Derek Nind, CEO of CentrePort
CEO's Report: Derek Nind

A year of regeneration, growth, and building resilience

Health and Safety

CentrePort advanced its regeneration, moving from planning to implementation in a year of unique challenges.

The continued enhancement of health and safety was the primary focus of CentrePort’s operations.

We saw our people building on health and safety. Through good systems and practice we were well placed to address health and safety challenges, including the ‘once in 100 years’ global pandemic event of COVID-19.

CentrePort managed the requirements of the Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions through eliminating face-to-face contact and physical paperwork for handling cargo through the port, utilising technology including digital kiosks, automated weighbridges and virtual planning meetings, and separating teams. This enabled continuity of service and certainty for our customers. It benefited the wider community through the continued provision of essential goods and services.

At 30 June we had achieved a three-month period of zero lost time through injury incidents, which has continued for another three-months following the end of the financial year. CentrePort aspires to be a zero-harm work environment and this is supported by adherence to the ‘Golden Rules’ and ‘Life Saver’ guidelines, which are very much part of our culture.

Operationally it was a challenging year. In addition to ongoing constraints as regeneration works continued, there were the impacts of the pandemic. However, our people showed great resilience and I’m proud of the way the port ensured the continuation of essential services for customers and the community.

Workers on port

Insurance – Regeneration

The finalisation in October of the Kaikōura earthquake claims provided surety for CentrePort’s operations.

It allowed us to make great progress and move forward on regeneration, repairs and growth at the port.

Our regeneration approach is based on the pillars of our customers, our community, our environment, and our people.

These guide the strategic framework for the various projects underway or in planning.

Several projects to enable regeneration and grow capacity at the port progressed or were completed this year, including:

  • The expansion and upgrade of the Waingawa log hub, significantly increasing capacity.
  • The commencement of the enhanced rail-onto-port project to increase capacity/throughput.
  • The continued enhancement of the port entrance.
  • A realignment of the log and container yards.
  • An investment in electric cargo movement equipment and infrastructure.
  • Ongoing resilience works on major assets including Thorndon Container Wharf and the Seaview fuel facility.
  • The removal of the former BNZ building, with 95 percent of materials by weight recycled.
Work happening on port

Environmental Sustainability

Our environment is one of the pillars of CentrePort’s regeneration, and significant developments in this area were achieved.

CentrePort entered a $15m investment partnership with New Zealand Green Investment Finance. We were proud to be chosen as its first investment partner. The investment will help with the introduction of electric container movement vehicles and infrastructure that supports our carbon reduction strategy.

The Waste Minimisation Project, which has operated since 2017, was expanded to process waste demolition materials from external organisations including Wellington City Council.

Under the project nearly 85,000 tonnes of concrete has been recycled at the Kaiwharawhara Point site, turning waste material into fill which is reused on Port projects. The avoided truck visits to landfills has achieved an estimated reduction in carbon emissions of 462 tonnes.

In total, more than 90,000 tonnes of hard materials (concrete, steel, asphalt and glass) have diverted from landfills under the project.

In August 2020, the Board approved the CentrePort Emissions Reduction Plan. The plan includes a target reduction of zero emissions by 2040, with an initial target of a 30 percent reduction by 2030 (not including growth).

The Emissions Reduction Plan supports the strategic objective of building a long-term sustainable business. The plan aligns with the New Zealand Government goals as outlined in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019.

Recycling Work happening on port

Trades

Of all the trades using CentrePort’s services, the log trade was the most significantly affected by the COVID-19 alert level constraints. After a period of sustained growth for several years, volumes were down 11 percent. With logging not classed as an essential service in the Alert Level 4 lockdown, a month’s volume was effectively lost. COVID-19-related consequences also affected petroleum and vehicle volumes.

Overall, container volumes held relatively steady, but the pandemic contributed to curbing growth. There was, however, a 7 percent increase in full export TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). A boost for the future was the start of the ANZEX/CNZ/NCS shipping service to North Asia ports in June, complementing the other three existing shipping services:

  • Kiwi Express/Capricorn, operated by MSC, which provides global links via a mix of direct calls and transhipment.
  • South East Asia/NZS/NZE/KIX, operated by ANL, COSCO, OOCL and PIL, shipping directly to South East Asia.
  • Trans-Tasman Kiwi, operated by ANL shipping directly to Australia.

While CentrePort achieved a record number of cruise-ship visits, the season was curtailed by the pandemic. The ongoing ban on foreign cruise visits to New Zealand ports has created high uncertainty around this trade for the coming year; we are forecasting zero visits.