Ahead of Time and Under Budget: Napier Port preparing to officially open new 6 Wharf in July

Napier Port (NZX.NPH) achieved a significant construction milestone at the end of April completing the key physical infrastructure on its new 350-metre 6 Wharf. This milestone follows the recent completion of the 6 Wharf project’s two-year dredging campaign, and is one step closer to seeing the wharf become operational. Napier Port is set to host an official 6 Wharf opening and karakia ceremony on Friday 22 July 2022 and unveil the wharf’s new formal name.

After turning the first soil at the project’s ground-breaking ceremony back in February 2020, Napier Port Chief Executive Todd Dawson says he is immensely proud of the progress that has been made in the two years since.

“We broke ground on this once-in-a-generation project a mere month before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in New Zealand, and despite two periods of lockdown, an international border closure and ongoing global uncertainty it is set to be delivered ahead of time and under budget. Given the size and complexity of this infrastructure project, this achievement speaks volumes for our 6 Wharf project team and the tremendous planning and hard work they have put in.”

Once fully operational, Napier Port’s 6 Wharf will provide increased shipping capacity and the ability to handle larger vessels and berth a greater number of vessels, as well as improving the availability and operational performance across all of the port’s wharves. The wharf is capable of berthing container vessels 320 metres long and a beam (width) of 50m and 360-metre Oasis-class liners – the world’s largest cruise ships. Alongside Napier Port’s three tugs, it will also allow berthing for larger container ships 24-hours per day.

Dawson continued, “We’re excited to welcome our first vessels to our new wharf later this year. 6 Wharf will future-proof Napier Port – allowing us to support the needs of our customers, our community and our region today and the growth we see coming into the future.”

“In light of the current Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Review underway by government, we believe our 6 Wharf project is a case study for sensible, commercial port infrastructure investment. Based on a robust investment case underwritten by the current (at the time) and projected growth in the region’s trade. The business case held up to the scrutiny of a rigorous IPO process to enable its funding and it demonstrates that ports can deliver sound infrastructure investment, as well as success for a region and its ratepayers, for investors, and for local authorities facing increasing challenges around ageing infrastructure assets and competing priorities for capital investments,” added Dawson.

A huge pavement works project, encompassing an area of 20,000m2, with 8.5km of electrical ducting, 14.5km of electrical cable and 4km of earthing cable installed, is currently in the final stages of completion and will connect the new wharf to Napier Port’s existing Container Terminal. Once complete, the wider 6 Wharf project will move into the final pre-operations stage involving wet commissioning (berthing the first ships) and container exchange trials in June.


Napier Port has produced a short video showcasing the 6 Wharf project and the benefits it is set to deliver for our customers, our community and our region. Available to view here.

Napier Port will provide a further media update and photograph when wet commissioning takes place.

6 Wharf Project Facts and Figures

A snapshot of the construction project to date illustrates a number of the important milestones and sustainability initiatives that Napier Port has achieved over the last two years.

Construction Milestones

  • 400 reinforced concrete piles (forming the foundation of the wharf) and 32 concrete deck pours (forming the wharf deck) completed.
  • Installation and dry commissioning of 10 MoorMaster units – a state-of-the-art vacuum mooring system that will increase mooring speed and berth availability, reduce time in port and improve our people’s safety.
  • Completed build of a new electrical substation with an 11,000 volt supply to power the new MoorMaster system, new and existing light towers, shore powers, a data hub and a seismic monitoring system. Milestone video available to view here for more information.
  • Two-year capital (new) dredging programme to dredge and safely dispose approximately 1.3 million cubic metres of material completed. This programme created a new berth pocket alongside 6 Wharf and a larger swinging basin (where ships turn), as well as deepened parts of the inner harbour and the shipping channel closest to the port. Milestone video available to view here for more information.

Sustainability Milestones

  • Sustainability has been an overriding consideration throughout the 6 Wharf build, with detailed planning undertaken with mana whenua, fishing groups and other marine users during a comprehensive resource consent process. We remain fully compliant with our consent conditions, in particular the water quality requirements at Pānia Reef.
  • Establishment of the Napier Port kororā (little blue penguin) sanctuary to protect this at-risk species found on port, including the microchipping of over 185 kororā. The sanctuary was developed with the help of kororā expert of 30 years’ Professor John Cockrem from Massey University and in consultation with mana whenua as kaitiaki of the area, the Department of Conservation and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
  • Development and launch of the Marine Cultural Health Programme (MCHP) – a partnership between mana whenua hapū and Napier Port to monitor the health of the marine environment in and around the Ahuriri area. It is the first marine cultural health programme of its kind in New Zealand (Website available here –
  • Creation of two new artificial reefs, using limestone from a dismantled revetment seawall, which has helped to enhance the existing habitat and health of the region’s marine life and provide for local recreational fishing. This project was a unique collaboration with LegaSea – a group of recreational fishers dedicated to rebuilding Hawke’s Bay fish stock.


Media Contact:
Chris Lonergan
Senior Communications Advisor, Napier Port
Phone: 027 255 0486

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