Port earmarks $63m for land upgrade
Port company CentrePort Wellington has set aside $63 million to strengthen its land on Wellington’s waterfront after November’s 7.8-magnitude quake caused significant damage.
The company, owned by Wellington and Manawatu ratepayers, is now consulting international experts to help figure out what the work will be.
To date, CentrePort has spent $28m securing 125 metres of the 585-metre wharf, which included 644 gravel columns being set in the ground to reduce any liquefaction from future earthquakes and provide resilience.
Chief executive Derek Nind said the company was now looking at how to do that across the entire port.
‘‘We try not to talk about rebuild – we talk about regeneration. And what do I mean by that? What I mean is if we go to rebuild, we’ll get what we had, which was 20th-century assets and 20th-century thinking,’’ Nind said.
‘‘What we need is 21st-century assets for the next 50 to 100 years, and we need to regenerate the port.’’
To date, CentrePort has received $173.7m of insurance income, but that figure was expected to rise.
‘‘We got hit, but we’ve been working hard on getting the business back up and running,’’ Nind said.
On Tuesday, insurers agreed Wellington office building Statistics House, owned by CentrePort, should be demolished, as the Kaiko¯ura earthquake caused the partial collapse of two floors.
Meanwhile, the future of CentrePortowned BNZ Harbour Quays remains uncertain, as engineers continue with assessments. The building has been revalued to $73m, based on its repaired state, which is down from $98m prior to the quake.
CentrePort’s underlying profit, after tax and before earthquake-related income, was $8.6m for the year ending June 2017. This was down $4.7m from the previous year.
CentrePort chairman Lachie Johnstone said the board was pleased by the financial results and the progress the company had made.
‘‘The results show us investing in the port’s resilience. They also show strong underlying performance.’’
CentrePort Wellington chief executive Derek Nind says the company is focused on building a 21st-century port.