Deepening the shipping channel will mean CentrePort can continue to support thousands of businesses and jobs in central New Zealand.
Central New Zealand includes Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu/Whanganui, Hawkes Bay and Tasman/Nelson-Marlborough – an area that has 25.1% of New Zealand’s population and contributes 26.3% of New Zealand’s gross domestic product.
It is heavily dependent upon agriculture and primary product processing and the efficient movement of containerised exports and imports is important to the regional economy.
Seaports provide an essential service for New Zealand trade. Bigger ships will start arriving in New Zealand soon and other ports are already preparing. The trend will change New Zealand’s freight networks and is likely to see export cargo being sent to fewer hub ports.
A Ministry of Transport study found importers and exporters from central New Zealand, and in particular Wellington, will be most affected by these changes if there were no international cargo connection in central New Zealand.
These businesses would face cost increases and delays associated with inland transport to an import/export port.
This would be avoided by deepening the shipping channel to allow for bigger ships to call at Wellington.
Bigger ships require significantly upgraded infrastructure. CentrePort faces low expansion costs as it benefits from a naturally deep harbour, has excellent road and rail connections and already has the capacity and equipment to receive bigger ships.