Expansion at Northport - status update

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 consents will be sought.

Northport expects to lodge its application for the eastern development around the middle of 2022. This timeframe is necessary to allow for the technical reports prepared late last year to be reworked to take into account the Board’s decision to decouple the eastern development from the western development.

The western development covers the proposed shipyard and dry-dock facility. The Vision for Growth website and video (www.visionforgrowth.co.nz) provide an overview of that concept. Further work needs to be undertaken to meaningfully engage with all stakeholders, to include the employment, community development and economic opportunities presented by this initiative. More time is needed to explore all opportunities and possible variations to encourage investment in this nationally significant and regionally strategic project, maximise employment and other benefits, and to manage potential adverse effects.

The Board has taken the view that in light of ongoing national supply-chain pressures, and a growing demand from shipping companies, the company should progress that part of its Vision for Growth that is ready to proceed, namely the container storage, handling and transportation facility.

This will give Northport the container capability to service the growing and changing freight needs of the Upper North Island.

Northport already has resource consent to expand its linear wharf 270 meters eastwards. However, modelling makes it clear that this is not sufficient to cater for the projected growth in demand for container storage, handling and transportation at the port facility. The resource consent application for the eastern development covers the additional works that will be required.

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About Northport

Northport, situated at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour, is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port. It is a flexible facility catering for large, multi-purpose vessels and full cargo handling facilities are available from its 570-metre linear berth.

Logs, woodchip and processed timber for export comprise the bulk of cargo handled by the port. Recent investment in container handling equipment has seen an uptake in coastal and international container trade. Other export items include kiwifruit, dairy products, and manufactured goods. Imports are an important part of Northport’s business and include fertiliser, gypsum, coal, and palm kernel.

The port is owned and operated by Northport Ltd, itself owned jointly and equally by Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd and the Port of Tauranga Ltd.