Napier Port’s new wharf, 6 Wharf – Te Whiti, officially opens for business, ahead of schedule and within stated forecast of $173-179-million

One of New Zealand’s largest pieces of privately-funded infrastructure in a decade.

At 1330 today, Napier Port (NZX.NPH) officially declared its new 350-metre wharf open for business with an opening ceremony taking place on the wharf itself, following a dawn karakia blessing to unveil the new formal wharf name – Te Whiti.

After officially welcoming the 294-metre Tianjin Bridge container vessel alongside 6 Wharf this afternoon, Chairman Alasdair MacLeod said Te Whiti is a crucial part of Napier Port’s future direction, strengthening the port’s operational agility and resilience, and delivering capacity to support the future growth of importers and exporters across the central and lower North Island.

“Today is the culmination of a more than 7-year journey to bring our new wharf to Napier Port and Hawke’s Bay,” continued MacLeod.

“After the success of Napier Port’s Initial Public Listing (IPO) back in 2019 to support funding investment in a new wharf, we committed to delivering against not only our financial goals but the social, environmental and governance objectives we share with our wider community and I am proud to say Napier Port and its people have delivered on these.”

“The strong support we have received from the Hawke’s Bay community, iwi, investors and shareholders alike has also undoubtedly played a crucial role in helping us to successfully deliver this intergenerational asset for our region, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen these ties into the future,” said MacLeod.

At the ceremony Chief Executive Todd Dawson said he was delighted to not only be opening the new wharf almost six months ahead of schedule and on budget, but to do so by commissioning one of the country’s largest pieces of privately-funded transport infrastructure in a decade.

“New Zealand’s supply chain is the foundation of our economy and there has never been a greater need for an efficient, cost-effective, sustainable network than there is now,” said Dawson.

“6 Wharf’s commercially funded investment business model is a fantastic example of what can be done with the right support and vision to enable New Zealand to have the type of quality infrastructure required to support sustainable growth now – and for generations to come.”

“At 350-metres-long Te Whiti is long enough and deep enough to accommodate the increasingly larger vessels calling New Zealand today and into the future, allowing us to support the needs of our customers, community and region.”

“It is connected to the rail and State Highway networks and a series of strategically-located inland ports, enabling a more efficient, coordinated flow of cargo across and in and out of New Zealand.”

“Once fully operational, our new wharf will help to alleviate ongoing shipping disruptions and supply chain congestion across New Zealand. It will improve operational performance across all of Napier Port’s wharves, ultimately boosting productivity for our customers and continuing to provide the linkages Hawke’s Bay needs to move its premium products to global markets.”

Mr Dawson said the company was pleased to have achieved resource consent without any environmental court challenges. “This is something that doesn’t happen often with major projects now, and is a credit to everyone involved and genuine engagement between many different stakeholder groups,” Mr Dawson said.

The wharf’s formal name ‘Te Whiti’ is fitting as it means to transfer or exchange – reflecting the transfer of goods from our region to the world. Te Whiti also means to shine, calling to mind figurative ‘rays’ from Hawke’s Bay to the rest of the world. The name was proposed and chosen based on input from Napier Port’s kāhui, the Marine Cultural Health Programme’s Mana Whenua Steering Komiti, as well as local marae, hapū and iwi.

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.
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