Whakatū Inland Port

Whakatū Inland Port Project Update

As of August 2021, Napier Port has made the decision to formally decline the government’s offer to provide funding for the development of an inland port project in Whakatū. We remain firmly committed to building this vital piece of infrastructure in Whakatu, however, we have now shifted our timeframe for commencement of this project back out to a 5-10 year timeline. 

As we have said right from the start, this project needs to stand on its own and bringing our initial timeframes forward in response to the Crown’s financial support was always subject to a business case.

Since the funding announcement in July 2020, Napier Port has completed its due diligence and undertaken significant operational and commercial analysis and completed modelling of the port’s future cargo growth volumes − both to supplement our existing 30-Year Master Plan data and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its global impacts.

Ultimately, the business case does not support moving ahead immediately. We will look to advance the project when it makes both operational and commercial sense for Napier Port in the future.

Now that this decision has been made, we welcome the opportunity to slow the pace of the Whakatū inland port project and will focus our efforts squarely on our current strategic projects.

We want to maintain our focus with the Whakatū community and mana whenua and will continue to progress our engagement process with them.

About Whakatū Inland Port

An inland port is a vital piece of infrastructure that will provide the capacity and capability to meet the future regional growth that is expected within Hawke’s Bay and across the wider North Island.

As a major regional infrastructure asset, Napier Port is essential to the health of the region’s economy and is a key gateway to global markets for our vital exporters and importers. We are an active participant in driving regional prosperity across Hawke’s Bay and the wider North Island.

The Whakatū inland port project has significant potential to enable sustainable regional economic growth in Hawke’s Bay, creating employment opportunities for our growing community and, in particular, supporting local iwi with economic opportunities and future investment options. For these reasons, the project has received support from all five Hawke’s Bay
councils, as well as the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Crown.

Why Whakatū?

The current Whakatū site is our preferred location for the following reasons:

  • The site is strategically located in the heart of the Hawke’s Bay pipfruit industry, and has direct rail and road connections to Napier Port and the lower North Island.
  • The site is located within the Whakatū Industrial zone, and fits into Hawke’s Bay broader strategic plan as set out in the local councils’ district plans.
  • The Port already owns the land at Whakatū. It has been the basis for all of our planning for many years, as well as part of the Port’s 30 Year Master Plan (link available below).
  • An alternative site for the inland port would ideally need to take into consideration all of the above criteria, and we are not aware of another feasible option in Hawke’s Bay.

Keeping our Community Informed

Napier Port is a proud member of the Hawke’s Bay community and we are dedicated to ensuring every project we undertake reflects the values of the people who live and work here.

We continue to be committed to keeping all stakeholders and communities informed, listening and working with them to understand how we can support and develop the area to the benefit of all.

Napier Port 30 Year Master Plan

Napier Port 30 Year Master Plan

Napier Port Sustainability Strategy

Napier Port Sustainability Strategy

Sustainability in Action

While we’re delivering for our customers and the economy, we’re focused on considering our impact on the planet, our people and our community. Our sustainability journey is one of continuous improvement, and sits at the heart of our plans for the development of the inland port project.  

We have chosen to align our sustainability goals to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – a set of universal goals that aim to address the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world (More information on the SDGs can be found here). Launched in late 2015, the SDG platform is now recognised as an ideal basis upon which to build a robust and balanced Sustainability Strategy.

The World Port Sustainability Program (WPSP) encourages industry-wide action in pursuit of the SDGs. Whilst it is recognised that not every port can do everything across every SDG, we support this industry direction and have ensured our sustainability strategy addresses relevant SDGs for the regional and New Zealand context.

We are focused on what we can achieve locally to respond to global challenges like climate change, environmental issues and prosperity to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Click on the Sustainability Strategy link on the left for further information.

Project Development Planning

We genuinely recognise the valid concerns of the wider community towards the inland port project, and will work towards a structured engagement process for the project as we develop our plans for the future.

Even though we have shifted our timeframe for commencement of this project back out to a 5-10 year timeline, we would like to continue forward with our engagement process. We believe a longer timeline can only benefit the relationship we have started to develop with the Whakatū community and mana whenua.

Key Development Milestones

To date, we have made a number of commitments specifically to the Whakatū community, as listed below. We stand by these commitments and believe it is important to proceed accordingly. We will continue to work together with the community and mana whenua and map out an appropriate path forward.

  • We will fund an independent advisor, as nominated by the Whakatū community, to provide guidance and advice to the community.
  • We will undertake a Cultural Impact Assessment and will cover the costs required to complete this process.
  • We will undertake a separate Community Impact Assessment and will cover the costs to complete this process.
  • We will provide the community with opportunities to tour the port, meet our people and better understand our operations and the work we do to be a good neighbour.
  • We will consult with the community to better inform our stormwater and earthworks applications.
  • We have worked with a consultant to create a series of artist impressions to help provide the public with a better understanding of what an inland port would look like in Whakatū (based on various design scenarios).
  • We have made a commitment that we will not allow any trucks visiting the inland port to drive through the community residential area. As the site owner, there are ways we can enforce this and we will. In addition, we are committed to working with the community and the Hastings District Council to ensure truck traffic is kept out of the residential area of Whakatū.

Project Updates and Resource Library

Read the latest updates about the project and any studies or technical reports that we have commissioned.

Whakatū Inland Port Background Info - AUG 2020

Whakatū Inland Port Background Info - AUG 2020

This document was prepared for the Whakatū community in order to answer a number of questions they raised about the project and support our initial hui with the community.

Whakatū Site Noise Assessment - JAN 2021

Whakatū Site Noise Assessment - JAN 2021

We have engaged Marshall Day, an independent acoustic consultancy, to start to map out the current noise levels and contours in the Whakatū area.

Stay Informed

As our inland port development plans progress, Napier Port will provide regular email updates about the project and share any resources that are produced. Sign up to our inland port project mailing list below.

Drop us a line

It’s always valuable to hear from our community and know about any feedback you have about the inland port development. 

Click here to talk to our team about the project.