Wellington October Meeting

The October meeting was held on 09 October. There were 19 attendees,

Before lunch commenced a very professional address was given by Derek
Nind, CEO of Centreport. His talk was revolved around the recovery
efforts to return the port to a fully operational  state following the
infrastructure damage resulting from the Kaikoura earthquake experienced
nearly three years ago.

Major decisions have already been made whereby existing buildings, some
relatively new, have been, or are being, demolished, never to be
replaced. The previous policy of using reclaimed land for commercial
building purposes has been overturned.

The decision on the location of a multi-user ferry terminal is still
under consideration.

Putting aside the ongoing revenue from ferries and the import of oil
through the Seaview Terminal the Company’s main income stream is from
the export of logs and the handling of containers.

With regard to the latter, the port has concluded contracts with NZR to
carry cargo (made up mainly of containers and logs) from inland hubs to
the port of Wellington. Centreport established these hubs.  This measure
filled a gap left by the shipping companies when in the 1990’s they
abandoned the practice of providing shippers with empty containers for
packing and transportation back to the port (at the shippers cost).

As to the best way forward Derek spoke of the assistance he was getting
by consulting with various companies with expertise in four specific
areas. More importantly he has created a team, within the company, to
investigate and make decisions on issues such as length of berth, number
of container cranes, best container handling equipment and the draft in
the channel leading into the port.

All these are matters are of vital importance with decisions to be made
in a situation of a very uncertain future. NZ has many ports offering
services to container vessels. The effect of a damaged port and fierce
competition means that Centreport is challenged to maintain and
hopefully grow its business. It is holding on at present but hopes to
make progress with the passage of time.

To expand on his talk Derek offered a bus trip to and around the port
area to allow Company members to see for themselves the difficult tasks
facing Centreport.

It is hoped to take up this offer early next year.

In concluding the meeting, the Warden offered Captain Nic Campbell the
Branch’s congratulations on reaching his 90th birthday as well as
reminding members of the Christmas lunch arranged to take place
Wednesday 20th November.

Ken Watt

SECRETARY

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