Port of Tauranga and Kotahi Extend Strategic Alliance

New Zealand’s largest containerised freight exporter, Kotahi and New Zealand’s international cargo gateway Port of Tauranga today announced an extension to their long-term volume commitment agreement.

The renewed agreement extends Kotahi’s commitment to Port of Tauranga for an additional seven years, through to mid-2031. Kotahi manages freight on behalf of more than 40 of New Zealand’s importers and exporters, including its shareholders Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the collaboration between the two companies gives the Port the confidence to invest further in expanding its container terminal.

“We look forward to continuing our highly productive relationship with Kotahi,” he says.

Kotahi’s Chief Executive, David Ross, says the collaboration with Port of Tauranga has brought significant benefits to New Zealand, including a more sustainable and resilient supply chain with efficient big ships.

“We are delighted to support Port of Tauranga’s future development programme with the commitment of cargo volume through to 2031.”

For more information, please contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph:  021 865 884


Belinda Leslie
Phone 0275 656 287

Port of Tauranga Prioritises Essential Imports During Covid-19 Lockdown

Port of Tauranga today announced new measures to prioritise urgent imported cargo during the national lockdown.

The measures allow importers to identify imported cargo required for essential services before it arrives in New Zealand so that it can be handled and transported first. The dwell charges deadline for priority cargo has been extended to provide relief to our import customers whilst ensuring cargo is collected promptly.

Non-essential imported cargo may be temporarily stored on or off-site until it can be collected by truck or transferred by rail to MetroPort Auckland. Non-essential cargoes will avoid dwell charges until 26 April 2020 (apart from one-off handling charges and power charges for refrigerated containers).​

“We take our role as an essential service very seriously and our focus is to ensure vital food, medical and other supplies can keep moving,” said Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns.

“We also understand the stresses and strains on people and organisations trying to deal with the current situation, which has seen shipping delays, cancellations and other disruptions.”

“We need the support and co-operation of importers and exports to help us manage the flow of cargo and avoid blocking the path of essential food, medicine, equipment and other supplies.”

In order to maintain vital operations, Port of Tauranga has introduced extensive measures to protect its staff and their health. They include separation of work groups, enhanced cleaning regimens and protective equipment for frontline staff such as marine pilots.

Strict border controls are in place. All international crew shore leave is prohibited and crew members must avoid close contact with port workers. A summary of the measures being taken is available on our website: http://www.port-tauranga.co.nz/our-response-to-covid-19-and-what-we-are-doing-to-keep-the-supply-chain-moving/


For further details, contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 021 865 884

Our response to COVID-19 and what we are doing to keep the supply chain moving

The Port of Tauranga provides an essential service.  Whatever happens over the next few months, we have a duty to ensure that imports and exports can keep moving.  For this reason we have implemented extensive measures to protect ourselves, trade and the community.

 As a valued partner of Port of Tauranga we want to advise you of the extra practices / protocols we have adopted:

  • Basic hygiene – covering sneezes, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, hand sanitisers to be used, safe social distancing.
  • Instructing staff not to come to work if they are ill or have had contact with ill people.
  • All shared work stations and equipment cleaned between shifts.
  • Shared facilities, such as staff rooms, toilets, showers and vehicles cleaned more frequently.  Handrails and staff rooms are being cleaned every day (in addition to the normal cleaning regime for all our facilities).
  • Separation between shifts, teams and other work groups as much as practicable to minimise unnecessary contact.
  • All service providers required to enact own internal pandemic policies.

Shipping / Vessels

  • All international vessels have had crew shore leave cancelled.  Shore leave is only available for New Zealand based vessels.
  • Vessels are pre-screened to determine if they require self-isolation. If so, Pilots will utilise PPE consisting of disposable gloves and P2 face masks.  Any crew that might come within two metres of our Pilots are also required to wear the same PPE.

The services below are critical to our operation.  We are reducing the risk by isolating teams from one another and have implemented the following extra measures within our work groups:

Pilots, Launches and Tugs

  • Staff instructed to stay to assigned tug or launch and avoid the opposite (day / night) crew.
  • Clean tugs and marine plant / equipment before each shift.
  • Visits to the administration building and interaction with administration staff to be kept to a minimum.


  • No direct contact with ship’s crew.


  • Shuttle drivers only transporting coastal vessel crew and escorting ship’s crew signing on or off.
  • Avoiding shared vehicles where possible.
  • Paper docket processes for containers leaving TCT moving online to minimise non-essential contact.
  • Access card process moving to email only, no walk-ins.


  • No direct contact with ship’s crew (garbage collection is currently under review).

Customer Service Centre

  • Eliminate contact with all other work groups.

TCT Operations

  • Wherever possible, divide staff capable from working at home into two teams to alternate in the office.


  • Perspex barrier installed at R&D counter.
  • Strongly recommend the use of e-gate transactions.
  • Restricting the number of drivers allowed in the R&D reception area at any one time.
  • Drivers outside the booked VBS window required to wait off site.

Crane / Straddle Drivers

  • Increase regularity of crew van cleaning (between shifts) and additional transport if required.
  • Cleaning products located in machinery cabs and cleaned between each driver change.
  • Controlled shift change to reduce driver to driver contact.


  • Shared facilities already exist at the north and south end of berth. These will now be dedicated to individual teams.
  • Increased regularity of crew van cleaning.
  • Controlled shift change to reduce contact.

Rail Marshalling and Reefer Operations

  • Manage shift changeovers and access to equipment to separate teams.
  • Cleaning equipment available in all hoists and hoists cleaned at each operator change.


  • Promote the wider use of e-gate to avoid non-essential contact between staff and drivers.

Administration / Staff

  • The majority of our office-based staff have the ability to work remotely however this will be increased over the coming weeks.
  • To reduce non-essential contact, as of Wednesday 18 March at 5.00pm, our administration buildings (Mount Maunganui and TCT) were locked to all visitors except through Reception. Buildings are accessible by swipe card only, in order to prevent unannounced / uncontrolled access to our buildings and people.
  • Large group meetings postponed or held via video conferencing.
  • Domestic travel restricted to critical only.
  • All international business travel has been cancelled.
  • Personal overseas travel for all staff to be avoided.  If travel is unavoidable, we are instructing staff to comply with the government regulations and self-isolate for 14 days.

Any person who has travelled overseas or re-entered NZ within the last two weeks is not permitted at any of our sites. Anyone exhibiting sign of illness will be told to leave immediately.

We will continue to communicate our response as this situation evolves.



Cruise ship to make extended stay in Tauranga

Regular cruise ship visitor Noordam will be making an extended stay in Tauranga later this week for an unprecedented visit.

It is extremely rare for a cruise ship to spend more than one night at Port of Tauranga – but there will be no passengers on board on this occasion.

The 286 metre Noordam and its crew will spend five nights in port following schedule changes.

Port of Tauranga Chief Operating Officer, Leonard Sampson, said the layover is a unique event and local businesses will benefit from having several hundred crew members staying in the Bay of Plenty.

“The vessel has been operating in the South Pacific for the whole summer and all crew on board meet health authority requirements,” he said.

All cruise and cargo ships visiting Port of Tauranga strictly follow Ministry of Health regulations regarding the health status of ​the people on board. The rules are administered by the public health unit of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

Within 24 hours of expected arrival in New Zealand, ships must declare if there is any illness on board and are not allowed to berth unless public health staff are satisfied there is no risk.

Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, ship captains must also declare whether the ship or anyone else on board has been in a Covid-19 hot spot within 14 days. In this unlikely scenario, those people would be banned from coming ashore. General information on Bay of Plenty border control measures can be found here: https://www.toiteora.govt.nz/border_health and more details about the pratique process are on the Ministry of Health website here: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/border-health/maritime-border-control/requirements-vessels-receive-pratique.

In addition, Cruise Lines International Association members (including all of the cruise ships that visit Tauranga regularly) are currently denying boarding to any crew or passengers that have been in or transited through China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Iran or northern Italy within the past 14 days, or who have been in contact with anyone suspected or diagnosed as having Covid-19. Anyone who has been in Japan or the rest of Italy are subject to additional checks before being allowed to board.

More details are available here:


For more information, please contact:

Rochelle Lockley, Port of Tauranga
Ph 021 865 884
Email: rochellel@port-tauranga.co.nz


Container Volumes Continue to Grow at New Zealand’s International Hub Port

Profits hold steady and cargo growth still expected long-term

Port of Tauranga today announced stable profitability for the first six months of the 2020 financial year, despite total cargo volumes dipping 4.2% to just under 13.3 million tonnes.

Group Net Profit After Tax was $48.3 million, which was 1.4% lower than the same period the previous year.  Adjusting for the impact of adopting new accounting standard NZ IFRS 16 for leases, which reduced profit after tax for the period by $0.587 million, comparative earnings were 99.8% of the prior corresponding period.

Container numbers increased 3.4% to 642,209 TEUs[1] for the six months to December 2019. Transhipment, where cargo is transferred from one ship to another at Tauranga, increased 3.7%. This trend continues to consolidate Port of Tauranga’s position as New Zealand’s international hub port.

Highlights and Challenges

For the six months to 31 December 2019:

  • Group Net Profit After Tax of $48.3 million, a 1.4% decrease
  • Total trade decreased 4.2% to 13.3 million tonnes
  • Container volumes up 3.4% to 642,209 TEUs
  • Transhipment increased 3.7%
  • Subsidiary and Associate Company earnings increased 17.2%
  • Log exports down 8.4% to 3.4 million tonnes
  • Dairy exports up 6.3% to 1.2 million tonnes
  • Imports decreased 6.7% to nearly 4.7 million tonnes
  • Exports decreased 2.6% to 8.6 million tonnes
  • Interim dividend of 6 cents, the same as the previous period’s dividend.

Port of Tauranga Limited Chair, David Pilkington, said the mid-year results represented another solid financial performance from the Company as cargo volumes fluctuated.

“Total trade was down 4.2%, but we managed to increase revenue 1.2% to $154.8 million for the six months,” said Mr Pilkington.

“The longer-term outlook remains for cargo growth, particularly in containerised cargo, so our next stage of capacity expansion is already under way,” said Mr Pilkington.

Port of Tauranga has just taken delivery of its ninth container crane and will extend its container terminal wharves by up to 220 metres by converting cargo storage land to the south of the existing berths.

Future stages of expansion will be driven by cargo volume growth and will primarily involve rail-mounted electric stacking cranes and additional ship-to-shore cranes.

Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings plan to form a 50:50 joint venture to develop the Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton over the next few years. The joint venture will take a 50 year ground lease and aims to open the inland port to coincide with the completion of the nearby Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, currently scheduled for the end of 2021.

The 30 hectare Ruakura Inland Port is complemented by a 192 hectare logistics and industrial precinct. The joint venture follows the signing last year of a rail services agreement enabling Port of Tauranga cargo trains to call at the freight hub.

Port of Tauranga’s senior executives continue to work with the Ministry of Transport and other upper North Island ports on a report to Cabinet due in May. The report will examine the recommendation by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Working Group that Ports of Auckland’s cargoes be shifted to Northport in Whangarei.

Port of Tauranga has the space and transport networks available to accommodate Auckland’s vehicle imports and other bulk cargoes. The Port’s container terminal also has future capacity of up to 2.8 to 3.0 million TEUs with investment in stacking cranes and other technology.

Cargo trends

Despite the increase in containerised trade, global commodity cycles have seen exported cargo decrease 2.6% to 8.6 million tonnes[2]. The volume of imported goods handled by Port of Tauranga decreased 6.7% to nearly 4.7 million tonnes over the six month period.

Log exports were down 8.4% on the previous corresponding period, to 3.4 million tonnes, following a period of lower international prices and demand.   However, our relative market share has continued to strengthen when compared with other New Zealand ports.  Sawn timber exports decreased 3.3% in volume, pulp and paper exports increased 8.4% in volume.

Dairy product exports increased 6.3% to 1.2 million tonnes for the six month period. Frozen meat exports increased 10.8% in volume.

Imported fertilisers and dairy stock feed supplements decreased by 11.6% and 18.4% respectively. Grain imports increased 15.2% in volume. Imported oil products decreased 8.1%.

Ship visits decreased by 7.4%, from 842 to 780 for the period.

Subsidiary and Associate Company performance

Earnings from Subsidiary and Associate Companies increased 17.2%, driven by strong performances from Northport (up 9.7%) and PrimePort Timaru (up 29.2%). Quality Marshalling also performed solidly and Coda Group returned to profitability in the second quarter.

Operational developments

In addition to the expansion of the container terminal, Port of Tauranga has acquired cargo storage space at the Mount Maunganui wharves. The Port has acquired a cold store, previously occupied by Fonterra. The 2.4 hectare warehouse will be converted into dry cargo storage suitable for vehicle imports and other bulk cargoes.

As well as the new container crane, Port of Tauranga has taken delivery of the first of seven new straddle carriers, three of which are hybrid models that are expected to be 30% to 40% more fuel efficient than the current diesel-electric models.

As the Port continues its efforts to become more fuel efficient and reduce carbon emissions, it has added another three electric or hybrid vehicles to its light vehicle fleet. The Port sources biodiesel for its other operational equipment.

Shipping air pollution will be reduced by new low sulphur fuel limits introduced internationally on 1 January 2020. Ships must use compliant exhaust gas cleaning systems or use low sulphur fuel, which is now available at Port of Tauranga.

Appointment of new Commercial Manager

Port of Tauranga today announced the appointment of a new Commercial Manager. Blair Hamill, who is currently Zespri International’s Chief Global Supply Officer, will join the Company in July after 20 years with the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit.


The full impact on trade from the coronavirus outbreak is yet to be determined. We are in constant communication with our customers and the flow-on effect is likely to vary considerably by cargo.

Log exports have been hit hardest, as volumes were already impacted by lower international prices and demand since the middle of 2019. Log inventories in China have surged due to the extended Chinese New Year shutdown. There have been shipping cancellations and delays as a result and we expect this to continue into March.

Port of Tauranga continues to be well positioned to weather market fluctuations, as its customers are primarily large forest owners, who are less susceptible to commodity pricing volatility than smaller, at-wharf-gate log exporters.

The trade outlook for the second half of the 2020 financial year remains uncertain and dependent on the duration of the market shutdown in China and any slowdown in the other countries taking extreme measures to manage the coronavirus risk.

Given the market uncertainty, we are reducing our full year profit guidance from $96 – $101 million to $94 – $99 million.


For further details, contact:

Mark Cairns, Chief Executive
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8829


Market Update – February 2020
Presentation to Analysts

[1] TEUs = twenty foot equivalent units, a standard measure of shipping containers
[2] Total exports for the six months ended 31 December 2018 were adjusted to 8.8 million tonnes following a change to the measurement of kiwifruit exports due to increased containerisation

Port of Tauranga Announces New Commercial Manager

Port of Tauranga today announced Blair Hamill as its new Commercial Manager, effective 1 July 2020.

Blair replaces Leonard Sampson, who was appointed to the newly-created position of Chief Operating Officer in September 2019.

Blair is currently the Chief Global Supply Officer for Zespri International. Blair has worked for the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit for the past 20 years. He has held a variety of senior roles at Zespri including Global Commercial Manager and is a former chartered accountant.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said the Company was delighted to have secured Blair’s expertise and experience.

“Blair’s strong commercial acuity, customer insights and financial discipline will be invaluable to Port of Tauranga as we expand to meet customer needs,” said Mr Cairns.


Tainui Group Holdings and Port of Tauranga team up to deliver Ruakura Inland Port

Tainui Group Holdings and Port of Tauranga today announced they plan to develop a 50:50 joint venture to bring the Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton to fruition within two years.

The new joint venture will take an initial 50-year ground lease to establish the inland port, and plans to start port operations at Ruakura following the opening of the nearby Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, currently scheduled for the end of 2021.

Parekawhia McLean, Chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, the Waikato-Tainui parliament (and parent organisation of Tainui Group Holdings) said the iwi is pleased to team up with New Zealand’s largest international hub port to bring Ruakura Inland Port to life.

“It’s exciting to confirm a concrete path forward for this project of national significance which will unlock economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand, our region and our iwi,” Ms McLean said.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says there is a strong logic to team up with Tainui Group Holdings to unlock efficiencies for importers and exporters by utilising Ruakura Inland Port.

This new partnership adds to our strong and growing capacity to serve the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. It combines our own expertise in developing and operating ports, the deep regional connections of Tainui Group Holdings and the scale and efficiencies offered by Ruakura and its road and rail connections,” Mr Cairns said.

“By enhancing the MetroPort Auckland to Tauranga rail service with calls at Ruakura, we can unlock significant environmental and economic benefits for freight customers,” he said.

Local communities will also benefit, with TGH modelling showing a potential 60,000 truck movements per year removed from the region’s roads when Ruakura is fully developed.

Chris Joblin, Chief Executive of Tainui Group Holdings, said the shared strategic interest with Port of Tauranga had become increasingly obvious as the market landscape evolved.

“This agreement brings clarity and certainty to the development of Ruakura Inland Port and signals we are open for business.  As the largest port in New Zealand, Port of Tauranga will bring world class expertise in developing and running ports,” said Mr Joblin.

“We are excited to enter this partnership based on strongly aligned values and interests. And for our iwi, it means we can make the inland port a reality in a way that retains the underlying whenua, which will never be sold.”

“With 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses, we expect a number of other customer conversations in progress to bear fruit in the coming months as distribution and logistics companies and manufacturers seek out a preferential location at Ruakura.”

Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings have been in talks since initially signing a rail services agreement in mid-August last year to enable Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port.

The “golden triangle” of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga already accounts for around half of all freight volumes in New Zealand and container volumes are forecast to grow 60% in container volumes by 2042.

KiwiRail operates up to 86 trains per week for Port of Tauranga between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga, carrying up to 9,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The route currently has unused capacity and the additional service stop will improve utilisation and reduce the number of trucks on roads.

Ruakura is a visionary logistics hub designed to help importers and exporters unlock the golden triangle. Offering genuine scale, the core of the development is a 30ha inland port which will offer direct access to major seaports via main trunk rail services and the Waikato Expressway. Complementing the inland port is a 192ha logistics and industrial precinct offering room to grow for businesses seeking a substantial footprint, and adjoining precincts for commercial, residential and retail use. Ruakura is long-term project by Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and its business partners. TGH’s track record includes quality developments at The Base, one of New Zealand’s largest shopping centres, and hotels at Auckland Airport and Hamilton as part of the $950m diversified portfolio it manages on behalf of 76,000 Waikato-Tainui iwi members.

Port of Tauranga Announces New Chief Financial Officer

Port of Tauranga Limited today announced Simon Kebbell as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective 1 July 2020.

Simon succeeds Steve Gray, who retires at the end of June after 12 years as CFO and 32 years with the Company.

Simon is currently Port of Tauranga’s Finance and IT Manager, and Company Secretary. He joined the Company in 2003.

Prior to joining Port of Tauranga, Simon was Manager – Internal Audit for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore. He also held senior positions at Ernst & Young in Singapore and Auckland.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said Simon’s appointment was a great outcome for the Company after an extensive international executive search process.

“Simon’s strategic leadership, deep knowledge of the business and commercial acumen will serve us well as we enter the next stage of the port’s growth,” he said.


For further details, contact:

Mark Cairns, Chief Executive
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8829


Corporate Services Manager Sara Lunam to retire

Port of Tauranga Limited today announced that Corporate Services Manager, Sara Lunam, will retire from the Company in March 2020.

Sara has been with the Company for almost ten years.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says Sara helped drive the Company to its industry-leading position in safety performance. She has worked with regulators and legislators on new workplace safety and employment legislation and been a champion for regional business as a board member of Priority One and the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association.

“Sara’s experience in mergers and acquisitions was also invaluable as we integrated other companies into the Port of Tauranga Group over the last decade, including Tapper Transport, Priority Logistics, Coda Group and Timaru Container Terminal,” says Mark.

Sara will leave Port of Tauranga on 13 March and recruitment for a new Corporate Services Manager will begin immediately.


Port of Tauranga Welcomes Next Stage of Port Discussions

Port of Tauranga is looking forward to participating in discussions on the future of the Upper North Island Supply supply chain.

Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said today that he hoped Port of Tauranga’s expertise in operating New Zealand’s largest and most efficient port would be helpful to the decision-making process.

“A two port solution is workable, subject to land-side infrastructure investment, and would address concerns about economic land use in Auckland,” said Mr Cairns. “We completely agree with the Government’s view that a final decision needs to be made with the benefit of robust facts and figures.”

“International experts have told us that Port of Tauranga can easily accommodate up to 2.8 million TEUs1 on our current footprint. We already have the next stage of capacity expansion under way.”

“There is also the opportunity to factor in the current and future freight handling capacity of the inland freight hubs in the Waikato, including the Ruakura Inland Port in Hamilton,” said Mr Cairns.

“We still have plenty of capacity on the rail connection between Tauranga and Auckland, with the ability to double the current number of trains per day. Already, about half of all our cargo is transported by rail and about 95% of our Auckland-related containers are transported by rail to and from MetroPort, our inland port in South Auckland.”

For further details, contact:
Mark Cairns, Chief Executive
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8829

1 TEUs = twenty foot equivalent units, a standard measure of shipping containers