Community asked for feedback on proposed wharf

Napier Port is asking Hawke’s Bay people what they think of a proposal to construct another wharf and to deepen and extend the existing shipping channel.

Hawke’s Bay’s export economy is thriving and strong growth is forecast into the future. Napier Port needs to increase its capacity to secure the region’s ability to ship its products to the world.

Napier Port is proposing to build a new 350m wharf along the northern edge of its existing container terminal, requiring a deeper swing basin (where the ship turns) and berth pocket (where a ship sits when moored).

Cargo and cruise ships are progressively getting larger and deeper, so Napier Port want to be able to dredge the shipping channel from the existing consented depth of 12.8m to 14.5m.

The project would be carried out in two stages. Stage one would see the construction of the wharf and dredging of the berth pocket and swing basin. Stage two would see the dredging of the channel, but this may be done over as many as six separate phases. Napier Port is applying for a staged consent so dredging can be progressively carried out to meet demand for larger ships to come to Hawke’s Bay.

Napier Port is intending to submit resource consent applications to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council later this year, which will be assessed by independent commissioners.

Chief Executive, Garth Cowie said while Napier Port is a significant contributor to Hawke’s Bay’s economy, it also takes its role within the community and the sustainable management of the environment very seriously.

“This is a project of significant scale so we have engaged leading local and international experts to carry out detailed modelling on how the design might affect the environment, such as the ecology of the sea floor and Pania Reef, coastal processes, noise and the view from surrounding communities.”

“Those models mean we can refine the design to ensure any impacts are fully addressed. Early indications are that any potential impacts can be managed effectively,” Mr Cowie said.

Napier Port is also working closely with its stakeholders to understand what they value about the area – hosting port tours, presenting to organisations and holding meetings with local hapu, neighbours, recreational groups, exporters and business groups.

Napier Port is inviting the community to information drop-in sessions at any time between 4pm and 7pm – at Hawke’s Bay Sport Fishing Club in Ahuriri on Monday 19 September 2016, and Westshore Surf Club on Tuesday 20 September 2016 – to speak to Napier Port staff about the project.

Information will also be on display at The Box, 36 Waghorne Street, Ahuriri between Monday 19 September and Sunday 25 September 2016.

“We are Hawke’s Bay people too, our staff are part of the community – we all have an interest in getting this right for both Hawke’s Bay’s economic growth and for the future of our environment,” Mr Cowie said.

Read more about Napier Port’s proposed wharf development here.