Napier Port Changes Mind on How to Use Dredged Sediment

After input from the community and careful modelling and analysis, Napier Port has decided to change its mind on where it wants to dispose of 3 million cubic meters of dredged sea floor.

Napier Port will shortly be seeking consent to build a 350 meter wharf along its existing container terminal and to deepen and widen its shipping channel for the larger ships expected.

The company had previously considered disposing of the approximately 3 million cubic meters of dredge material at its currently consented disposal sites near to Westshore and expanding it to accommodate the larger volume.

Over the last 15 months, Napier Port has conducted a pre-consultation process prior to lodging resource consent applications, speaking with around 2000 local people, stakeholders and the broader community.

Napier Port Chief Executive, Garth Cowie, said that the port was particularly concerned to ensure that future sediment disposal would not negatively impact the marine environment.

While we had already invested heavily in specialist studies, we decided in November to extend those investigations to further include an off-shore disposal site as a serious option,” Mr Cowie said.

Dredging to clear the shipping channel over the last decade has yielded small volumes of sand and fine silt. However, we now know from new monitoring and improved modelling techniques that disposing of the material at the Westshore disposal site is not having any long term benefits to the beach.

The wharf development and associated dredging is estimated to cost more than $100 million.

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