e-Bulletin Issue 8, 20 June 2017

Welcome to Port Otago’s e-Bulletin, updating you on progress across the Port and the Next Generation capital works programme.

New Chief executive to take the helm from 1 July

Kevin Winders will formally become Port Otago Chief Executive from 1 July following the retirement of Geoff Plunket after 12 years in the role.

Mr Winders, who most recently held the role of Chief Operating Officer of Silver Fern Farms, has been working closely with Mr Plunket and the executive team since February in a transitional capacity.

“It’s been great to spend time getting to know the team, learning what makes Port Otago tick along with getting out meeting our customers and partners.  I look forward to the challenge of leading the team, continuing to deliver great service and positioning Port Otago to be relevant in the global supply chain in the future,” said Kevin.


Kevin Winders

Resource consent brings certainty until 2042

Granting of a 25-year maintenance dredging and disposal consent for the Otago Harbour channel provides certainty to Port Otago’s long-term plans to meet the challenge of bigger ships on the New Zealand coast.

Geoff Plunket, Port Otago current Chief Executive says the latest dredging consent, granted by the Environment Court earlier this month, puts in place all the necessary consents required for maintenance and development dredging for the next 20-25 years. Port Otago also recently secured a 20-year consent to deepen the channel to 15m, an integral part of the company’s Next Generation programme.

“The latest consent finalises a process which commenced in 2009 with the application to deepen the shipping channel to Port Chalmers and serves to again underline the importance of positive community engagement and a willingness to adopt an environmentally responsible approach to dredging and disposal activities.”

Key points -

  • Dredging in Otago Harbour has been taking place since 1865 and is essential to counteracting the natural tendency for the channel to in-fill
  • There are three disposal grounds for inshore dredging,  including Heywards, Aramoana, and Shelly Beach
  • Consent was originally granted in February 2017. POL appealed one consent condition on the dredge plant size. ORC accepted the appeal and recommended that consent be granted by the Environment Court

Multipurpose wharf extension

The Board of Port Otago (POL) has approved the $21 million extension of the Multi-Purpose wharf which will add 140m to the existing multipurpose structure. Marine specialist HEB Construction has been appointed as the contractor and will be on site from September 2017.

During construction, there will be some volume constraints with reduced storage space in the terminal as J block and the northern third of K Block will be used by the contractor to build the extension. Storage will therefore need to be managed carefully.  There are several options under consideration including more intensive utilisation of Port Chalmers wash/pre-trip inspection facilities and utilising POL’s off-wharf depot South Freight more.

Due for completion by end 2018, the extension will cater for new generation container vessels.

New Era digs in

Port Otago’s channel deepening project is on track to reach 14m (chart datum) by December 2017. The next stage is to move out to final width (max 250m) and then a staged dredge from 16 to 18m at the outer entrance to Otago Harbour.

Orca helps snag logs

Port Otago has added a log recovery vessel to its fleet, the Orca. The vessel will be used for recovering logs that are lost into the Harbour during loading.

orca small

The Orca

Port People – Peter Mulqueen, Senior Civil Structures Engineer

A move to Otago last December was something of a home-coming for Southland farm boy Peter Mulqueen. Like many kiwis who have lived overseas for extended periods, he’s harboured a desire to bring his young family back to New Zealand.

Last December, after a 29-year career cementing his structural engineering credentials in Switzerland, Ireland, Philippines, Cambodia and New Zealand, he relocated to Dunedin.

It was an obvious choice for the devoted Highlanders supporter, who is relishing the role. “Growth of the terminal has thrown a few challenges our way so every day is different, but that makes it a great place to come to work,” he says.

Over the last 15 years Peter has been largely focused on bridge design. His work is evident in the international award winning Te Rewa Rewa bridge in New Plymouth and he also introduced the New Zealand railway industry to the common North American railway bridge approach to help solve some of its reliability risks.

Peter is looking forward to continuing to apply his engineering knowledge to helping POL achieve its operational reliability and resilience goals.


Peter at Te Rewa Rewa bridge

Environmental monitoring

Status updates of key monitoring elements of Next Generation can be viewed at: http://nextgenerationportotago.nz/channel-deepening/monitoring-summary-dashboard/

  • Turbidity – Port Otago continues to monitor turbidity levels at sites within the Harbour during dredging works. To date, no dredging-related exceedances have occurred. More information can be found on the Turbidity Monitoring page of the Next Generation Port Otago website.
  • Seagrass Monitoring – The Autumn 2017 quarterly sea grass monitoring showed the typical seasonal variation in abundance and density, with no impact associated with dredging identified.
  • Kelp Monitoring – Measurement of light and regular download of data at sites between Warrington and Shag Point is ongoing. The next dive survey is due in early July 2017 at these locations.

Posted by Port Otago on 20 June 2017

Building a Sustainable Primary Deep-water Port