Media

Newsletters and Media Releases

We welcome genuine media enquiries and will do our best to provide requested information promptly and efficiently.

For media enquiries please contact:

Peter Heath
Due North Public Relations
E: peter@duenorthpr.co.nz
P: 021 456 089

March 25, 2022

The Board of Northport Ltd has confirmed its intention to lodge its resource consent application for expansion at its eastern end, while continuing to develop plans for the proposed shipyard and dry-dock on its western side.

The eastern development covers 13 hectares for additional container storage, handling and transportation. It is where Northport proposes to integrate the port with KiwiRail’s proposed Marsden Point spur. This video https://vimeo.com/666633934/58e5b87327  provides an overview of the work for which resource...

February 28, 2022

Northport has joined the PortConnect platform in a move to streamline its container management capability. The port is experiencing a significant increase in container calls and expects this to grow further in coming years.

The first step in Northport’s adoption of the PortConnect platform is the initial roll-out of the Clear Container module and support for automated Trade Single Window (TSW) messaging. Clear Container will enable shipping lines to submit line clearances for containers. The processing of TSW messages will reduce manual data entry, ensuring container information is...

February 15, 2022

A vessel normally used to transport cars and trucks will call at Northport tomorrow (16 February) to load approximately 5,000 cubic metres of triboard from the Juken Mill in Kaitaia. The m.v. Istra Ace has sailed from South America and is destined for Japan. She is scheduled to depart Northport late Thursday or early Friday.

The PCTC (Pure Car, Truck Carrier) is a purpose-built vessel for the transportation of different types of rolling cargo such as cars and trucks, heavy construction equipment and other substantial loads. These vessels are usually configured with 10-13 decks for...

June 15, 2021

Northport is to invest $8m in infrastructure needed to support the growth of container traffic through the port. It is buying container-handling equipment and a simulator module to train staff in its operation, expanding its container storage area and upgrading its lighting to enhance safety during 24-hour operations.

The company is forecasting a 15 percent year-on-year increase in the volume of container traffic for this financial year to the end of June.

It has placed orders for two new reach-stacker container handlers and a new dock-truck and MAFI trailer. These will...

June 4, 2021

Northport welcomes information released today by Waka Kotahi NZTA indicating that the government has instructed it to build a new rail link to Northport.

While current supply-chain issues impacting the country might be unprecedented, they demonstrate clearly the need for a resilient and geographically-astute Upper North Island Supply Chain strategy that makes best use of the three existing ports that already serve the region.

This in turn calls for continued central government investment in, and upgrading of, road, rail and coastal shipping infrastructure.

Development...

March 10, 2021

Whangarei District Council (WDC) is currently notifying relevant property owners, and anyone with a greater interest than the general public, about an alteration that we are proposing be made to Proposed Urban and Services District Plan Changes that were publicly notified in May of 2019.

In short, we believe that the changes that Council wants to make to the District Plan should include adoption of the national ‘Port Noise Standard’ used in best practice land-use planning elsewhere across New Zealand.

There is now a requirement under the recently-introduced National Planning...

March 8, 2021

Northport has an emergency exercise scheduled for this evening - from around 6.30pm-7pm onwards. Please don't be alarmed by emergency services activity at or around the port this evening - it will be part of the exercise.

December 12, 2020

Northport has reduced its container loading rate as of 1300hrs today (Saturday 12 December). Its forklift drivers have reached their maximum number of working hours under Northport’s fatigue management policy and only one forklift driver is able to remain on duty up until 1500hrs. This is the time at which Northport has been advising trucking companies since Wednesday this week that its container-loading operations would stop until 0600 on Monday 14 December.

“Our staff have been absolute heroes this week, with many pulling very long hours in an effort to get this mammoth job done...

December 5, 2020

At 11.10am today a fire broke out in the vicinity of the port conveyor system and some adjacent packets of LVL timber.

The Ruakaka Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Refining NZ Emergency Services team were called and responded immediately. Our sincere thanks go out to these teams for their professional and effective response.

There were no injuries as a result of this incident and the port’s emergency response procedures worked as designed.

The fire was extinguished quickly. It was situated some distance from normal operations, which were able to continue uninterrupted....

December 4, 2020

The largest vessel to call at Northport to date is scheduled to tie up around mid-day on Sunday 6 December. Her cargo includes items that will make their way into Christmas stockings and under Christmas trees all across New Zealand.

‘Constantinos P’, a 261m,  67,906 max displacement, gearless container ship, is carrying about 1,340 containers bound for Auckland that otherwise would not make it into the shops in time for Christmas due to congestion at other ports around the country. She is operating under a Vessel Sharing Agreement between four shipping lines; ANL, OOCL, COSCO and...

November 30, 2020

Two pontoon modules for the new ferry terminal in central Auckland were lowered into Whangarei harbour today in carefully-orchestrated tandem lifts involving Northport’s two mobile harbour cranes. They were among the last of nine modules built by Ruakaka-based SPIIND Industrial Engineers at its facility on Marsden Point Road, all of which were put into the water at Northport and towed by tug to Auckland.

The finished units were transported to a dedicated facility near the port, built by SPIIND with the help of commercial and industrial land-owner and developer Marsden Maritime...

31 January 2020

Northport Ltd welcomes announcements by the government that significant investment is to be made in road and rail links in Northland.

Efficient transport links are vital for the entire region to realise its full economic potential and we will support any development that seeks to achieve this.

We are delighted that a national discussion is being had about realising the full economic potential of our region, and that aspirations for our region are being enabled with significant and meaningful infrastructural investment.

Ports don’...

22 January 2020

Northport Ltd has purchased its second harbour mobile crane to support a growing container trade and to provide increased resilience for dedicated container vessels using the port.  The company has also acquired a $250,000 crane simulator from CM Labs and two new Kalmar terminal tractors to move containers to and from shipside.

The Konecranes Gottwald Model 6 Mobile Harbour Crane (G HMK 6507 variant) can serve container vessels up to post-Panamax class. Its maximum lifting capacity of 125 tons extends Northport’s flexibility in handling...

12 December 2019

The Board of Northport Ltd has welcomed the publication of the final report by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy Working Group.

Northport Ltd Chairman Murray Jagger said:

“Northport has a very clear vision of the role it can play in the economic growth of Northland, Auckland and New Zealand.

“Significant growth is possible here. We have been clear for many years that we stand ready to assist in any way we can to support Auckland’s growth and the aspirations that Aucklanders have for their waterfront.

“We have...

19 November 2019

SailGP will return to New Zealand’s Northland region for testing and training ahead of its second season of racing next year. Six F50 catamarans were raced in the successful inaugural season this year and organisers will test the event’s seventh boat in Whangarei Harbour between now and the end of January, using Northport in Marsden Point as the operational base.

The record-breaking boats are designed, developed and built at Core Builders Composites in Warkworth, New Zealand. The seventh F50 has been in production there since March and will...

6 September 2019

Northport Ltd welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister of Regional Economic Development, Shane Jones, about government’s intention to invest $94.8 million through the Provincial Growth Fund for upgrading the rail line between Swanson and Whangarei.

Northport Ltd is of the view that efficient transport links are vital for the entire region to realise its full economic potential and will support any development that seeks to achieve this.

“This is a red-letter day for Northland and an important step towards an integrated transport...

31 January 2019

Northport Ltd is delighted that the geotechnical tests for the Marsden Point spur line have taken place and we look forward to the results.

Efficient transport links are vital for the entire region to realise its full economic potential and we will support wholeheartedly any development that seeks to achieve this.

We continue to work with Kiwi Rail, existing and potential customers, and other stakeholders such as local government, to explore the full potential for a Marsden Point spur line and to assess how it might complement the...

4 January 2019

Maintenance dredging will take place at Northport next week for the first time in 17 years. Work to remove sediment build-up in the ship turning basin near Snake Bank, along Northport’s linear berth and at Refining NZ’s Jetty 1 berth pocket will start on 7 January and continue for most of the month.

Northport stressed that the work has nothing to do with either its vision for growth, unveiled earlier this year, or Refining NZ’s channel deepening programme.

“The operation will be highly visible so we wanted to head off at the pass any...

4 October 2018

SailGP’s new-class wingsailed F50 catamarans will be tested from mid-October in Northland. The region will become the central technical and development hub for the production and delivery of some of the most advanced boats in the world.

Designed and constructed by New Zealand’s Core Builders Composites, the F50 is a one-design class, and is a redesigned, supercharged incarnation of the exceptional AC50 used for the 35th America’s Cup last year. Core Builders Composites is the official boat supplier for SailGP and will also provide...

20 April 2018

The first containers to be used on a new direct shipping service between Whangarei, Brisbane and Singapore were delivered to Northport today aboard a vessel named, appropriately, Northern Diplomat. The seasonal fortnightly shipping service is being offered to Northland businesses by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a global leader in sea cargo transportation and logistics, and will improve sea freight transit times for local importers and exporters.

Customers already signed up to use the service include Northland growers of kiwifruit and...

24 November 2017

Northport Ltd is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Cargo volumes at Marsden Point have more than doubled since the port opened in 2002 to a record 3.64 million tonnes last financial year. Ship calls have increased from 93 a year to 250 a year over that period, with berth occupancy now at a record 66.4 percent, up from 52.9 percent just five years ago.

The company, a 50/50 joint venture between Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd and Port of Tauranga, is marking these milestones by launching a public...

6 March 2017

Northport Ltd welcomes and supports the announcement last week by Minister of Transport Simon Bridges that 22km of State Highway 1 south of Whangarei is to be widened in the largest roading project yet undertaken in Northland.

The announcement sends a positive message regarding central government’s support for economic growth in Northland and recognises the vital role that Northport has to play in this.

The fact that State Highway 1 is to be upgraded southwards from Whangarei at the same time as northwards from Puhoi demonstrates an admirable degree of...

21 September 2016

Whangarei Harbour Radio will change its radio frequency this weekend (from midnight on Friday 23 September) to VHF channel 11. A listening watch will be maintained on the existing channel 19 for a week but this will be switched over to Coastguard New Zealand on Saturday 1 October.

Northport, which manages the harbour’s shipping operations centre, is urging skippers of commercial vessels and all local boaties who use Whangarei Harbour Radio to make note of the frequency change.

Whangarei Harbour Radio facilitates commercial marine operations in Bream...

8 July 2016

Northport Limited has welcomed the Auckland Development Committee’s decision to refer to the incoming Auckland Council the conclusions and recommendations of its Port Future Study, released earlier this week.

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28 April 2015

New crane will streamline Northland freight traffic

Northport is to purchase a $5 million mobile crane for delivery by the end of the year, giving it the ability for the first time to load dedicated container vessels. The move will give Northland businesses the opportunity to access international container vessels without having to ship freight by road to or from other North Island ports.

The Marsden Point facility will become initially a low-volume ‘feeder’ port for container traffic destined for export from North Island ports currently served by...

19 March 2015

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has claimed today that Northport “does not want a rail link” and that a rail link “does not feature in the Port's 30 year plan."

Our position has always been, and remains, that while rail is not a short-term priority for Northport we support the designation of the rail corridor as it does fit with our strategy of long-term growth. 

There is a subtle difference between this position and that reported by the NZ Taxpayers’ Union. 

It is correct that neither Mr Peters nor any member of New Zealand First has visited...

Boaties and boat-watchers on and around Whangarei Harbour will notice a new and unusual addition to regular marine traffic. Northport has a new work-boat, an 8.5m aluminium catamaran called Manaia, built to the port’s specifications by Whangarei aluminium pontoon boat builder Blackdog Cat Boats. She was launched on 31 July at Marsden Cove Marina where she will be stored.

Northport’s marine team will use Manaia for on-water maintenance of navigation aids from the harbour entrance to Golden Bay Cement at Portland. She will help the port maintain the Dynamic Under-Keel Clearance (...

Northport has appointed an Operations Manager. David Finchett has more than 20 years of experience in senior operations, project and technical roles on high value, safety critical and complex sites. Before joining Northport he was the infrastructure and Operations Manager at the Trawsfynydd nuclear power station in Wales.

 

His early career involved working with the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet.

 

David is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and holds an Honours Degree in Engineering Science from...

Northport, the deep-water port at the mouth of Whangarei harbour, has posted record cargo volumes and ship movements for the year ending 30 June. Tonnage across the wharf grew by 13.5 percentover the previous year to 3.095 million revenue tonnes.

 

The port saw 253 ship calls, 38 more than the previous year. Occupancy of Northport’s existing berths is at a record 52.9 percent.

 

Logs and wood-chip comprise most of the cargo handled by Northport and a record 13 log exporters now use the facility. More logs were shipped from Northport in the year ending...

 

The brightest ‘sector’ navigation light in Australasia was switched on today at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour. The$300,000 navigation aid, commissioned and installed by Northport, is one of the top 10 brightest sector lights globally. It replaces one which was 26 years old and only bright enough to operate at night.

 

The new light is at the tip of Marsden Point, on the seaward side of Refining NZ’s plant. It is visible from five nautical miles during daylight hours and 10 nautical miles at night. It improves the ability of ships to navigate their way...

Northport  
17 May 2012

Press Release
For Immediate Release

 

Northport’s weather and tide monitoring to be shared with boaties

 

Weather and wave data collected through Northport’s telemetry system is now available on Northport’s website, ...

1st April 2012 - Northport

Northport has ordered a 2nd Wave Rider Buoy (WRB) from Axys Technologies in Canada. After several months of planning and analysis, the green light was given to the operation in late 2011 from the board of Directors, for a purchase to be made in the New Year.

The WRB plays a critical role in the ports Dynamic Under Keel Clearance system (DUKC). This system is used to determine if a ship can safely transit the harbour or not. The new buoy will be working alongside the current buoy to...

Terminal Facilities Manager Greg Blomfield (BSurv) has conducted a study on the many types of corrosion that can affect the port's piling and structures.

This was recently published in Corrosion and Materials Magazine and you can read his article here>>

If you would like to know more about where this project is going, or how you may be able to help out, please contact...

Northport receives many questions from different media on a regular basis, covering a wide range of issues.

In an effort to ensure accuracy and consistency of reporting we publish here the questions we receive most frequently, along with the answers.

For media enquiries please contact:

Peter Heath
Due North Public Relations
E: peter@duenorthpr.co.nz
P: 021 456 089

Upper North Island Supply-Chain Strategy Working Group report
  • Which of the political perspectives on this report does Northport favour?
  • We’re apolitical and will stay that way.

  • Is Northport still lobbying for a share of Auckland’s cargo? If so, how?
  • Northport has not, and does not, lobby for a share of Auckland’s cargo. Freight will only relocate if the business case stacks up and the customer sees value in the relocation.

  • Do you disagree with the notion that the Port of Auckland should be shut down and its operations moved elsewhere in their entirety?
  • Northport supports the wider view of the three Upper North Island ports working collaboratively to better utilise their current and potential footprints to support the Upper North Island’s current and future freight demand. Innovative technology provides for better optimisation of port cargo storage/transit facilities and automation can increase productivity resulting in smoother ship turnaround.

  • You call for a resilient, geographically astute, three-port supply-chain strategy for the Upper North Island. What does ‘geographically astute’ mean?
  • Identification of where the Upper North Island population will grow/relocate and in turn identifying the freight location and/or destination within the area enabling sound decision making with regard to infrastructure requirements; i.e. geographically astute rather than parochial decision making.

  • How realistic is it to expect imports to be directed to the Upper North Island port closest to their intended destination? Is that even possible?
  • High value freight will take advantage of earliest/fastest routes as the product can afford to travel/be multi handled, where the lower value freight will focus on total end-to-end cost. While more focus can be placed on receiving freight at the closest port in reality it will depend on shipping services and frequency.

  • What trends in international shipping are addressed by a three-port supply-chain strategy for the Upper North Island?
  • Reducing the number of international port calls to reduce overall supply chain costs. However, for this to work effectively there is a need for multi-modal efficient supply chains: road, rail, and coastal shipping.

  • The report issued by Wayne Brown and his group was heavily criticised. What did you think of it?
  • The report focused heavily on a relocation of Ports of Auckland to Northport. Our view is that the current and future Northport footprint cannot accommodate both Northland and Auckland’s current freight, let alone future freight growth. There was brief discussion over a complete rebuild of Northport’s infrastructure. This would require removing most of the current infrastructure and dredging into the hinterland and is, in our view, unrealistic. A far more practical solution would involve a geographically-astute, resilient three-port Upper North Island supply-chain strategy - underpinned by modern, effective road, rail and coastal shipping infrastructure.

  • What’s your view of the Sapere Report?
  • The Sapere Report focussed on a relocation of the Auckland port to either Manakau Harbour or the Firth of Thames, and even some suggestion of a man-made island port in the Hauraki Gulf. Aside from the operational issues of any one of these, the consenting hurdles and cost to the country of the total relocation cost would be formidable! A far more practical solution, in our view, would involve a geographically-astute, resilient three-port Upper North Island supply-chain strategy - underpinned by modern, effective road, rail and coastal shipping infrastructure.

  • What now needs to be done before an informed decision can be made about a future UNI ports strategy?
  • There are two options, allow commercial decision making to drive the outcomes, or undertake a country wide freight demand study with a focus on the UNI – this will require future population and industry projections and their associated freight growth demand.

  • Some industry figures are calling for a study that looks at freight demand over the next 30 years to ensure we have the right capacity, and in the right places. This would include freight modelling - where is export/import demand going to grow? Do you agree?
  • Yes – as per above.

  • Should ports be working more collaboratively and, if so, what needs to happen to make this possible?
  • New Zealand ports need to work more collaboratively. However ports have to be wary of the difference between ‘working collaboratively’ and ‘collusion’; in our view the recent changes in leadership at ports around the country have created new opportunities to better discuss opportunities within the supply chain.

  • To what extent did the UNISCSWG consult with Northport before compiling their report - how many meetings did you have?
  • The inaugural meeting for the Group was held at Northport where a presentation and tour of the site were given. We had a second opportunity to meet with the Group in Auckland as the study progressed (approx. 2 hours).

  • Did the group seek your views on the practicality of moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport in its entirety, before putting forward that proposal in his report?
  • Northport outlined its views on this at both meetings.

  • After that the UNISCSWG suggested government intervention if the UNI ports weren’t prepared to make a plan to migrate Auckland’s traffic to Northport, you said you’d get together with the Chairs of the other ports to consider next steps. How did that go?
  • COVID happened very shortly after that and, since then, the three ports have had a very different set of priorities. We’d also make the point that the commentary calling for government intervention was based on the perception that there is no collaboration between us. In fact, very good working relationships exist - both Tauranga and Auckland have interests in Northport - that we feel will form the basis of discussions that we very much hope will start taking place about a three-port strategy for a robust, resilient Upper North Island transport and logistics strategy.

  • Why has Northport kept such a low profile in the national conversation about moving Ports of Auckland?
  • This has predominantly been a political arena; Northport has remained apolitical throughout and provided through its Vision for Growth factual information about its capability.

Expansion/Vision for Growth
  • How many extra jobs, without the shipyard and floating dry-dock?
  • The proposed port expansion/container terminal will initially require 50-100 additional jobs at Northport. As the business case allows, the terminal will become semi-automated and then fully automated. Total job numbers will be 30-50 at that time.

  • To what extent does the expansion rely on container trade? Is it worth doing for break-bulk only?
  • The expansion is based on a container trade supporting the Northland and north Auckland freight growth/demand. The current consented port footprint is capable of supporting all of Northland’s current and future freight demand (bulk/break-bulk and container).

  • What will be the decision-point for the Board - in terms of both timing and commercial activity?
  • As in all Northport expansion plans a solid business case will be required. This can be dependent on both the commercial demand as well as picking the right time to make the investment. As we can demonstrate, the consenting phase can take upwards of five years to complete and is why we started this consent process in 2015.

  • Is the project time sensitive?
  • As per above, the project cannot go ahead without a consent. The time needed to prepare and (hopefully) obtain a consent means the timing of the application is of paramount importance so as to facilitate our ability to react quickly to growth demand.

  • What will be the impact of 24hr operations on neighbouring residential areas?
  • The port already operates 24/7. There are existing noise management procedures that are reviewed regularly. The proposed shipyard is likely to have conditions imposed around night-time operations such as sand-blasting and painting.

Rail
  • Do you think the spur will ever happen?
  • The rail spur will be required when the port expansion is completed. KiwiRail are in the process of purchasing the last 55 percent of the land within the designation while confirming the build design. Once this has been completed the actual build is estimated at five years from inception to completion.

  • Are the upgrades to the north Auckland line to date, sufficient?
  • There is still more work to be completed on the NA Line upgrade: ballast, sleepers and rail, so as to enable 18-tonne axle loadings along the entire route; until this is completed the capacity is limited.

  • Is KiwiRail coming to the party, commercially, with competitive rates that will make rail a viable option for cargo heading south?
  • Northport is not privy to the commercial rates provided by KiwiRail.

  • Is an Auckland/Northport rail freight service commercially viable right now? If not, what would it take to make it so?
  • Increased freight volume and either a reduced road-bridge cost or a small container siding at Oakleigh (being discussed with KiwiRail).

  • At what stage, and at what level of detail, are your planning discussions with KiwiRail?
  • Northport meets regularly with KiwiRail, as this project ramps up there are plans for in depth discussions around rail requirements at Marsden Point.

  • Where will the rail line go; where will the terminal be situated?
  • These are still to be determined and will be part of the planning meetings between Marsden Maritime Holdings/Northport/KiwiRail.

  • What do you think about Wayne Brown’s point that rail should run straight to the side of ships?
  • This type of rail configuration is no longer adopted by modern port design; the turnaround times/productivity of ship loading/discharge makes direct to hook delivery impractical, operations need all of the cargo at the port and stacked for multi-port/destination loading before ship arrival.
    For discharge the cargo needs to be removed from under hook as soon as landed and taken to storage areas for sorting/stacking for specific destination(s).

  • What discussions are you having with importers and exporters about regular container services that would build on the three extra-ordinary calls you’ve had to date?
  • Northport is in regular contact with ANL/CMA-CMG regarding future calls. There are regular meetings with other international lines to discuss future opportunities and potential freight demand.

Road
  • Was ditching the road for the rail the right decision?
  • Northland requires a multi-modal supply chain, ditching any one for the other makes no real sense if the government really wants Northland as a region to grow.

  • Would you support road development over rail?
  • The rail spur and North Auckland Line upgrade are important to the port’s expansion plans. However, in the interim, linking Northland and Auckland more effectively by road would promote growth within the region; freight, tourism, general business, decentralisation, etc.

Port congestion/ disrupted supply-chains NZ-wide
  • Is port congestion easing?
  • There is no let-up in the worldwide shipping sector – we should expect this to continue for some time (12-18-months minimum is suggested)

  • How do you rate your performance in handling the unexpected large container ship calls of late?
  • The Northport team responded to the challenges exceptionally well. Given only three days’ notice to prepare for the first vessel, a number of systems had to be put in place: container tracking for multiple customers, truck-booking, and container dispatch systems, as well as gearing up for the additional workload over normal cargo operations.
    As areas for improvement were identified so the systems were tweaked/upgraded. Staff rose to the challenge and hours were carefully monitored and fatigue-managed. Our capability was declared openly to the sector and was well received overall.

  • Your first call in December appeared to be beset with logistical issues. Were these resolved, and how?
  • The first vessel went exceptionally well, the only hurdle was the disregard by the freight sector of our published hours of work and our newly-created truck booking system. Trucks were heading north with no bookings just to see if they could pick-up a box. Systems and co-operation have since been improved.

  • It’s been suggested that the current situation shows how NZ is at the mercy of international shipping lines, and that perhaps the country should create a state-owned shipping line. This could subsidise freight costs and ensure we’re connected to the rest of the world when the big players decide we’re not worth bothering about. What’s your view?
  • While the idea of a state-owned shipping line may appeal to the government/unions, in reality it is unlikely to have any real impact on the congestion issues; our trade lanes are too wide for just one shipping line. Longer term, of course, an island nation having its own international and coastal shipping can only be advantageous when it comes to supply-chain contingency.

Shipyard and dry-dock
  • What does Northport have that Picton doesn’t?
  • Northport has not been contracted to consider one port facility over the other, we were asked to consider whether Northport could accommodate a floating dry dock within its future port plans. In doing so we have identified that a floating drydock and associated shipyard facilities need access to significant land based infrastructure, the floating drydock needs access as well as substantial securing infrastructure – these units cannot operate anchored out in the stream; as can be seen from our Vision for Growth plans the proposed infrastructure has sufficient area to support the planned operations. Northland has access to suitable labour and required shipbuilding trades, as well as being able to accommodate any of the shipyard staff moving from Auckland to Northland.

  • What do you need/want from government to make this happen?
  • At this time, we are only asking for government to openly support the consenting programme and shipyard concept as a nationally strategic, regionally significant project; we have at no time asked government to fund this project, other than through the shovel ready opportunities.

  • Is the shipyard and dry-dock an essential component of your growth plans?
  • The shipyard/floating drydock is not part of Northport’s own growth plans. Northport is a port operator not a shipyard operator. However the management/shareholders recognised an opportunity for Northport to facilitate significant regional growth and regional and nationally strategic infrastructure.

Cars
  • What’s your position on cars? You spoke about these 18 months or so ago; what progress?
  • We continue to work closely with potential customers that see the opportunity to move out of Auckland and are available to mitigate the challenges facing the industry with the capabilities and space we have here.
    Northport has continued to discuss an alternative to the current car-import model at Ports of Auckland. We are not suggesting a like-for-like operation but for an ‘out of the box’ approach whereby cars are imported into Northport and delivered to an adjacent car storage/preparation facility, and then only delivered when sold and customer ready, to Auckland (or other areas), or collected by the customer directly.

  • You have a job to do, to win over the sceptics in the motor trade. How do you plan to do that?
  • Selling the concept relies on ongoing and effective communication with industry players, while working closely with potential customers that see the opportunity to move out of Auckland.

Cruise
  • Do you intend to build cruise-specific facilities to become a cruise terminal?
  • There is no reason for Northport to build a purpose-built cruise facility. The cruise industry is happy to berth alongside a commercial wharf facility, especially if that avoids an anchoring situation and disembarking/embarking by tender.
    Cruise operators are exploring all options so as to re-establish the industry. As part of that new destinations will be of interest. With the Hundertwasser facility due to open in early December 2021 we are already seeing renewed interest from some of the cruise companies – nothing confirmed though.

Covid-19 - protocols and staff take-up
  • Do you support the new COVID-related public health order for border workers?
  • We are supportive of all measures by the government to improve the border security against COVID-19. The mandatory vaccination of certain maritime border workers is part of this campaign (announced by the Minister on Monday 12th July 2021). Where this could fall down is the option for workers to decline the vaccination and be repurposed elsewhere in the business, creating a loss of frontline workers – potentially compounding existing port congestion issues.

  • Do any of your unvaccinated staff work in positions where they need to board ships or interact with crew?
  • Northport staff are limited in their onboard work (woodchip and container vessels only); current procedures do not permit staff to enter the ship’s accommodation and any interaction on deck must be carried out with the correct PPE and social distancing.

  • Are current Ministry of Health protocols for crew transfers sufficiently robust?
  • Northport works closely with MOH, MIQ, MNZ, NDHB and Customs with regard to crew transfers. However the Northport requirements are more robust than MOH etc. The requirements of the facility owner, take precedence.

  • What are Northport’s protocols for crew transfers and interaction?
  • Every crew member joining the vessel must have a negative COVID test result before leaving MIQ. No crew transfer is undertaken at Northport until all NZ workers have completed their work on the vessel. Only once all NZ workers are clear of the vessel will Northport permit transferring crew to enter the port facility, at which point they must be transported straight to the vessel. Departing crew members can only leave once the relieving crew have joined, they must then be transported directly to MIQ or the airport.

Log fumigation
  • Are there any changes planned for the way logs are fumigated at Northport?
  • Currently there are two options for export logs to meet the phytosanitary requirements, fumigation by phosphene (slow release) for China underdeck cargoes and MeBr for all on-deck cargoes or debarking of on-deck cargoes; India cargoes (underdeck and on-deck) require full fumigation by MeBr prior to departure NZ.
    MeBr fumigation on-wharf can use the current recapture technology, there are three machines at Northport and to-date we are achieving 47 percent of the rows/volume fumigated being recaptured.

  • Is MeBr on its way out?
  • EPA have extended the use of MeBr without recapture to 28 February 2022. In July 2021 EPA announced that reassessment of methyl bromide is closed as of 7th July 2021, and that the EPA will publicly notify the decision on the modified reassessment within 30 days of the closure of the hearing; the industry will now await the decision before making any further investment in to recapture technology.

  • Is there an acceptable alternative to MeBr?
  • At this time there is no recognised/approved fumigant alternative to MeBr.

  • How comfortable are you, personally, working so close to where MeBr is being used?
  • The use of MeBr on site is managed to a very high standard. Northport has a set of minimum standards that need to be complied with. These are in addition to the regulations and are site specific; Northport audits the fumigator’s operations at least once monthly to ensure compliance, these audits are reported to Directors.
    We are comfortable that our staff and port users are safe working on the site while fumigation is underway.

  • How are you planning for an eventual phase-out of MeBr?
  • Northport has been working alongside industry partners since the ERMA/EPA decision made in 2010 to either phase out MeBr or improve recapture technology. We have also facilitated debarking operations off-wharf as well as on-wharf.

Cargo trends
  • What are your forecasts for log exports?
  • In 2014 Northport undertook a review of log availability in Northland, this review identified that log volumes in Northland are expected to remain around 4.2 million m³ per annum until 2026 and then shows a fall to an average harvest availability of c.2.4 million m³ per annum between 2027 and 2041.
    Currently log processors use c.1.7 million m³ per annum, this is based on the structural portion of the resource. Based on 40% of the available resources being available to the processors (without any retooling factored in), export log volumes are expected to drop to as low as around1.4 million m³ per annum over the same period.
    This study had a desktop review undertaken in 2018 to confirm accuracy of projections, the review indicated projections were on-track as per the initial review. In 2021/22 a full review will be undertaken of the log availability in Northland utilising new technology and most recent harvesting and planting information.

  • How do you plan to compensate for any slow-down in log exports?
  • Northport reviewed its strategic planning in 2015 after the release of the Log Availability Forecast and a study of Northland freight options and made its first move into container handling (Golden Bay Cement’s ISO Pods). At the same time it introduced its Vision for Growth to the port’s wider community stakeholders.
    Northport’s growth plans are focused on supporting Northland freight growth/demand while preparing to handle North Auckland freight - predominantly containerised freight but also potential for cars and other bulk and break-bulk freight.

  • Why is so much container traffic into and out of Northland still bypassing your port?
  • Availability of regular international shipping services calling at Northport. Currently there is a SSNZ coastal service servicing the South Island and Port of Tauranga, as well as seasonal international calls by MSC for horticulture and meat products.