The Port of Tauranga is well-placed to accommodate future demand and growth according to a report released this week on the upper North Island ports.
The ports study, which began in June, provides a picture of the current and future freight demand for ports and port related infrastructure in the upper North Island.
The full report and associated Council agenda report can be downloaded from the December 6 2012 Council meeting agenda >>
Conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) on behalf of the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA), the study highlights that the Port of Tauranga is strategically well placed to accommodate the projected growth in shipping, with capacity for larger ships in the future due to the recent granting of resource consent for channel and berthage dredging.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said while the Port of Tauranga is based in the western Bay, it was important to recognise the contribution made by the whole region to the Port's success.
"Without the regional supply chain feeding goods to the Port from across the region we wouldn't have the need for this important piece of the region's economy, both now and into the future," Mr Cronin said.
"The UNISA report shows that there is sufficient storage to cope with the expected increased volumes of bulk goods at Mount Maunganui and of containers at Sulphur Point over next 30 years. In addition, there is the capacity to extend the Sulphur Point container wharf by 285 metres to the south."
Container throughput at the Port is predicted to grow by between 2.5 percent and 3.1 percent per annum over the next 30 years. Bulk good throughput will also grow at between 1.7 percent and 2.3 percent each year.
He said the Port is well placed to cater for future growth, with further work being carried out through the development of the SmartGrowth Strategy update project to ensure the strategic roading network and rail system are sufficient to enable the efficient movement of freight to and from the Port of Tauranga.
"However overall, it's important to recognise what an asset the Port of Tauranga is to the Bay of Plenty. In the past few weeks we've seen the Port and its Chief Executive Mark Cairns nominated as finalists in the Deloitte/Management Magazine Top 200 Awards, for both Company of the Year and Executive of the Year with Mr Cairns taking out the Executive of the Year title.
"With finalists for both categories selected from the New Zealand 2012 Top 200 Companies list, this is a real achievement for the Port and bodes well for its future."
UNISA comprises the territorial authorities from Tauranga city, Auckland, Whangarei district and Hamilton city as well as the regional councils from Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland. UNISA's purpose is to respond and manage a range of agreed inter-regional and inter-metropolitan issues.
UNISA undertook the Ports study to gain a collective picture of the upper North Island ports' infrastructure for the benefit of all of New Zealand. The upper North Island ports system plays a major role as New Zealand's link to the rest of the world.
UNISA members agree that ensuring the upper North Island ports and related infrastructure function well, now and in the future, is key to New Zealand remaining internationally competitive and prosperous.