbon emissions; need less maintenance and repair; need less terminal lighting, reducing electricity costs and light pollution; can operate more quietly, with significantly less noise from container landings and contact, and provide greater safety by separating people and machines.​

Source – Scoop NZ

container co pix


ContainerCo handled, repaired, stored and serviced about 329,000, 20-foot containers last year. It is one of New Zealand’s largest independent container storage firms, and is building a new depot in Hawke’s Bay, as it moves all operations to one site. The new purpose-built facility will be developed on a five-hectare site in Mersey St, within the Napier City Council’s industrial zone.

The project, which is expected to cost between $5 million and $10m, will replace two of the company’s Napier depots, on Battery Rd and Austin St, and consolidate operations at Mersey St.

ContainerCo managing director Ken Harris said that the investment reflected and supported the growth of exports and imports in Hawke’s Bay, as well as the continued success of Napier Port in attracting cargo to and from the wider region.

“The new site will future-proof our presence in Hawke’s Bay. We have seen significant growth in the need for shipping company and shipper related services in recent years and we expect this to continue,” he said.

The depot would accommodate more than 5000, 20-foot containers, and include rail facilities that would reduce the regions reliance on road transport. It would also have specialist facilities for the horticultural sector. The company has signed a lease to August 2036.

“The long term lease secures the land ContainerCo needs to expand its operations in order to be able to handle an expected increase in container movements in the future,” Mr Harris said.

ContainerCo has depots in Tauranga, Auckland, Napier and Christchurch – adjacent to the country’s four largest container ports.The sector is expected to generate further demand for services, with container volumes experiencing compound annual growth of 4.3 per cent over the past five years, Mr Harris said.

“This growth is projected to accelerate due to the increasing containerisation of New Zealand’s bulk cargo. Since 2012, 40-foot and 20-foot container volumes entering and leaving New Zealand have grown by 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively.”

The increase in container volumes was putting pressure on port facilities, creating demand for stand-alone container storage and repair depots.

“Demand for off-port container processing and storage has steadily grown and this site is important as it is near port and rail infrastructure, reducing truck movements and exporter and importer costs. The cost of container handling needs to be as low as possible to ensure that exporters are competitive and costs are minimised, therefore container parks need to be as close to the port and rail as possible.”

ContainerCo​ is hoping to list on the New Zealand stock exchange within the next two months.  A meeting this week to discuss the listing will include financial advisors Cameron Partners, ContainerCo’s newly appointed independent director Paul Ridley-Smith, and new general manager strategy and finance George Paterson. They will accompany ContainerCo’s​ managing director and 50 per cent shareholder Ken Harris who formed the company in a management buyout from P&O Ports in 2006.

The latest appointments underscore the new direction of the company. Mr Paterson’s capital markets experience includes a stint as chief financial officer with Southern Capital, and as joint chief executive of Hirequip​ during its sale to private equity interests in 2006. He managed the sale of Masterpet​ to Ebos Group, was recently general manager of LED start up Ecopoin​t, and is an independent director of TeamTalk​.

“The process of evaluating the capital raising options has begun in earnest and listing on the NZX is one of them,” Mr Paterson said.

Meanwhile, new independent director Mr Ridley-Smith’s credentials include chairman of Trustpower, and independent director of Arvida​, both NZX-listed companies. He is a senior executive at Morrison & Co and Infratil, companies involved in large infrastructure developments.  The two new directors join ContainerCo’s other directors – chairman Stuart Ferguson, managing director Ken Harris, and Yingjie He, also vice president of COSCO Shipping Lines Oceania.

Source  – Stuff NZ

Ocean Driver livestock carrier

The ‘Ocean Drover’, the world’s largest purpose built livestock carrier, visits Timaru . Pix John Bisset/ Fairfax NZ


The world’s largest, purpose-built livestock carrier, the Ocean Drover arrived in Timaru last month to collect a shipment of dairy heifers bound for China. The shipment is a Fonterra initiative to supply its China dairy farms with livestock.

Half of the shipment were loaded at Timaru and the remainder in Napier for a total shipment of approximately 8000 cows.

Fonterra Livestock Portfolio Director Fiona Carrick said the shipment was “one of our normal, scheduled animal shipments to support our farming operations in China.

“Since we started our farming operations in 2007, our preference has been to export animals from New Zealand and Australia so we can maintain our closed herd system and ensure optimum condition of the animals on our farms there. We are exporting in-calf heifers. These animals are specifically bred to perform well in the China farming environment and produce high quality milk,” she said.

New rules that will give the Ministry for Primary Industries greater visibility of the welfare of animals being exported from New Zealand came into force at the end of August. The changes give MPI’s Director-General more powers to require reports on the welfare of animals during their journey and for up to 30 days after their arrival in the importing country.

The Ocean Drover was commissioned in 2002 by Wellard Group and is the world’s largest, purpose-built livestock carrier capable of transporting 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe. It is carries 1500 tonnes of animal fodder and can produce up to 600 tonnes of fresh water a day.

Source – Stuff


A clear pathway for the future of Auckland port has been outlined in the Port Future Study report, according to the Employers and Manufcturers Association (EMA), who were a member of the Consensus Working Group.

EMA was pleased the study provided certainty and direction on how to maintain the critical freight links for Auckland and New Zealand businesses, while accommodating the long term growth of the city.

“The Consensus Working Group put aside their various individual positions to come up with what appears to be akim campbell, ema2 workable plan that will guide the transition of the port to another location in the long term while maintaining the city’s critical position in the regional and national import and export supply chain in the interim,” said Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA (shown at right).

“Social pressures and/or freight capacity issues will drive the timing of the shift but it is likely to be 30 – 50 years. Even if you start the process today you are probably looking at a minimum 25 years for consenting and construction.”

The CWG recommendations, derived from the Port Future Study carried out by EY consultants and various peer reviews of key components of the EY Report, recommends two possible alternative locations in either the Manukau Harbour or the Firth of Thames acknowledging both options require much greater in-depth analysis before settling on a final location.

While that work continues and the complex process of consenting any of those options begins, the CWG agreed that a minor berth extension is required to cope with current and future cruise and freight traffic at the current downtown Auckland port.

“The port company has taken the contentious issue of reclamation completely off the table but does need to extend berth space to cope with general cargo currently managed on Bledisloe Wharf,” Mr Campbell said. “Now there is a clear pathway to eventually move the port, the community should acknowledge the efforts of the port and accept a short-term answer to achieve the long-term goal of moving the port. You can’t achieve a move until there is a viable consented alternative and you weaken the business case for a move if you don’t allow the current port to continue to be highly competitive and highly efficient.”

Mr Campbell says both the Manukau and Firth of Thames options present a wide variety of very complex issues including environmental, community, iwi concerns, transport links, funding and ownership questions.

“What the EY report and the CWG have achieved is to clearly identify the two best options. On balance we’d probably favour a large-scale east coast option as the most attractive to shipping companies and business as that also appears a logical alternative when Port of Tauranga eventually reaches its capacity. Now the really hard work begins on finding and consenting that viable long term option.”


Ports of Auckland Limited and Napier Port  have announced a strategic alliance which will provide operational, economic, sustainability and community benefits.

“Ports of Auckland and Napier Port are the gateways to two of the largest North Island provincial economies with significant growth and demands on infrastructure,” said Ports of Auckland Chief Executive, Tony Gibson.

The partnership will allow Napier and Auckland to work together to find ways to optimise services for freight customers and achieve further scale and efficiencies in the supply chain. It will prompt even greater competitive contestability and resilience in New Zealand’s supply chain to help lower costs to exporters and importers.

“There is a natural fit between Ports of Auckland and Napier Port. We share a similar way of working, common customers and supply chain opportunities and have similar ownership structures so that’s a great base to work from,” he added.

Napier Port Chief Executive, Garth Cowie, said the alliance also creates an opportunity to collaborate, share best practice and innovate in technology, health and safety and sustainability practices, areas where both ports are seeking to advance further.

“Napier Port’s vision is to be central New Zealand’s leading provider of port and logistics solutions. This alliance fits with the natural flow of freight in the North Island, based on ports close to demand centres and Auckland’s weighting towards imports and our strong export base.”

“Both operators are committed to growing our talent so we will be developing a joint talent pool, driving skills development and opportunities like staff exchanges where it makes sense,” he added.

“The alliance is a significant and exciting development for local exporters and the local community,” says Mr Cowie. “Better international freight links will benefit the Hawke’s Bay region, encouraging additional investment and supporting the growth of local employment opportunities.”

“This alliance truly demonstrates what we believe in at ExportNZ, that businesses should consider partnerships and collaboration in order to achieve better results,” said Amanda Liddle, Executive Officer at ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay. “It is a win-win situation for all exporters, as it will lead to an even more streamlined approach.”

The strategic alliance builds on Napier Port and Ports of Auckland’s existing joint venture in Palmerston North’s Longburn regional freight hub and will support Ports of Auckland’s regional freight hub network strategy to manage the growing freight market. This strategy helps to balance freight flows, provides exporters with choice, improves access to overseas markets and reduces exporters’ costs due to supply chain efficiencies.


A $25 million package of three road access improvements to Napier port has been announced by the Government as one of the first actions of Matariki – the Hawke’s Bay Economic Development Strategy.

Improving access to the port has been identified through the development of the strategy and its accompanying regional action plan as a key contributor to Hawke’s Bay’s economic growth.

“This connection is one of the three or four key pieces of infrastructure for Hawke’s Bays future prosperity,” said Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.  “I am pleased we are able to announce this funding as one of the first key initiatives of the Matariki Economic Development Action Plan.”

The road improvement package includes improvements to intersections at Watchman Road and Hyderabad Road/Prebensen Drive as well as the SH50/SH2 Expressway. It is part of the third tranche of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme announced in 2014 to speed up the delivery of transport projects important to regional New Zealand.

“In 2015 Napier Port handled the equivalent of more than 250,000 containers, up more than 16 per cent compared with 2014. Improving the road access will enable more efficient and safe movement of freight to and from the port and support future growth,” said Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

“The Napier Port Access Package is part of the $245 million being invested in land transport in the Hawke’s Bay region over the next three years. This includes more investment in public transport and cycling, which are key parts of the Government’s commitment to providing more transport choices,” said Mr Bridges.

Improvements at the Watchman Road intersection will start this summer and will take up to 12 months to complete. Design work for the proposed improvements to SH50 and at the Prebensen Drive/Hyderabad Road intersection is expected to begin before the end of this year with construction beginning in the first half of 2018.

“Having strong transport links between the port, the airport, Napier, Hastings, Northern Hawke’s Bay and Central Hawke’s Bay, is one of the key themes in the regional action plan, says Mr Joyce. “The regional ministers look forward to working with the region to deliver the package announced today plus further investments in the years ahead.”



June 19 this year marked the 45th anniversary of the first container ship to visit New Zealand, the Columbus New Zealand.

Records show that 410 container moves were completed on the vessel at POAL over a 38 hour visit at a net berth rate of 19.4 container moves an hour. It was worked for just over 21 hours of the 38 hours spent in port, in two shifts per day. Contrasted to modern operation, the average port time at POAL for a container ship is now 13.4 hours, the average container moves rate is over 80 per hour (with the port regularly achieving 100 moves er hour), and exchange sizes are up to 2500 containers. The Columbus New Zealand also called at Wellington and Port Chalmers (shown above)  during its June 1971 visit.

Hamburg Sud New Zealand general manager Simon Edwards said in addition to ship working rates having dramatically lifted, the efficiency of the ships had also improved. This was in both cargo carrying capacity to deadweight tonnage design, but also in the ship-board power and monitoring systems for the significant perishable cargo volumes carried each week in and out of the country.


A lack of shareholder consultation in the newly released Transport Domain Plan and Transport Research Strategy documents has been strongly criticised by the New Zealand Shippers’ Council chairman Mike Knowles.

Mr Knowles is dismayed that the two documents have been drafted on the basis of central and local government consultation, leaving out his organisation as well as such parties as ports and airports.

“We are the people who produce the freight or import it, “ he said. “We look forward to becoming involved in this process but do express surprise to not have been involved earlier.”

Furthermore, Mr Knowles suspects that much of the information the documents will generate is already in existence and fears a case of déjà vu.

“The Future Freight Scenario study produced a year ago by the Ministry of Transport was deeply flawed. This was the direct result of lack of consultation. We as the Shippers Council – the people who know the most about freight – were not consulted by those writing this study until it was in near final form. We essentially had to force consultation. We hope that this exercise released last month does not result in similarly poor quality outcomes at similarly high cost.”

Footnote: The Ministry of Transport released the Transport Domain Plan and the Transport Research Strategy at the end of July. MOT stated that these were complementary documents that provided the strategic direction the sector requires to fill key data, information and knowledge gaps to inform decision-making. The Domain Plan ensured that the sector had the right data and information and the Research Strategy created an environment for investment in the right research. Both are available on the Ministry of Transport website.



Transport Minister Simon Bridges at the new Waingawa Rail Log Hub which is now open.

Story and photograph by Piers Fuller, Fairfax NZ.

Travellers between Wellington and Wairarapa are lucky they are not being squeezed by a “wall of wood” congesting the Rimutaka Hill road and State Highway 2 motorways.

Thanks to the Waingawa rail hub, which was opened by Transport Minister Simon Bridges on August 1, more than 700 tonnes of logs will be hauled to Wellington every day by rail instead of grinding their way over the tortuous and windy Rimutaka pass and clogging the Hutt motorway. The wood volume going through the rail network, which has been shipping logs from just south of Masterton since 2012, amounts to a reduction of 16,000 truck and trailer trips per year with the volume set to double in two years.

Caption :Transport Minister Simon Bridges officially opened the Waingawa Rail Log Hub in Carterton with CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind.

Log volumes produced in Wairarapa have been consistently growing in recent years as trees mature which is often described statistically as a ‘wall of wood’. The volume through Wellington’s port company CentrePort alone has increased by nearly 100 per cent in the last five years.

The rail hub project in an industrial zone in rural Carterton district is the result of a partnership between CentrePort, Forest Enterprises Limited and Farman Turkington Forestry with the support of KiwiRail.

Managing director of Forest Enterprises Steve Wilton said the project all hinges on the long-term commitment of these companies to rail.

Forest Enterprises has put 468,000 tonnes of logs through Waingawa since 2012. The recently extended and overhauled Waingawa hub now is an integrated part of the logistics chain and has the ability to manage log storage taking pressure off the port for space, Wilton said.

“The wall of wood is just an increasing wave that’s building up from now. We’re likely to have twice the present volume going down that rail easily within the next two years,” he said.

Simon Bridges said as Transport Minister it was good to see rail playing to its strengths and complementing other transport modes to distribute goods.

“I know locals will be incredibly appreciative of the 16,000 trucks that they’re not going to see on the road as a result of this,” he said.

Farman Turkington Forestry partner Guy Farman is pleased with the commitment shown by Centreport and other stakeholders to make this hub work.

“It’s been really satisfying to see the hub and the port develop over the last few years. It’s certainly given us the confidence to take a long term lease at the Waingawa hub and expand our operations.”

CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said the Waingawa log hub offered regional log exporters a sustainable, reliable, economic way of moving large volumes of logs to the port.

“Part of our long-term strategy is to invest in infrastructure, develop strategic partnerships and create seamless road and rail connections from the hinterland to our seaport. This will help unlock the potential of Central New Zealand.”

Source – Stuff


Coda Group has welcomed the first rail wagons to its existing Savill Drive freight hub, in Auckland, creating one of New Zealand’s largest fully intermodal freight hubs.

Coda Chief Executive Scott Brownlee said the Coda intermodal freight hub will provide a consolidation point to bring together export, import and domestic cargo flows into one single location.

“Achieving rail connectivity at Savill Drive is a key milestone in the development of a more efficient transport network for the North Island. Traditionally separate, these three flows of cargo will now come together for the first time in one place and link to multiple transport modes including road, rail and coastal shipping,” said Mr Brownlee. “The intermodal freight hub and supporting network also increases the landside logistics capability required to service larger ships that will soon visit New Zealand.”

The access to rail was possible with the development of a new 10,000 sqm intermodal yard. Work will soon start on a 4,950 sqm warehouse extension and a 6,500 sqm freight canopy with a second rail siding.

KiwiRail Chief Executive, Peter Reidy, said Coda is an example of a logistics business working to better utilise New Zealand’s transport and infrastructure assets. KiwiRail offers New Zealand supply chain and transport operators the best landside logistics solution in cost, fuel and carbon efficiency.

“We are pleased to partner with Coda as they invest in assets and collaborative partnerships which support the growth of New Zealand businesses and in turn this brings significant benefits to the country,” said Mr Reidy.

Coda’s operation has already seen more than 2,000 southbound heavy vehicle trips be moved from roads onto rail, over the past year. By 2017, the Coda intermodal freight hub will consolidate and move by rail, the equivalent of 8,000 heavy vehicle trips of cargo. Each year this will save over 1.5 million litres of fuel and 4,000 tonnes of carbon emissions – equivalent to planting just over 100,000 tree seedlings, grown for 10 years*.

“The expansion will more than triple the capacity of the existing Coda rail offering between Auckland and Palmerston North, providing further opportunities for lower North Island exporters to access the two main ports in the North Island. The site is also strategically located to most major domestic manufacturers and distributors who move product around the country on a daily basis,” said Mr Brownlee.

Coda has also introduced its own range of bespoke fully intermodal 25-foot curtain-sided containers to meet customer requirements.

“By working together with our customers and partners, we are delivering fresh, innovative logistics solutions which will provide better matching of freight flows up and down the North Island. Our intermodal containers take imported and domestic freight southbound, Auckland to Palmerston North on the main truck line, and are then loaded with exports northbound to create a fully utilised rail loop. This improves efficiencies for the entire North Island supply chain,” said Mr Brownlee.

The Coda intermodal freight hub, Auckland, will be fully operational by December 2016 to provide a full logistics solution which includes transport, product warehousing, cross-dock facilities, container loading and devanning, container storage and hire. In 2017, a final stage development will see a new 7,360 sqm warehouse with additional freight canopy.

coda savill drive

Caption: Scott Brownlee, left, of Coda with Peter Reidy, CEO, KiwiRail.


soroy 2

Taio Shipping has purchased the 40-metre ferry Soroy from Norwegian interests for a planned August-September deployment in the northern Cook Islands.

Able to accommodate 50 people and 350 tonnes of cargo- and equipped with a 30 tonne freezer hold and five tonne chiller – the renamed Moana Nui is to provide as many services to the northern islands as possible, said Taio shipping owner Tapi Taio.

Moana Nui has the dry/freezer cargo capacity, speed, passenger comfort and capacity to run a service to all northern group islands- i.e. Rarotonga-Palmerston-Nassau-Puka Puka-Manihiki Rakahanga-Penrhyn-Rarotonga – on a 17 to 19 day journey, six to eight times per year,” Mr Taio said.

Described as being in “mint condition”, the vessel has a ten tonne heavy lifting crane, two internal cargo holds and cabin bunks for 30 people.

Mr Taio and his brother are currently in Norway overseeing maintenance, facility and livery upgrades on the currently dry docked vessel as well as the fitting of portable fuel tanks to enable its delivery voyage prior to embarking on the 65 day non stop journey.

Deployed with funding assistance from the Cook Island Government , the Moana Nui will replace smaller Taio shipping cargo ships which have provided demand driven northbound services.


New Zealand exports with a short shelf-life could run into trouble if shipping lines are threatened, according to Kotahi CEO David Ross. Rock-bottom freight prices could be the start of a risky situation for some primary sector exporters.

Kotahi believes a global downturn in the shipping industry is driving consolidation, which could mean supply chain disruptions for New Zealand companies exporting chilled meat, dairy, seafood and other products with limited shelf lives.

Kotahi’s chief executive David Ross said the world was experiencing a global glut of shipping capacity, partly because new bigger and more modern ships were coming online alongside existing ones. Competition and low fuel costs were driving ocean freight rates down, and although it was good for exporters and importers, it was not sustainable.

“Longer-term, we don’t want to risk low prices driving out quality shipping services that have the features essential for New Zealand’s requirements,” he told a primary sector summit in Wellington recently.

Exporters had been hurt before when the global financial crisis hit and some shipping companies stopped coming to New Zealand. For a time, not everyone who wanted to export could get their goods offshore, and the price of imports jumped, he said. Shipping was always finding its balance but “there’s more global shipping capacity laid up now than at the time of the GFC,” Mr Ross said.

“We need to take care that consolidation, cost saving initiatives and co-operation amongst shipping lines doesn’t degrade the quality and service levels for our New Zealand exporters and importers.”

Catherine Beard, Export NZ chief executive, agreed freight rates had “never been cheaper” and cannibalism among shipping lines was rife. Bigger ships were the other big mega-trend “because the more you can carry, the better margin for the shipping line”. It was probably too early to say whether New Zealand exporters should be concerned but “I think what will keep shipping lines here is whether it’s profitable for them to do so.”

Mr Ross, meanwhile, said Kotahi would focus on ensuring it had a sustainable supply chain by consolidating cargo and collaborating with ports, rail and other parts of supply chain.

The company formed in 2011 as a joint venture between Silver Fern Farms and Fonterra, but now handles timber, seafood and other primary sector customers. With New Zealand accounting for less than one per cent of global ocean trade, Ross said there was always at risk of losing services to the bigger picture.

“It’s not clear what will happen in this scenario but that’s why we’re not going to wait to find out.”

Source – Stuff


 TOYOTA SEALS DEAL 1463546060776

Toyota NZ manager of parts and logistics operations Dave Rhodes-Robinson, left, and Toyota general manager Spencer Morris with Captain Zaldy B. Taesagon on the bridge of the ‘Trans Future 5’ as it unloads the first shipment of Toyotas at CentrePort.

Palmerston North car dealerships were the first in the country to benefit from a new deal that should cut delivery times for Toyota customers. Toyota NZ and CentrePort have reached an agreement to ship cars through the Wellington port in an effort to meet growing demand for their vehicles in the central North Island.

CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said teams from both organisations met on Monday to offload the manufacturer’s first vehicle shipment through the port.

“We offloaded the latest shipment of new Toyotas direct from Japan, with priority cars delivered to Palmerston North by that afternoon,” he said.

The new agreement will see 200 vehicles processed through CentrePort every month, and will shave off five days transit time for central North Island customers. Mr Nind said this would increase the total number of vehicles being shipped through the port by 15 per cent.

Toyota manager for parts and logistics operations Dave Rhodes-Robinson said in the past Toyota distributed their cars to all North Island customers by road from Auckland. The CentrePort network allows Toyota to get its cars to dealers and customers in the central North Island several days faster than if they were coming by road from Auckland.

Mr Rhodes-Robinson said Toyota had set itself some challenging environmental goals around carbon emissions, and the main way to achieve them in New Zealand was to improve the supply chain. Using CentrePort’s daily rail service for inbound parts Toyota has reduced CO2 emissions for vehicle movements by 160 tonnes a year. Since early May all of Toyota’s sea-freighted parts have come through the port.

He said having their main parts distribution hub in Palmerston North was the main reason for the move. The trip between Wellington and Palmerston North was a quarter of the distance parts had to travel when they were brought in through Auckland, he said. But Toyota has no plans to expand the hub to include vehicles, despite the new deal with CentrePort.

“Palmerston North works well as a central hub for parts…we can get deliveries anywhere in the country overnight [from there], but vehicles are a different matter. With vehicles each extra stop in delivery added to the risk of damage, and additional cost,”he said.

Source – Stuff


centrepoint dredging harbour entrance centrepoint dredging harbour berths off Thorndon quay 

Where CentrePort proposes to dredge the sea floor at the entrance to Wellington Harbour, and at the berth. –SUPPLIED PIX

‘Dredge it or lose it’ is the message from CentrePort as public consultation launches on plans to scoop a 7-kilometre channel for heavy sea traffic into Wellington Harbour. CentrePort is about to apply for resource consent to dredge 6 million cubic metres of sediment from the harbour floor – enough to fill a million concrete trucks – which would be dumped into the sea off Fitzroy Bay, just outside the harbour’s entrance. A 7km channel will be cut from the mouth, reaching 17.2 metres at its deepest point, at a cost of between $37 million and $44 million.

The work would impact an aquifer that supplies water to the region, and flatten waves at Eastbourne by a third. But CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said without it Wellington would not keep up with new, larger ships set to arrive soon in this country.

CentrePort, which is owned by the Greater Wellington and Horizons regional councils, can take ships that carry the equivalent of about 4500 standard containers. But with the new channel, Wellington will be able to handle ships that can carry the equivalent of 6000 containers.

Mr Nind said CentrePort planned to lodge its resource consent in June to Greater Wellington Regional Council, and hoped to have the process completed in about nine months. Ports in Otago and Tauranga have already won consent and started work on dredging their harbours to allow larger ships.

The work would take place over the Waiwhetu aquifer, and was expected to have an affect on the underground water supply used for the Wellington region. Environmental impact reports commissioned by CentrePort said the effect would be negligible.

Eastbourne Community Board chair Virginia Horrocks said the community was still getting to grips with what the proposal meant for people there.

There was expected to be about a 30 per cent reduction in wave height, which would impact on Eastbourne’s beach recreation, she said.

“There will be a fairly major affect on our beaches. It’s interesting how many people come to Eastbourne, particularly in a southerly, and there are various times of the year when our beach is a fantastic place to surf.”

Jim Mikoz, president of the Wellington Recreational Marine Fishers Association, said while the work was needed for the port, he questioned why the sediment would be dumped off Fitzroy Bay. He believed large quantities would wash straight back into the harbour entrance.

CentrePort may undertake the deepening works in one go or in a series of smaller stages. The entire dredge in one go with a larger vessel would take about 18 weeks, while a smaller vessel it would take about 90 weeks.

CentrePort has confirmed the possibility of material from its proposed harbour dredge being used for the Wellington Airport runway extension. The dredged material, enough to fill a million concrete trucks, would then be dumped at two sites and potentially be used for the runway extension.

Wellington Airport communications general manager Greg Thomas said CentrePort’s material was “appropriate to be used”. “The material in the outer channel … is sandy sediment, perfect for reclamation into the sea.”

However, Sean Rotmann, from Guardians of the Bays, which opposes the runway extension, has called for an independent review, saying the material might not be strong enough or of high enough quality.

“As a long-term ratepayer investment, dumping millions of tonnes of sediment into the Cook Strait is a really daft idea,” she said. “We need a lot more sophisticated modelling and data collection to know the full impact, especially in an environment like Cook Strait.”

Mr Nind confirmed the sediment within Wellington Harbour and at the container wharf was contaminated by runoff from urban and agricultural areas, but said it was within guidelines and there would be a “negligible effect” on marine life and recreational harbour users. He confirmed any contaminated material removed from the wharf would be placed in deeper water, where the levels of contamination were similar.

“Overall, dredging will reduce surface contaminants at both dredging and disposal sites. This is because surface sediments from the wharf area will be dredged first and be covered at the disposal site by the less contaminated deeper material from the wharf.”

Dredging would take place only when currents were less than 0.1 metre a second, which would limit how far the sediment moved.

Source – Stuff


Farmers should not expect a quick increase in export returns as a result of recently agreed protocols to allow access of New Zealand chilled meat into China, says the head of investment for Chinese meat company Shanghai Maling Henry Wu.

Mr Wu told a group of visiting Silver Fern Farm shareholder farmers there were obstacles to overcome before the chilled meat agreement bore fruit, pointing to the slow progress being made by Australia as a result of a similar deal it signed a year ago.

“Long term it will be a good one but in the short term, for two or three years, it cannot achieve reasonable volumes,” he said.

The main issue Mr Wu identified was the chilled product’s shelf life of 90 days, much of which would already have been used by the time the meat reached supermarkets in China.

“If you ship by a big ship from New Zealand to China, it probably costs you 30 days and for the customer clearance and the rest, by the time it gets to the supermarket it will already be half time and normally the supermarkets don’t like these kind of margins. They want at least 70 per cent of the shelf life in China but for these products it’s only about half and if they cannot sell these chilled products, there will be a big waste. Sometimes when you sell one box of the beef, you had to waste another two or three boxes.”

He said another problem was that by the time the meat reached end consumers it had aged too much for them and would be “very soft” and that Chinese chefs preferred meat aged for five to 10 days.

“The third thing is the Chinese logistic system is still quite primary so for the frozen market, especially in the summer, if the temperature is not controlled very well, the quality can still be kept but for the chilled ones, if you cannot control the temperature for 40 minutes, it will be damaged. That is why a lot of supermarkets do not like the chilled products – it is very hard,” Mr Wu said.

State-owned meat producer and processor Shanghai Maling is awaiting Overseas Investment Office approval of it’s purchase of a 50 per cent stake in New Zealand co-op Silver Fern Farms.

Mr Wu said Silver Fern Farms must concentrate on value-added products to succeed in China and reduce the risk associated with fluctuating international prices and demand.

“If the international price is good, New Zealand exports more and you get more money for Silver Fern Farms and the local farmers but if the international price is not good, like the lamb price last year in China, not only Silver Fern Farms, also the farmers get damage. We want to have value-added products in China, we want to have a very strong brand value and we want to have a stable cash flow for us, for Silver Fern Farms and for the local farmers to tie everyone closer.”

He said Shanghai Maling understood it’s customers needs and could better match New Zealand production with Chinese demand.

“If you sell the box of beef or lamb, the margin will probably be 10 or 12 percent for the factories. For us it’s probably only three to four percent for that trade but for value-added, once in China it could be 32 percent and it could go to 50 or 60 percent.”

Mr Wu said seasonal issues, with New Zealand freezing works, especially in the South Island, closing down in winter needed to be addressed.

“You close your factories in winter which is the summer in China but that’s when the Chinese most likely eat lamb and mutton so during that time most of the New Zealand factories do not have the supply which means we have to leave this part of the market to the others.”

He said the downtime in New Zealand could be used to concentrate on value-added products, for example packaged cuts ready-sauced for Chinese buyers.

“We will make a different standard of beef and lamb for the value added products. If your farm have premium cuts we give you a premium price. If that is medium we give you medium price; if that is low value, then sorry, low price. It depends on what kind of products you give us and it depends on what kind of products we sell. The cake will be bigger and we will cut it fairly.”

Source – Stuff


Jon Mayson, the chairman of Scales Corp, New Zealand’s biggest apple exporter, will step down at next year’s annual general meeting.

Mr Mayson, who made the announcement at the company’s annual meeting in Christchurch last month, and has been in post since May 2012, overseeing its listing on the New Zealand stock exchange in July 2014. Tim Goodacre has been appointed to the role of deputy chairman. Mr Goodacre was appointed to the board in 2014 and was previously chief executive of Zespri International between 2003 and 2007.

In Scales’ update to investors at the AGM, managing director Andy Borland said 4.1 million cartons of apples had been picked in this season’s harvest, up 1.5 percent on 2015. The percentage of the crop deemed suitable for export is expected to be slightly above last year’s figure of 78 percent. A third of the crop has been sold, with Borland telling investors that “prices are generally in line with expectations”. Scales doubled its annual profit in 2015 off the back of selling higher value apples to Asia and the Middle East, where sweeter, redder varieties attract a premium price, and paid a special dividend of 4 cents on top of an ordinary annual dividend of 13 cents.

Scales has been one of the standout performers in recent initial public offerings or share floatations in New Zealand. Shares were valued at $1.60 when it listed and have risen as high as $3.47 on May 4 this year. A short while ago they were down 2.6 percent, or 9 cents, at $3.33. Shares have risen by 42 percent since the start of the year.

Source – (NZXBusinessDesk)


Port Otago is expecting its new tug to be delivered in the first week of May.

In December 2015, the port signed a contract with Sanmar Shipyards in Turkey to build a Robert Allan designed Rascal 1800 Class ASD tugboat, 18 metres long and with a 27.2 tonne ( 30 ton) bollard pull.

Port Otago Limited commenced channel dredging last year to achieve a maintained channel depth of 14 metres. The work is being undertaken using the port owned and operated dredge New Era. The new tug will primarily used for manoeuvring a 750m3 split hopper barge that will work alongside the New Era.

The tug will be available as required for ship assist duties and possible external charter opportunities. To be named Arihi, the tug was launched to sea in March.   The vessel is expected to achieve a speed of 12 knots, powered by two Caterpillar C32 main engines, each developing 970kW at 1800 rev/min. Veth VZ-900 azimuth drives carbon composite shafts to 1700mm diameter propellors inside high efficiency nozzles.


The Panama Canal is to impose new depth restrictions on ships due to drought that has left water levels falling in lakes that form part of the waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Ships seeking to cross the waterway must comply with a maximum draught of 39 feet (11.89m) beginning on 18 April, authorities have said.

The “temporary and preventive measures” are connected to local climate impacts of El Niño, the seasonal weather phenomenon that has caused a drought in the canal’s watershed, and will be implemented in six-inch (15cm) depth increments to be announced at least four weeks in advance.

Meanwhile, the planned £23.3bn inter-ocean canal in Nicaragua has been postponed. The world’s biggest canal project – a $50bn interoceanic canal through Nicaragua, which is set to rival the Panama Canal – has been delayed following an environmental report and a collapse in the fortunes of the Chinese businessman behind the company that planned to build it.

The Hong Kong Nicaragua Development (HKND) Group has stated it would be another year before the start of major works on the proposed rival to the Panama canal. The company said the “design of the canal is being fine tuned”, in accordance with recommendations contained in an environmental impact assessment.

Preliminary operations on ports and access roads started 11 months ago. Since then the slow pace of work on the canal has been attributed to the wait for the environmental report. The report was approved earlier this month, but instead of ramping up work the company said in a statement: “The construction of locks and the big excavations will start toward the end of 2016.”

The mega-project – which would be the world’s biggest earth-moving operation – has proved controversial since it was agreed by Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega and Wang Jing, the Chinese telecoms mogul who subsequently registered HKND.


CentrePort is planning $75 million of investment over the next three years, including spending $17m on a deeper channel to allow bigger vessels to enter its port.

CentrePort’s chief executive Derek Nind (shown at right), chief financial officer Kieran Sweetman ceo wgtn nindand chairman Warren Larsen made a presentation to the Horizons Regional Council last month. Horizons owns 23.08 per cent of the port, while Greater Wellington Regional Council is the majority shareholder with 76.92 per cent.

The trio told Horizons councillors that the port company had planned $75m of investment in the next three years, including a channel deepening at a cost of $17m.

Mr Nind said they would soon lodge a consent to bring the channel to 14.5 metres in all tides. This would be done later in the year. CentrePort was looking for a 34-year consent, the longest available.

Mr Nind said they were also looking to increase log storage capability at Kaiwharawhara Point – just under 3 hectares of undeveloped land east of the ferries.

Or they would look at a land swap with KiwiRail and have it become part of the ferry terminal.

“We’ve got aspirations to look at really developing the whole ferry aspect,” he said.

Mr Sweetman said they would fund some of the expenditure by selling surplus land. One such area was a section at Burnham, which will be going out for shareholder approval. A lot of the Burnham land was vacant, he said. Another section of land for possible future sale was a section on their Harbour Quay.

Mr Sweetman said their half yearly results were positive, running ahead of where they were last year. They were on track to meet their budgeted net profit of $13m and would also reach the expected dividend of $6.1m.

“We’re tracking slightly behind budget but expect to catch up in this half,” he said.

Port operations were tracking “very positively”, according to Mr Sweetman. Log shipments were up 30 per cent from 2013 till 2015. Container volumes were up about 18 per cent on last year.

“There are not too many ports that are seeing that growth profile at this stage,” Mr Nind said. “There is a lot more work to do but we are making good progress, strategies are being successful and our log growth is ongoing.”

Wellington’s productivity was “as good as any port in the country”, he said.

CentrePort has recently issued its draft statement of intent for 2017-19 to shareholders for comment.

Source – Stuff


napier dredging plan

Petrol pump, elephant’s trunk, or something else? The map showing Napier Port, in green, and a large grey area where dredging is planned.

Napier Port has released plans for a multimillion-dollar dredging and development project. The company went public with plans for a new berth at the port, plus an extensive harbour dredging programme to cater for growing shipping demands in and out of Hawke’s Bay.

The announcement included the release of a map of the planned dredging area which – for some – had a distinctly phallic shape. However, Napier Port chief executive Garth Cowie said he saw the shape depicted in the map as more like a petrol pump nozzle.

“We’re happy to talk to people about the plan – and what they think it’s shaped like – as part of the wider consultation process,” he said.

A different map with shaded areas showing the timing of different phases of the proposed dredging project would be used during public consultation, Mr Cowie said.

“It still looks like a petrol pump although it’s not quite as prominent.”

Asked about the cost of the work, Mr Cowie said he could only talk in “ballpark numbers” but it would be between $50 million and $100m.

The development would give the port the ability to handle increased cargo volumes and larger ships as its business grew. The company had already spent about $75m over the past three years on capital developments at the port.

“We’ve been doing a lot of investment to ensure we’re able to handle the increase in volume,” Mr Cowie said.

Resource consent for the new berth and dredging work would be sought late this year.

Source- Stuff


Ports of Auckland Limited has signed a conditional agreement to purchase 33 hectares of land at Northgate Business Park for development as a freight hub. The site has convenient road and rail connections and is located at Horotiu, 8km north of Hamilton in an area with growing manufacturing, warehousing and logistics businesses.

“This is a strategic purchase, which will be developed over a number of years,” said Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson. “Establishing a freight hub in the Waikato is a central part of our supply chain strategy as it is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing areas and a major freight generator. Waikato will complete our North Island freight hub network, complementing our existing sites in the Manawatu, Bay of Plenty and Wiri, South Auckland.

“The key benefit of our freight hub network is that it can be used to balance freight flows around the North Island and eliminate unnecessary movement of empty containers. By driving out waste from the supply chain we can lower the cost to importers and exporters.

“Establishing a Waikato freight hub will improve access to overseas markets for Waikato-based exporters and will reduce exporters’ costs because of the supply chain efficiencies we will be able to achieve,” said Mr Gibson. “Better international freight links will also benefit the region, encouraging additional investment in the Waikato and greater employment opportunities.

“There will be significant investment in the site over a number of years, with the first step being to establish road and a rail connections. Rail forms a key part of our supply-chain strategy. The Northgate site was chosen because it is beside the North Island Main Trunk line, with a direct link to our other freight hubs and our Waitematā seaport. The site is also located close to State Highway 1.

“We are committed to increasing our use of rail and creating a more sustainable transport system, which will in turn help generate infrastructure savings at a national level. Our target is to increase the use of rail from 13 percent to 30 percent of traffic to our Waitematā port in Auckland. The development of our inland freight hub network is critical to achieving this target,” he added.

The development will adopt strong environmental principles, such as storm water treatment, rain water recycling and low energy use.

Ports of Auckland is now working through the conditions attached to the sale and is aiming to complete the deal by March 31.

esperance bay at timaru


Pacific Basin’s bulk delivery vessel, Esperance Bay, became the first caller at PrimePort Timaru’s newly developed No 2 wharf in December when arriving with 22,000 tonnes of cement for Holcim New Zealand.

Having sailed from Japan, the 17,019 gt bulk carrier berthed as normal at the new 233-metre wharf, assisted by tugs Aoraki and Timaru. The new facility replaces a previous timber structure, and the concrete wharf has been built primarily for the Holcim cement trade in a $75 million project which included the construction of a 30,000 tonne capacity storage silo.

PrimePort Timaru expects to handle about 350,000 tonnes of cement per year, and whilst Holcim will have priority access, the facility can be used for other bulk vessels when available.

PrimePort CEO Phil Melhopt said that he expected to see the facility used for other dry products such as fertiliser. He said the coastal cement callers were due on a greater than weekly frequency, and he expected the wharf would host about 20 bulk carriers per year.


The New Zealand Federation have published their latest Government advisory document,annabelle2 entitled “Full Steam Ahead”.

“The Government is missing opportunities in the coastal maritime sector.  We are offering “Full Speed Ahead” as an aspirational document to give them ideas about how they can do better,” says NZ Shipping Federation Executive Director, Annabel Young, (shown at right).

“Our aim is to put coastal shipping back into the equation when politicians and officials are considering New Zealand’s transport options.We think that every political party will find some thing to like in the document and we want to talk to them about it. There are win-win options that are getting ignored.”
“Full Speed Ahead” is available on the Federation Website at http://nzsf.org.nz/


The New Zealand Maritime School (MIT) is offering opportunities for businesses to employ graduates’ skills on a temporary basis or internship ‘allowance based’ condition.

The New Zealand Maritime School is well known in the market for excellence in courses, modules and training provided in the logistics, forwarding and shipping domains. It has a number of graduating students now available for any working options. MIT is open to collaboration with firms to ensure they have bright and qualified candidates at a minimal outlay; while providing valuable experience for students.

To view CVs or interview candidates, please contact logistics programme leader: Vaughan Lovelock at Vaughan.lovelock@manukau.ac.nz


Ports of Auckland is negotiating with Panuku Development Auckland to sell the port of Onehunga and make it available for public use.

POA CEO Tony Gibson said that the Manukau harbour was now too shallow for modern shipping, making the port of Onehunga unsuitable for freight operations. Over the past few years, POA had consolidated its Onehunga operations in the main port on the Waitemata harbour.

Holcim New Zealand currently operate a cement-handling facility at Onehunga, but from mid 2016, Holcim ships would no longer call at Onehunga, and will use a new cement import silo on the cityside wharves. Holcim will continue to operate a cement bagging facility at Onehunga.

Onehunga is also used by the fishing industry, and this will continue unchanged.

“This enables us to make land at the port of Onehunga available to Aucklanders, just as we have done at Princes wharf, Queens wharf, the Viaduct harbour and Wynyard quarter,” Mr Gibson said. By improving our efficiency we have been able to consolidate our operations, halve our land footprint and still continue to serve Auckland and New Zealand’s growing freight needs. We are keeping up with the international trend toward larger ships and we are evolving to meet thgrowing freight demands while taking up less space.”

John Dalzell, chief executive of Panuku Development Auckland said that the Onehunga town centre and its surrounds is identified as a key location which will facilitate long term residential and/or commercial developments that deliver one of the objectives of the Auckland  plan – to radically improve the quality of urban living.

Within that, transforming the Onehunga port site to facilitate more public uses is seen a a key to unlocking the economic, recreation, tourism and transportation potential of the Manukau harbour.

Technical and environmental due diligence on the site had been completed, and “we hope to enter into a conditional agreement for the site in the next few months,” he said.


“Unseasonably high demand is resulting in delays of up to 11 days for ships waiting to transit the Panama Canal.

A range of initiative have been launched by the Panama Canal Authority (AVP) to expedite movements and decrease canal water time, including postponing non critical maintenance at the locks; modifying the booking system; cancelling draught restrictions and assigning additional crews to operate tugs, locomotives and locks. Additionally, it has suspended booking slots for “regulars available in the third period” for vessels less than 300ft as well as “just in time slots for regulars.”

ACP administrator and chief executive Jorge Quijano said that they had taken measures to try to speed traffic over the 12 hour transit, and reduce wait times.

“In the last year, the canal handled record cargo tonnage and greatly advanced the canal expansion programme, which was now 94 per cent complete, and would double the canal’s cargo capacity.

“We are working to improve the situation and are making steady progress but it is slow,” he said.

The canals volume increase has been attributed to vessels being diverted from the US west coast, a higher than normal number of ships requiring additional security such as tankers and gas carriers, and a rise in deep draught vessels. Weather is also understood to have slowed movements, with fog in the month of October alone delaying 107 vessels and drought reducing water levels in Gatun Lake and thereby increasing lock processing time.


Danish firm Rohde Nielsen has commenced a one year dredging project at the Port of Tauranga which will widen and deepen its shipping channels from 12.9 metres to 14.5 metres inside the harbour, and 15.8 metres outside the harbour.

This is the final component of a five year , $350 million capital expenditure to make the port “big ship capable”. The $50 million dredging work is being undertaken by two trailer suction hopper dredges, who will deliver the dredgings of clean sand to assigned sites which will help to replenish local beaches. The dredging work will enable the port to accommodate 6500 TEU and 300 metre long vessels at low tide.


Former Christchurch City councillor Tim Carter is the driving force behind the new Rolleston industrial park that will be worth $500 million when finished. Mr Carter is the son of NBR Rich lister Philip Carter. Their South Island Industrial Port, branded “IPORT”, in Rolleston, is the latest significant industrial development by the group. The logistics park located on 122 hectares of industrial-zoned land was bought from farmers, and already 27ha has been sold to Lyttelton Port of Christchurch which will work closely with Carter Group given they have adjoining sites.

Containers will flow across the boundary between LPC and Carter land under Tim Carter’s plan. The initial servicing of the site with sewerage and roads will take about 12 months.

“A huge advantage for companies locating at IPORT will be the shared boundary with LPC’s inland port …,” Mr Carter said. “We’re working closely with them to make sure we’ve got this open boundary.”

Two-thirds of the 95 hectares held by IPORT would be developed by the Carter Group, which had earmarked stage one sites that shared the common boundary with LPC, for lease. The remaining third of IPORT’s 95 hectares would be sold freehold to industrial developers that wanted their own piece of land at the hub.

The eventual $500m total would include the cost of commercial buildings with the bulk of those to be delivered in subcontracted “design and lease” projects, managed by Carters. Part of the group’s choice to buy the land at Rolleston, as a significant regional hub, was the stage 2 extension of the Christchurch southern motorway. About 92 per cent of all Lyttelton Port exports already flowed through Rolleston, on the main trunk and Midland rail lines or via State Highway 1.

Mr Carter said figures from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) showed the extended motorway would be able to carry more than double the traffic volumes of the present route, bringing added benefits to the region.”

Based on 2041 traffic figures supplied from NZTA, the motorway would halve travel times between Rolleston and Christchurch’s central city from around 30 minutes to 15 minutes, which compared well with other cities, he said. Already five large “agricultural producers (and) transport operators” had indicated interest in the IPORT site.

“They’re very interested in co-locating by Lyttelton port,” which handled 376,000 container equivalents annually, Mr Carter said.

Source – Stuff


tauranga tugs


After 30 days at sea en route from Hong Kong, the first of Port of Tauranga’s new tugs have arrived. Tai Pari, and her sister vessel Tai Timu are part of the port’s $350 million investment in its infrastructure as it works to position itself as the North Island port capable of handling the larger containers ships that are expected in the future.

“We are extremely pleased to take delivery of  these new vessels which are a significant upgrade to our existing fleet and will serve the port for the next 25 years,” Port of Tauranga’s manager operations Phil Julian said.

Tai Pari is built to move at full power in any direction and has a 74 tonne bollard pull – significantly larger than the port’s present tug with its 50 tonne bollard pull.  Tai Timu has been built to the same specification, making the pair very useful additions to the fleet. The next few weeks will be spent familiarising port staff in the operation of the vessel and it is planned to enter service at the end of the month.

Port of Tauranga, established in the 1950s, is the country’s largest port by total cargo tonnes and land area. Set up to support a burgeoning forest export industry, it expanded as other import and export cargoes were introduced and now handles almost 20 million tonnes of cargo annually.  The port’s pitch is that its sea, road and rail connections make it an ideal transport hub for New Zealand, giving importers and exporters easy access to more than half the population. As well as the Mount Maunganui and Tauranga wharves, it also operates MetroPort, a rail-linked inland port located in Auckland

The more powerful tugs are part of a $350 million capital expenditure programme to help importers and exporters benefit from the savings of larger ships. It also includes the $30 million Sulphur Point wharf extension, another $12 million Liebherr Post-Panamax container crane, six more straddle carriers at approximately $1 million each and a $50 million harbour dredging programme that will increase the depth from 12.9m to 16m.


Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council are in urgent talks with lawyers after the High Court overturned the port’s consents for two controversial extensions to Bledisloe Wharf, ruling it should have notified the public about its consents.Work has been halted on the first extension, which was already well underway.

Michael Goldwater from Stop Stealing Our Harbours says the court’s decision could be appealed, but he hopes it won’t as it will come at the ratepayers’ expense.

“It’s not necessary. There’s a study underway and there should not be any further legal cases on this matter. We know that council has spent around $500,000 on their legal bills, and Ports probably spent about the same amount,” he said.

The court also ruled the consents should have been bundled together and considered as one. Auckland Council, which owns the wharf and granted the consent, is seeking legal advice.

The lobby group Urban Auckland took legal action claiming Auckland Council acted unlawfully in giving the port resource consents to do the work.  After a huge public outcry and pressure from its council owners, Ports of Auckland agreed in April to drop one planned 100 metre extension on the west side of the Bledisloe container wharf until a year-long study of the port’s operations can be completed.

The council has now added the important view from the end of Queen’s Wharf into the new unitary plan. However, it wants to continue with a second extension on the eastern side of the wharf.

Urban Auckland said it went to court to try to stop the work because it believed there had been a “miscarriage of justice”. Ports of Auckland got the consents for the work under old rules which it claims did not require it to notify the public. It also did not tell councillors about its expansion plans.Urban Auckland ALSO claimed the consents should have been publicly notified, and that the numerous separate applications Ports of Auckland made in connection with the development should have been considered collectively. It also claimed the expansion required additional consent conditions.

The group is concerned that the Bledisloe extension will do damage to the Waitemata Harbour and block iconic views from the public spaces on Queen’s Wharf out towards the entrance to the harbour.

Urban Auckland chair Julie Stout said the group was encouraged that Auckland Council had changed its position on blocked views under the incoming unitary plan. In unitary plan hearings on the wharves in May, the council supported the addition of a documented “view shaft” out from Queen’s Wharf across the front of the port towards the entrance to the Waitemata.

 port plan


She calls herself a “freight geek” which isn’t surprising given her family background.  Bridget Tapper (pictured below at right with runner up Felicity Baldwin) is the 2015 winner of the NZ Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation’s Young Achiever Award.

She was born into a family very well known in the NZ transport sector and worked in their company part-time when she was still at school. Having moved into freight forwarding in 2010, Bridget  Tapper is nowadays industrial projects business development manager for GEODIS in Auckland.

“I love the challenges of my job,” she says. “Industrial projects is a very specialised and sophisticated area, with very complex issues. I don’t want to spend all my time behind a desk.”

Runner-up was Felicity Baldwin (left with Bridget) who works in customer services/import operations for Agility Logistics in Christchurch.  She has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in environmental management and supply chain management and spent a year in the Kuehne + Nagel graduate program in Auckland.

CBAFF executive director Rosemarie Dawson said the 2015 award had drawn a high calibre of entrants.  She described the winners’ submissions as “exceptional”.

The CBAFF Young Achiever Award is sponsored by Singapore Airlines Cargo and Leadership Management Australasia.


A million and a half cubic metres of material will be dredged to allow the next generation of super-sized container and cruise ships to visit Port Chalmers, as part of a $30 million project.

Port Otago, the deepest container port in the country at 13 metres, will deepen the channel to 14m by the end of next year. It was the first New Zealand port to secure consent to deepen its channel for larger ships, and the first to begin dredging. The port is also embarking on a large capital works programme, including $85m on a new deep water berth as they prepare for bigger ships.

Port Otago chief executive Geoff Plunket said the project, dubbed ‘Next Generation Port Otago’, was funded partly by the sale of shares in the Lyttelton Port company. He rejected any suggestion the move by the Otago Regional Council-owned company would take business away from other South Island ports, as “that growth is all within our region”. That growth was driven via the dairy, meat and forestry sectors, he said.

He confirmed the port company would begin simulation exercises to ascertain whether the new quantum class of cruise ships – 348m long and capable of carrying 5000 passengers – could enter Otago Harbour, and to determine what modifications to the channel might be required. With Dunedin either the first or large port of call for cruise ships to New Zealand this was an important and growing part of the port company’s business.

At present the largest container vessels visiting Port Chalmers had a carrying capacity of 4500 TEUs, and were about 267m in length, 37m wide with a maximum draft of 13.5m. The next generation of container vessels could carry 6500 TEUs, be up to 320m long, 42m wide and required a draft of 14m.

He allayed any fears over dredging, as the port company had resource consent to remove up to 7.2million cubic metres of material from the channel following an extensive consultation process. Otakou runanga elder Edward Ellison said local hapu and iwi had been involved with the project during the consent process, and continued to meet regularly with the port company. Much of the channel was already 14m in depth, requiring an estimated 1.5 million cubic metres of material to be disposed offshore.

The port company would use its own dredge, the New Era, to dredge “with as little environmental impact as possible”, Mr Plunket said. The two-year infrastructural project would improve the port’s efficiency and productivity by improving services to exporters, he said.

“It highlights our resolve to remain at the forefront of shipping and port activity in New Zealand and as a major contributor to the region’s economic growth.”

Capital work will include deepening the shipping channel, deepening berths and sheet piling to support the wharf, expanding warehouses at Port Chalmers and Sawyers Bay, and the possible purchase of a new tug and barge.

That work would add a possible 15 full-time jobs to the already 300-strong workforce, and follows other recent capital investment including a new tug, pilot launch and contrainer cranes.

While other ports may be able to dredge to similar depths, they were limited in only being able to receive vessels at the top or bottom of tides due to strong tidal flows, while owning its own dredge meant the port company could complete the work cost efficiently, he said. To allow container berths to be deepened, the inner container wharf would be closed to all vessels during the low volume season between July 1 and October.


* Two-year, $30 million capital works programme

* Port Otago will deepen channel to 14metres at a cost of less than $10million

* Port Otago handles around 200,000 TEUs a year.

* Port will be able to cater for container ships with a capacity of between 6000-8000 TEUs

* Will be able to cater for quantum class of cruise ships (348m long) when they arrive in the 2018/19 season

* Port Otago also to deepen berths to cater for larger ships, and expand warehousing

 Source  – Stuff


Larger international container ships visiting New Zealand create both opportunities and risks, according to a recent Ministry of Transport study. The finding is one of a number of insights from the Ministry of Transport’s Future Freight Scenarios Study, which was commissioned to provide impartial information to help the freight sector plan effectively for increasing numbers of larger ships visiting New Zealand.

“The study shows that more big ships coming to our shores will reduce the cost of international transport, but these savings are likely be outweighed by higher domestic transport costs, particularly for exporters and importers far away from ports able to handle the larger ships,” said Nick Brown, General Manager Aviation and Maritime.(shown at left).

“This further highlights the importance of existing Government and private sector initiatives to lower domestic freight costs.”

Mr Brown said larger ships coming to New Zealand will only be an advantage if the private sector and Government continue to take action to lower domestic freight costs and increase efficiency in the port and shipping sectors.

“The Government has a role in providing land transport capability and regulation that help to reduce domestic freight costs. Our investments to improve road and rail links to ports, through the Roads of National Significance programme and the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan, are examples of this. The introduction of a permitting regime for high productivity motor vehicles is also an important contribution.”

Inland port and intermodal logistics hub developments — which provide a way of consolidating cargo and moving it cost-efficiently to and from container ports — are other encouraging developments.

“The international trend towards larger ships will change New Zealand’s port sector and the wider freight system.

“An efficient port and shipping sector is vital to New Zealand, as 99 percent of our freight by volume is carried by sea. New Zealand’s international sea freight costs are 21 percent higher than Australia, and while the introduction of bigger ships will help to reduce costs, it is important we also address domestic transport costs,” said Mr Brown.

The study provides a national perspective of the impact different decisions in the shipping and port sectors could have on the freight system and New Zealand’s economy. It does this by modelling ten possible future scenarios, to draw a picture of different futures in the port and freight sector, depending on different decisions made by the sector.

Mr Brown encourages the sector to consider the study and use its results.

“The study provides valuable information to inform decision making and debate on issues that will shape the future of New Zealand’s freight system. The Ministry looks forward to working collaboratively with the sector to shape New Zealand’s freight future in a positive way.”

For more information see the Ministry’s website:



Ports of Auckland, Napier Port and Icepak have announced the formation of a joint-venture to develop a new inland port and intermodal freight hub at Longburn, Palmerston North.

Located on the site of the old Longburn freezing works owned by Icepak, the venture will see the nine hectare site transformed into a significant intermodal logistics and manufacturing hub.

Site clearance is underway and work will start soon on a cross dock to complement the existing Icepak cold store on site. A container yard and container wash facility – to prepare containers to export ready standard – will also be built. This is the first stage of a $20 million development.

The site is connected to the main trunk line and the parties are currently in discussion with KiwiRail to finalise services.

Tony Gibson, CEO of Ports of Auckland said: “This places the port gate on the doorstep of the region’s importers and exporters, creating opportunity for both and driving cost out of the supply chain. Currently imports come south from Auckland but not much goes back. This new facility will allow exporters to access this spare capacity, lowering freight costs all round.”

Garth Cowie, CEO of Napier Port, sees this advanced supply chain development as “a natural extension of Napier Port’s central New Zealand coverage, bringing it closer to its customers, shippers and transport partners. The opportunity to triangulate container movement between Ports of Auckland, Icepak at the Longburn Intermodal Freight Hub and Napier Port is a key advantage of the new regional supply chain initiative” he said.

Wayne Grattan, Chairman of Icepak said “Palmerston North is the ideal location for an intermodal freight hub. With well-developed rail and road connections to other centres, good infrastructure and plenty of space to grow and locate supporting industries, we think it’s a winner. Development of the hub enables the clean-up and reuse of a brownfield industrial site, with extensive recycling of the old building materials into the new development.”

“Manawatu offers significant strategic advantages in terms of distribution thanks to our central location and excellent connections to road, rail and air,” said Palmerston North Mayor, Jono Naylor.

“This new inland port has been in development for some time and is strongly aligned with our recently announced Central New Zealand Agribusiness Strategy, a collaboration between all of the Horizons region’s councils to double Agribusiness exports from $1.9 billion to $3.8 billion per year by 2025. This will help our growth potential throughout central New Zealand, and we expect further investment and development activity as our capability continues to increase.”

The development has been welcomed by KiwiRail as it means more freight on rail. “This project gives freight managers more access to rail which is important if we are to ensure the viability of rail in New Zealand, particularly in the regions” said KiwiRail Freight GM Sales , Alan Piper.

For Ports of Auckland this initiative is part of a wider supply chain strategy to build a cost-effective freight distribution network throughout the North and South Islands. More developments will be announced in due course.



A new tug providing some extra muscle to handle the bigger cruise and container ships that are expected to arrive at Ports of Auckland over the coming months is currently undergoing sea trials..

Ports of Auckland’s new tug, the Hauraki was welcomed into the Waitemata Harbour at dawn last week by two generations of port tugs and the company’s pilot vessels.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson said: “We are delighted to receive the latest addition to our tug family. Over time, ships visiting Auckland have been getting bigger, and we need more power on hand to see ships into their berths quickly and safely. The Hauraki delivers that for us and will set us up for the future growth of visiting ships.”

The new tug has the strength of seven-and-a-half African elephants and can exert a pulling power of almost 70 tonnes. Built in Changde, China, the Hauraki completed a 5300 nautical mile journey from Shanghai via Papua New Guinea, at an average speed of around 8 knots over four weeks.

The tug is now going through a detailed examination and acceptance process before being put to work in earnest in September.

Upon arrival in Auckland, the new tug was welcomed by the other tugs and pilot boats in the POA fleet, and the historic William C Daldy, an original steam tug which is still operating on the harbour.

johanna smaller 2

“No joke! Its for real. Johanna really does drive cranes!” – POA’s youngest ever crane driver


Ports of Auckland may have the youngest crane driver in the country – Johanna Hofmann who graduated as a qualified crane driver on March 28 was just 20 years and 362 days old… yet she has taken to the crane driving profession like a duck to water.

Johanna said that she was enjoying her job, and appreciated the company training which had been given to her. “I was a bit nervous at the beginning but give me a challenge and I’ll take it – especially when I can compete with the boys,” she said.

“Working 40 metres up operating the largest container cranes in New Zealand is a great achievement for Johanna,” said Tony Gibson, POA CEO, “especially when just eight months ago she was waiting tables at the Takapuna Café.”

POA people and processes general manager Diane Edwards said that the company was working to change the mindset that port work needed to be male dominated. “We have removed some of the barriers to entry and widened our talent pool,” she said. “As a result we’ve found a number of women who are interested in a career at the port and we now have 16 women working as straddle or crane drivers.” 


China has overtaken Australia as New Zealand’s biggest export market for the first time on an annual basis.

China became New Zealand’s top import partner two years ago, but exports to China are dominated by dairy exports, with record sales in November, according to Statistics NZ figures. Last month alone, total New Zealand exports to China were worth $1.2 billion, well ahead of Australia at about $850 million.

Dairy contributed the most (63 per cent) to the total exports to China, valued at $774m, in November 2013. This is the highest value of dairy exports to China for any month.Total dairy exports to all markets were valued at $1.7b – also the highest for any month.

For the November year, exports to China jumped more than 41 per cent to $9.4b.Over the same period, exports to Australia fell 8 per cent to $9.2b.

Imports from China also dominate New Zealand, worth $8.2b in the past November year, almost $2b more than New Zealand bought from Australia. Overall, exports to all countries from New Zealand were worth $4.5b in November, up 17 per cent on the same month last year.

Despite the booming export trade to China, total goods exports to all countries in the up November year were only 2.6 per cent to $47bn, as sales to many other markets weakened during the period.

As well as lower sales to Australia and a minor dip to the United States, exports were down by 10 per cent or more to Japan, Hong Kong, India and Saudi Arabia.

Source: Fairfax news.