Kaiwharawhara makes cut as site for new multi user ferry terminal
Following a reassessment of criteria for development of a Multi-User Ferry Terminal, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Horizons Regional Council, joint shareholders of CentrePort, have both reaffirmed Kaiwharawhara as their preferred location for the terminal.
For the past two years Greater Wellington and partners Bluebridge, KiwiRail, CentrePort, Wellington City Council and NZTA have worked on options for the location of a Multi-User Ferry Terminal to replace the current two Single User Ferry Terminals, operated by Interislander and Bluebridge.
The Project Control Group, made up of partner representatives, approved a reassessment of four sites - Kings Wharf, Kaiwharawhara, Aotea Wharf and Container Wharf in late 2019. This reassessment showed that Kaiwharawhara scored best against the assessment criteria.
A paper on the reassessment, considered by Horizons Regional Council at its 7 April meeting and by Greater Wellington Regional Council at its 9 April meeting, recommended that the Kaiwharawhara option be selected for the best site for the future operation of inter-island ferry services and to best suit the ongoing operations of CentrePort and the employment and economic development it creates.
Daran Ponter, chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council, said that “We fully support the Kaiwharawhara option. All other location options significantly impact on Centreport’s short and long term port business and would drag ferry traffic, including road and rail, closer to the CBD.”
Support was also given by Horizons Regional Council chair Rachel Keedwell, who says Horizons considered the paper and was supportive of Kaiwharawhara as the preferred location for the Multi User Ferry Terminal.
Councilor Prue Lamason, chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Holding Company, says Greater Wellington needs to consider not just the impact on the business of CentrePort but the impact on local and regional businesses whose trading would be impacted.
“A recent independent economic assessment confirms the importance of the port to local and regional businesses and the investment decisions made by them. We must be mindful of that.”
She added that that while the decision in favour of Kaiwharawhara is a major milestone, further engagement with mana whenua will be required along with consideration of the potential environmental impacts of any proposals arising from the development.
Cr Ponter says “our decision means that CentrePort has a clear direction from its shareholders and can start in earnest planning the layout and development of Kaiwharawhara – alongside all other port developments – initially as an upgraded single user terminal to accommodate larger vessels before the full development of a multi-user terminal.
“Our priority is the regeneration of CentrePort, and working towards the new ferry terminal must sit within that.”
Wellington City Council mayor Cr Andy Foster says “certainty over the location for the ferry terminal is a crucial step to planning the layout of the port, and it also allows all the major parties to finally start making long awaited decisions about connecting road, rail, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. It will also allow us, I hope, to have a terminal that our capital city can finally be proud of.”
Cr Ponter said the port was focused on supporting importers and exporters with a cost-effective and efficient supply chain that includes lower inland transportation costs.
He said the port had maintained good growth since the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, with plans to significantly grow all of its trades over the coming decade.