Expanding the Tauranga Harbour

Column Articles
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Virtually everyone’s got an opinion about the plans to deepen the Tauranga Harbour to accommodate a generation of increasingly frequent larger ships.

In light of the worldwide move toward larger ships, the opportunity to accommodate such changes is crucial. We can have one of the best ports in Australasia which places the Bay of Plenty in a key position internationally for cargo transport and will bring massive benefits to our local economy.

In the Bay we must safeguard our future through taking a hold of these opportunities. If we short-change ourselves by keeping a shallow port, we will literally run aground by limiting who we can do business with.

I can appreciate some people have concerns regarding the process of dredging the harbour. The harbour, in fact, is regularly dredged as large amounts of sediment get deposited there by the tidal flows. The additional dredging required to deepen the harbour is unlikely to significant in the context of what is already happening. 

Tauranga Port required a resource consent which considered the potential environmental and cultural impacts that deepening the harbour would have, and the Environmental Court weighed the pros and cons and approved it. Business interests and environmental and cultural concerns can be balanced, and this is an example of it.

The Port of Tauranga is one key aspect in developing our regional presence worldwide and securing our future in a competitive world market.