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Published: March 2013      

...Tauranga to go deeper

Tauranga could emerge as New Zealand’s first hub port after securing approval to dredge its shipping channel from 12.9m to 16m. The New Zealand Shippers’ Council has been pushing for deeper channels to allow bigger vessels to call for some time, but both Tauranga and Auckland (12.5m at chart datum) have water depth limitations. Tauranga has fought a long and costly battle for the requisite permit with Maori groups. Although the port was ultimately successful and objectors have been denied further appeals, the work is subject to several conditions relating to shellfish bed relocation and funding for a “trust” with five Maori and two port representatives to “set priorities and allocate funds for future harbour improvement projects.”

The dredging will be carried out in two stages: deepening to accommodate 5000-6000 TEU ships at a cost of $NZ40-50M; and then final completion to 16m. Work will commence towards the end of 2013 and take up to a year to complete....


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