Construction of a new 350-metre-long wharf for Hawke’s Bay started today with a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for workers held at Napier Port (NZX.NPH) this morning.
A karakia was performed at the 6 Wharf construction site, along the northern end of the port’s container terminal, for the hundreds of people who will be working on the project until the end of 2022, when the wharf is expected to receive its first ship.
Napier Port chief executive, Todd Dawson, officially turned the first sod at the western end of the wharf, where the first of 400 piles that support the wharf deck will be installed.
Mr Dawson told those gathered – port workers, HEB construction staff and others associated with the project – that 6 Wharf will be a crucial piece of infrastructure for Hawke’s Bay’s and they can be proud of their involvement with the project.
“Over the past 10 years we have seen a 50 percent increase in containers and a 64 percent increase in bulk cargo from our region’s exporters and importers. We are also seeing more tourists visit, and last year we welcomed 94 percent more cruise ships than we did in 2010.
“We need 6 Wharf by the end of 2022 so we can welcome more vessels, continue improving operational performance and keep connecting our region to the world,” says Mr Dawson.
Mr Dawson also told the workers that their safety throughout the project must come first.
As detailed in the Product Disclosure Statement for Napier Port’s initial public offer, the project is estimated to cost $173-190 million, excluding capitalised interest and overheads.
In preparation for building the wharf, Napier Port has been developing best practice management plans with key stakeholders – mana whenua, the fishing community, the Department of Conservation and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council – since receiving its resource consent in November 2018.
The plans protect environmental and cultural values during the project including: Pania Reef, fisheries, water quality, marine mammals, wharf construction noise (land-based and underwater), traffic and birds, specifically the kororā or little blue penguin that nest on-port.
Those interested in the 6 Wharf project are encouraged to visit 6wharf.co.nz and sign-up to receive updates.