Derek Nind, CEO of CentrePort
Derek Nind

CE report

Health and safety

Our people are key to CentrePort making continual improvement in the business’s health and safety practices. Key indicators such as the Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate have trended down in the past 12 months.

CentrePort’s people have led these improvements, spearheaded by health and safety representatives who were empowered and resourced to lead as part of an ongoing programme. These representatives, working with colleagues, have evaluated risks and found solutions and mitigations.

Safety in design is integral to CentrePort’s regeneration, with the Rail onto Port project a good example of CentrePort staff contributing to improving safety. Our people have helped to design a system that has created a separation of people from plant and improved on previous systems.

We have worked with other PCBUs on port, such as KiwiRail and the two stevedoring companies involved in operations (ISO and C3), to not only improve efficiency, but to continue to progress safety.

Regeneration

Significant advances have been achieved in the regeneration programme to ensure resilience is built into the business and to facilitate growth so that CentrePort reaches its full potential as a regionally strategic asset for the communities of central New Zealand.

Regeneration highlights have included:

  • the return – after four years – of container cargo onto port by rail, with the reinstatement of rail infrastructure damaged by the Kaikōura earthquake. This has eliminated the need for road bridging containers, reduced costs, improved efficiency and lowered carbon emissions
  • progress on the $38.6 million Thorndon Container Wharf reinstatement project, which will increase the operational length of the gantry cranes from 126 metres to 261 metres to increase our operational capacity to meet customer requirements. The project is due for completion in early 2022
  • the commissioning of 100 percent electric container-transfer vehicles, which are lowering carbon emissions and improving operational efficiency. The units are part of a new, streamlined and more efficient container-movement system. They have replaced the straddle carriers that were no longer fit for purpose due to the uneven ground caused by the Kaikōura earthquake
  • the adoption of CentrePort’s Carbon Emission Reduction Strategy, which has also seen the introduction of electric forklifts and electric light vehicles, the ongoing LED lighting programme and other initiatives. CentrePort acknowledges New Zealand Green Investment Finance for providing the green credit facility that has helped enable carbon-reduction initiatives
  • the procurement of additional land at the Waingawa log yard to further expand capacity
  • ground-resilience improvements throughout the port, which have included the installation of more than 3,400 stone columns since works began post the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and the continued demolition of damaged and redundant structures, creating thousands of square metres of additional operational space.

With the Future Ports Forum’s confirmation of the Kaiwharawhara site for the future multi-user ferry precinct, detailed planning for the first phase has commenced.

The Seaview Wharf renewal project has continued in conjunction with our fuel company partners. Stakeholder engagement has begun and the development of resource consent application documentation has continued.

Trades

CentrePort has achieved a record volume in log exports, with more than 1.84 million JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard). This has been supported by enhanced productivity and throughput on port, with increased rail capacity, operational improvements and an expansion of the Waingawa log hub.

Despite significant global supply chain disruptions, containers have achieved modest growth in volumes compared to last year. I am proud of the hard work our people have put in to manage often unpredictable and disrupted supply chain. We’ve been flexible to ensure that imports and exports keep moving to provide as much assurance as possible for customers.

The port is well placed to accommodate future growth when international conditions allow. This includes improved throughput with the return of containers by rail onto port and the introduction of the electric container transfer vehicles, and the Thorndon Container Wharf reinstatement project due for completion in early 2022.

Fuel volumes and vehicle imports were ahead of budget, with both reflecting growth on last year. With cruise ship visits at international ports banned indefinitely by the government due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there has been no activity in the past year. CentrePort is assuming the ban will continue in FY22.

Ongoing COVID-19 related impacts

As an essential service provider, CentrePort has been able to operate during all COVID-19 Alert Levels with appropriate additional public health measures in place.

CentrePort will continue to focus on being agile and ready to adapt to further pandemic-related challenges, as well as look at opportunities to create long-term value.

The outlook for the next three years is uncertain due to the pandemic. Container volumes may be affected by the general economic environment and disruptions to supply chains. CentrePort is predicting that cruise ships will not return for the 2021/22 season.

It is CentrePort’s people who continue to drive the business. The COVID pandemic has created uncertainty for our people, and wellness programmes are helping support them during these difficult times. But their resilience and hard work, along with the regeneration strategy, provide confidence for the port’s future.