Multi-user terminal mooted for Cook Strait Ferries
Kaiwharawhara and Kings Wharf have been shortlisted in a search for a site for a potential new multi-user terminal for the Cook Strait Ferries.
A joint programme has been established by Greater Wellington to examine the best options for a new ferry terminal in Wellington with the active involvement of itself and five partners - Wellington City Council, CentrePort, New Zealand Transport Agency, KiwiRail and StraitNZ Bluebridge.
Consolidating ferry infrastructure into a single facility could create a more efficient ferry service, a greatly enhanced customer experience for all users, significantly improved amenities for the northern gateway to the capital and an economic dividend for the region.
“This is a huge opportunity for Wellington and the wider region,” says Greater Wellington Economic Development Portfolio Leader, Cllr Roger Blakeley.
“Creating a more efficient facility with increased capacity would ensure we can benefit from forecasts of substantial Cook-Strait growth, with passenger numbers expected to increase by 70 per cent by 2025 accompanied by higher freight volumes.
“Using port land more efficiently would enable other significant opportunities to be realised including the development of a new cruise ship terminal and enhancement of public access to the waterfront.
“If a deal is reached this could be a critically important project for the city, the region and New Zealand.”
Cllr Blakeley says now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a call on the location and design of the potential new multi-user terminal. Infrastructure of this type lasts more than 50 years and the current facilities have reached the end of their useful life.
KiwiRail’s InterIslander fleet is also at a point where investment is planned in new ships which will require new terminal facilities and supporting infrastructure. CentrePort is developing a masterplan for the redevelopment of the port in which a new ferry terminal will play a key role in facilitating cross-strait commerce.
The initiative will be brought together in a business case which will then be considered by the partners before any decision is reached. Cllr Blakeley says robust information and integrated thinking is key to finding a solution that works for everyone.