Gisborne's port in growth mode

Extending reclamation will create more space for log ships.

Extending reclamation will create more space for log ships.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: Eastland Port’s expansion plans mean wood will move off the port faster. Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says the port needs to strengthen and lengthen the wharf, which would include reclaiming about 1.5 hectares next to the breakwater. The planned area is behind Mr Gaddum. Picture by Paul Rickard
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: The first application for resource consent to rebuild wharf 6, strengthen a portion of the river training wall, and reshape the slipway will be lodged in July. The second application, next year, will be to extend wharf 8 and undertake required reclamation, breakwater repairs and dredging.

GISBORNE'S port will undergo a multimillion-dollar expansion to keep up with the “wall of wood”.

Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says changes must be made to manage the increase in logs, doubling from the 2.5 million tonnes to a predicted 5 million tonnes a year by 2024.

A planned extension to the reclaimed area will mean two 200-metre logging ships will be able to be loaded at the same time. At the moment one 200m logging ship and a smaller squash or kiwifruit ship can be loaded at the same time.

To create this twin logging ship berth and move wood off the port faster, the port needs to strengthen and lengthen the wharf, which will include reclaiming about 1.5 hectares of land.

Mr Gaddum says the port will apply for Gisborne District Council consents starting in July but he wants people to know in advance to have the time to consider the plans and contribute ideas.

It is a five-year plan and will cost the majority of the port’s planned spend of $70 million over the next five years.

The reclamation will add a small amount of space for storage of logs and cargo, as well as help strengthen the
120-year old breakwater. Further down the track it will enable much-needed repairs to the rest of the breakwater wall.

All of the log yard on the Kaiti Beach side of the port is land reclaimed in the 1960s and ’70s.

Mr Gaddum said finding space at the port was a real challenge.

“We’ve looked at many options and we’ve become more efficient by doing things like doubling our ship-loading rates and stacking wood more efficiently.”

This had helped, but as more and more wood turned up, more space was needed.

The planned land reclamation was a triangle of about 1.5ha, behind wharf 8 and the seawall.

Infrastructure and economy

The port was crucial to the region’s infrastructure and economy, he said.

“Forestry production injects $262 million into the area and that’s only going to increase.”

A 2013 University of Waikato report into forestry’s economic impact here showed more than one in four households in this region has a person whose job is dependent on forestry.

“Be it a faller, truck driver, diesel mechanic, shop owner, contractor, accountant ... thousands benefit from forestry, and everyone else benefits from the money they spend.”

The investment made financial sense.

“It gives Gisborne a community-owned asset that will help secure new coastal shipping routes (which could include container trade), and offers regional resilience should we suffer a serious earthquake or weather event.”

A refurbished port would also accommodate new international trade and exports, and mean a cruise ship 200m or less could dock alongside a loading log ship.

“Most of the cruise ships that have been coming here are bigger than that, in the 280 to 300m range. We can’t bring those in because we can’t turn them in the port.”

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said investing in vital infrastructure was key to creating more good jobs and continuing economic growth.

“Improvements like the one planned will boost productivity, support business growth, create jobs, and improve opportunities for all the region’s residents.”

Creating a balance

Mr Gaddum said the challenge now was balancing the responsibility it had to help ensure regional economic growth, alongside concerns people might have.

“Ngati Oneone is tangata whenua and kaitiaki over the area occupied by the port. The port is surrounded by residential neighbours and businesses, and it’s nestled next to one of New Zealand’s most historically-significant sites, soon to take centre stage during the 2019 first encounters commemorations.

“The maritime traditions of so many of our ancestors unfolded right here in this safe harbour.”

The area the port operates in was integral to Gisborne’s settlement, he said.

“It’s special to the region, to New Zealand, and when any group wants to make changes that brings huge responsibility.”

The development might be beyond some people’s comfort levels.

“People have the right to expect the economic benefits of any industry be balanced with the need to protect our environment.”

The port is working with the University of Canterbury, looking at how it can enhance the marine habitat available to species such as rock lobster.

“There is opportunity to create further artificial habitat as part of our developments,” he said.

The port continues to look for ways to reduce its environmental footprint, with the recent addition of the upper log yard rain garden to help remove sediment and slow down stormwater before it flows into the port’s filter plant, then into Kopuawhakapata Stream.

The first application for resource consent to rebuild wharf 6, strengthen a portion of the river training wall, and reshape the slipway, will be lodged in July. The second application next year will be to extend wharf 8, required reclamation, breakwater repairs and dredging.

Because of the age of infrastructure, there will be redevelopment at the port, regardless of the second berth development.

GISBORNE'S port will undergo a multimillion-dollar expansion to keep up with the “wall of wood”.

Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says changes must be made to manage the increase in logs, doubling from the 2.5 million tonnes to a predicted 5 million tonnes a year by 2024.

A planned extension to the reclaimed area will mean two 200-metre logging ships will be able to be loaded at the same time. At the moment one 200m logging ship and a smaller squash or kiwifruit ship can be loaded at the same time.

To create this twin logging ship berth and move wood off the port faster, the port needs to strengthen and lengthen the wharf, which will include reclaiming about 1.5 hectares of land.

Mr Gaddum says the port will apply for Gisborne District Council consents starting in July but he wants people to know in advance to have the time to consider the plans and contribute ideas.

It is a five-year plan and will cost the majority of the port’s planned spend of $70 million over the next five years.

The reclamation will add a small amount of space for storage of logs and cargo, as well as help strengthen the
120-year old breakwater. Further down the track it will enable much-needed repairs to the rest of the breakwater wall.

All of the log yard on the Kaiti Beach side of the port is land reclaimed in the 1960s and ’70s.

Mr Gaddum said finding space at the port was a real challenge.

“We’ve looked at many options and we’ve become more efficient by doing things like doubling our ship-loading rates and stacking wood more efficiently.”

This had helped, but as more and more wood turned up, more space was needed.

The planned land reclamation was a triangle of about 1.5ha, behind wharf 8 and the seawall.

Infrastructure and economy

The port was crucial to the region’s infrastructure and economy, he said.

“Forestry production injects $262 million into the area and that’s only going to increase.”

A 2013 University of Waikato report into forestry’s economic impact here showed more than one in four households in this region has a person whose job is dependent on forestry.

“Be it a faller, truck driver, diesel mechanic, shop owner, contractor, accountant ... thousands benefit from forestry, and everyone else benefits from the money they spend.”

The investment made financial sense.

“It gives Gisborne a community-owned asset that will help secure new coastal shipping routes (which could include container trade), and offers regional resilience should we suffer a serious earthquake or weather event.”

A refurbished port would also accommodate new international trade and exports, and mean a cruise ship 200m or less could dock alongside a loading log ship.

“Most of the cruise ships that have been coming here are bigger than that, in the 280 to 300m range. We can’t bring those in because we can’t turn them in the port.”

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said investing in vital infrastructure was key to creating more good jobs and continuing economic growth.

“Improvements like the one planned will boost productivity, support business growth, create jobs, and improve opportunities for all the region’s residents.”

Creating a balance

Mr Gaddum said the challenge now was balancing the responsibility it had to help ensure regional economic growth, alongside concerns people might have.

“Ngati Oneone is tangata whenua and kaitiaki over the area occupied by the port. The port is surrounded by residential neighbours and businesses, and it’s nestled next to one of New Zealand’s most historically-significant sites, soon to take centre stage during the 2019 first encounters commemorations.

“The maritime traditions of so many of our ancestors unfolded right here in this safe harbour.”

The area the port operates in was integral to Gisborne’s settlement, he said.

“It’s special to the region, to New Zealand, and when any group wants to make changes that brings huge responsibility.”

The development might be beyond some people’s comfort levels.

“People have the right to expect the economic benefits of any industry be balanced with the need to protect our environment.”

The port is working with the University of Canterbury, looking at how it can enhance the marine habitat available to species such as rock lobster.

“There is opportunity to create further artificial habitat as part of our developments,” he said.

The port continues to look for ways to reduce its environmental footprint, with the recent addition of the upper log yard rain garden to help remove sediment and slow down stormwater before it flows into the port’s filter plant, then into Kopuawhakapata Stream.

The first application for resource consent to rebuild wharf 6, strengthen a portion of the river training wall, and reshape the slipway, will be lodged in July. The second application next year will be to extend wharf 8, required reclamation, breakwater repairs and dredging.

Because of the age of infrastructure, there will be redevelopment at the port, regardless of the second berth development.

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Eric Foothead - 2 months ago
My comment is that the upgrade is too small for any further improvements to the actual harbour itself. It seems the board is not looking far enough ahead. Space is required in both directions (not to make less sea/water space) for ships.

Linda Tatare - 2 months ago
Acknowledging negative environmental impact of any work on the port is the first step - it would be a sacrilege if our waters deteriorated any further. Hopefully Ngati Oneone can hold you to your word.

Tuta Ngarimu - 2 months ago
Very concerned with this development. We have strong whakapapa connection to this area and so far I'm 100 percent against it.

Anonymous - 2 months ago
"1 in 4 households in this region, in OUR region... has a person whose JOB is DEPENDENT on the FORESTRY" !!!!

#SAYNOMORE