Greater Wellington rejects Napier Port container shipping proposal

  • Published Date 26 Aug 2022
  • Author Emma Harrison

Greater Wellington has rejected a proposal by Port Napier to take over CentrePort’s container shipping business, supporting an earlier decision made by CentrePort.

The decision, made in yesterday’s council meeting, follows an independent report by PWC that found no compelling reason to accept the proposals.

“They never looked promising and that’s the conclusion of a report from PWC, which found the benefits of the deal would accrue to Napier at the expense of CentrePort’s shareholders and the regional economy,” says Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter.

“That’s not a deal we are willing to entertain.”

Under the proposal, CentrePort would obtain a four percent holding in Napier Port in return for transferring its container shipping business to Napier.  CentrePort would also get a share of the profits on additional container volumes.

“As a major shareholder in CentrePort, we support its plans for growth, including its container business. Shipping containers through Wellington makes sense, and that’s where our focus remains.”

In March, CentrePort completed the reinstatement of its Kaikoura earthquake-damaged Thorndon Container Wharf, significantly improving efficiency and capacity.  When the wharf was out of action for 10 months following the 2016 quake, shippers experienced up to 400 percent freight cost increases through other ports.

CentrePort has also recently partnered with Port Marlborough to establish a logistics hub solution for Marlborough shippers to grow container volumes and enhance supply chain resilience.

Cr Ponter added that CentrePort should continue to consider collaboration between ports and regions across a range of issues as it is well positioned to benefit from potential consolidation of shipping lines, services and port activity.

“Discussion will continue on future service configuration and commercial partnerships. But Napier Port’s proposal would effectively lock us out of those discussions.”

Updated August 26, 2022 at 3:59 PM

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