Editorial .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
• World View
Port News.............. 3
• North Asia Trade
SupPORT our Region. .. 4
• Suter sponsorship announced
Port Progress. ......... 5
• Green Port - Black Boats
Around the Port .. . . . . 6/7
• Wearing White
• Independent 1
Our Port Our People.. . . 8
• 25 Years for Colin Jefford
Safe Harbour........... 9
• Dollars for Wellness
Meet the Client.. . . . . . . 10
• The Alexander Group
Environment Update. ..11
• Introducing Thomas Marchant
Looking Back. . . . . . . . . 12
• A Short History of Fishing
Logs Roll Through
Wood exports have helped to maintain cargo volumes through the port over the past few
months, with demand from China continuing in spite of the tough trading conditions. A key
driver to this has been the reduction in the Russian wood supply, which has given New Zealand
log exporters the opportunity to increase Radiata pine volume into the Chinese market.
Kingsford Quay has seen plenty of action as log vessels have come and gone throughout the
autumn and into winter.
A container that neighs? That’s a possibility when the Chief vessels are being loaded in Nelson
for the trans-Tasman voyage. For about eight years Stevedoring Services Limited have been
loading horses from Canterbury, trucked up to Nelson every two or three weeks. Nelson is
the last port of call in New Zealand and then it’s straight to Melbourne for the horses, which
cuts down the time they spend at sea and makes it simpler for a vet check at each end of the
voyage. The specially adapted containers are cleaned at our wash facility and MAF checked
before departure. Feed is loaded for the horses and a groom travels with them. Puts a whole
new meaning on the term ‘horse floats’.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 2
The last few months have given a number of our staff the
chance to see just how badly the recession has affected ports
around the world. In early June our Chief Commercial Officer,
Parke Pittar, spoke at the Terminal Operators Conference
in Bremen and, in conjunction with our Business Systems
Analyst, Hugh Stark, took the opportunity to visit terminal
operations in Hamburg, Gdansk and Hong Kong.
“Container cranes sitting idle, new unsold motor
vehicles lined up for miles on empty wharves and
ships at anchor - all are proving to be a more
frequent sight around the world, bringing home
the message to us just how this recession is
hitting the port industry.”
I was also fortunate during May to attend the International
Association of Ports and Harbours bi-annual conference
in Genoa and once again it was sobering to hear of the
quantum reduction in cargo through many ports throughout
Asia, Europe and the US. Cargo reduction of 20% plus
in many ports is not unusual, and at last report around 11%
of the world container fleet is laid up doing nothing, with
predictions that could rise to 20% by the end of the year.
only Auckland has been affected in a major way with the
significant reduction in import cargoes and motor vehicle
In recent months log export volumes across the country
have helped maintain cargo volumes, driven by increased
demand from China. While current shipment volumes are
not sustainable, this will hopefully allow the 2009-10 year to
get off to a reasonable start.
The recent announcement of the proposed ‘Green Port’
concept for Port Nelson in relation to the marine engineering
industry is an exciting one. While there is still a lot of work to
be done by the parties concerned to get this off the ground,
it is certainly a positive sign in a difficult period. As is often
noted difficult times also can present new opportunities, and
it is important for the ongoing development of the Nelson-
Tasman region that Port Nelson Limited and associated
industries play our part in grasping these opportunities
when they present themselves. Our recent purchase of a
share in Unimar was proof of our commitment to do this, and
we look forward to considering further such opportunities as
Against this plethora of bad news and on a more positive
note, New Zealand ports have not been as badly affected,
with cargo tonnages in many ports holding up well. Probably
Port Nelson Ltd has a new online
appearance with an upgrade of our
website. Marketing Manager, Chris
Williams says the design company
we use, 3months.com (the name
promises the delivery date) was
offering a new and faster version of
the software for our site.
The home page is a lot cleaner,
with a range of photos that can be
downloaded in hi-resolution. Further
streamlining of the text is still to
come, but the site is already offering
an enhanced service to users and
has a high number of daily hits, from
people checking out the shipping
schedule, to shipping lines using the
berth booking facility.
Port Nelson Limited • 10 Low Street, Port Nelson • PO Box 844, Nelson, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 548 2099 • Fax +64 3 546 9015 • www.portnelson.co.nz
RePort Nelson is a triennial publication produced for Port Nelson Limited by:
• Nelson Media Agency - www.nelsonmedia.co.nz • SeeReed Visual Communication - www.seereed.co.nz
Photography: Troy Dando, Roy Skucek, Brian McHaffie and Jacquetta Bell
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 3
COSCO is moving to larger
vessels than Port Nelson
can handle. However, the
service to Nelson shippers
will continue, with the
regular fortnightly calls
now being made by other
members of the North Asia
Vessel Sharing Agreement.
Marketing Manager Chris
Williams says the continuation
of vessel calls to the
port is good news:
“It’s a reflection of the
significance the North
Asia Consortium places on
Nelson exporters and their
cargo volume, and will open
up opportunities for our
exporters with the new direct
calling vessels from Hamburg
Sud, MOL and NYK.”
The first of the new callers at
Main Wharf on July 20.
Unity of Focus
Digby Kynaston has been appointed to the new position
of Port Logistics Manager, overseeing the Stevedoring and
Cargo Logistics business units, which include QuayPack
and the Container Yard. Digby joined us as TBS Operations
Manager in 2006 and is enthusiastic about bringing a unified
team together into one operating division.
“We have some great skills and resources that I feel we can
use more effectively with a unified focus on our customers,”
Digby says. “We’ll be able to communicate better as ‘one
division’ and I am also looking forward to utilising IT systems,
and training staff more in their use, across the logistics area.”
The noise of container movements was more or less quelled
by Phil Francois for a few minutes on Thursday May 14, when
the Memorial Garden at the port was re-dedicated. The
garden, with its memorial to Peter Robertson , who was killed
in an accident in 2001, has been expanded significantly and
landscaped with more trees and a sheltering wall. It now
provides a quiet contemplative space for people to take a
reflective break in their working day.
Digby says the current downturn provides an opportunity to
really look at the part the port plays as the region’s ‘Gateway
to the World’: “Our part in maintaining the economic health
of our region is in providing the best value and most efficient
service we can to exporters and shipping lines.”
From left: Father Raymond Soriano read Psalm 23, Rosemary
Robertson unveiled the new plaque, Dean Charles Tyrrell
made the re-dedication and Archdeacon Andy Joseph gave
a mihi to open the service.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 4
supPORTing our region
When is filing a happy job? When you’ve got a shiny new filing cabinet thanks to the Port Nelson Trust, as they have at the
local branch of the Lifeline 24 hour telephone help service. Administrator Jude Biggs says it’s important they have secure
storage for files, and their old filing cabinet was just ‘past it’.
Volunteer Nikkie Whitehead lends a hand with the filing.
New Suter Sponsorship
We have just taken on a major new community sponsorship,
naming rights for the Port Nelson Suter Contemporary Art
Project. This biennial show is the Suter’s major exhibition
project, with a history dating back to 1986. It brings together
a group of New Zealand’s foremost artists to create works on
a particular theme for a high profile exhibition. We are very
pleased to be able to support the Suter in a show that allows
Nelson people to see leading edge art works, that puts the
Suter on the national arts ‘map’ and that is followed up with
the Suter acquiring one of the works for its permanent
collection. The exhibition will be held over summer 2010-11.
Port Nelson Kauri Kids Aquathon
There’s the Port Nelson Blokes' Day Out and the Taylorss Women’s Triathlon – now the kids are in the picture with a new event:
the Port Nelson Kauri Kids Aquathon. Around one hundred kids aged eight to twelve entered the inaugural event, which
involved a run up the Kauri Trail of the Centre of New Zealand, a climb over the NBS Obstacle course, then a swim at Riverside
Pool. Organiser, Averil West says it was a fun way to give the kids a good workout. “We hope to be back next year, but we are
thinking of changing to a Saturday afternoon rather than weekday early evening so it is a bit warmer when the kids are waiting
around after their swim.”
Mad about Maths
Doing your sums and tables has come a long way since you were at school!
You can now go online and compete in maths exercises with kids in countries
from South Africa to China and the UK. The website is called Mathletics and it
costs $30 per year for kids to sign up. The Port Nelson Trust helped to get the
St Vincent Room at Auckland Point School on line and the kids say it’s great.
“You create a character and earn points and certificates,” says Hamish Douglas. (seated
left) “It gives the answers and explains how to get there,” says Solmaz Bakhshi-Rodriguez.
Project Engineer, John Hart, and Chief Commercial Officer, Parke Pittar, were the surprised winners of a
table soccer game as a spot prize in the corporate section of the Port Nelson Blokes’ Day Out. John says
he had a great time with his son David (17) putting the set together and ‘thrashing it’ for a couple of days,
but the generous duo decided the set would be better used at the Mission to Seafarers. Manager Milo
Coldren says it’s a popular addition to the facility.
Filipino crew from the Luminous Ace get into the spirit of the game.
Sportswoman of the Year
Our ongoing sponsorship of this section of Nelson’s
annual sports’ awards reinforces our own affirmative
action policies on women in the workplace. This year’s
title went to triathlete Britta Martin whose outstanding
performances in New
Zealand and overseas
include winning the
Keuhback Tri in Germany
and coming eighth against
a strong international field
at the Xterra mountain
championship in Utah.
Green Port - Black Boats
We are working with the local marine engineering sector, led by Challenge
New Zealand, on a proposal for a facility to build new-generation working
boats in an industrial set up that complies with strict environmental
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 5
The Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA) has been
advised that NZ Trade and Enterprise has granted $100,000 for a feasibility
study on the project, which would see a modern marine eco-village at a
specially created marine precinct within Port Nelson. As part of this we are
looking into the concept of shifting our workshop to Challenge NZ’s Haven
Road site, giving the consortium a space that is closer to the water.
The EDA is steering the feasibility study and will engage a specialist
consultant to do the job. The concept has the potential to create hundreds
of jobs, up-skill the local trade and technical workforces, and pump millions
of dollars into the region's economy.
The 22 metre Pescadore on the Unimar Calwell Slipway in
June for a refit. The Golden Bay based expedition yacht is
owned by Barry Walters, who is getting her certified for a trip
to the Auckland Islands and Scott Base early next year.
Ray McGuire and Grant Cottle with the new crane spreader.
‘top-lifters’ that work in the Container Yard.
After ten years and thousands of container lifts, the spreaders on
our Liebherr Cranes were ready for a rest. A new Bromma spreader
arrived in April from Austria and after a short commissioning
period went into use. Workshop Supervisor, Craig Terris says having
three spreaders adds flexibility.
“It means we can have one spreader in for maintenance without
putting the crane out of action,” he said. “The first step was to
refurbish the two older spreaders after their ten years of hard
The next project is to fit all three spreaders with sensors that
automatically slow their descent as they come down onto the
top of a container, to quieten the landing. The clang of spreaders
on containers is one of the ongoing sources of noise for hillside
residents. Still with spreaders, we have also purchased a couple of
new ones for two of the
Into a New Age
‘Like moving from the Flintstones to the Jetsons’ is how QuayPack Foreman, Jeremy
Salton describes the transition to the new Hyster 18.00 XMS, that is the pride of the
container packing division right now. Jeremy says the new machine, with its 18 tonne
lifting capacity, is not such an effort to drive, is more user-friendly and the cab is warm
A complete revamp of the Jade cargo tracking
website now provides a much more user-friendly interface for shippers and carriers.
Chief Commercial Officer, Parke Pittar says we now have the technology in place to work
towards 100% pre-noting of all containers entering the port.
“Jade have developed a new Rich Internet Application that replaces the old ‘thin client
access’ where each user had to be licensed and we had to visit their offices to install the
software,” he explains. “The new system means they can log into Jade via the internet
to pre-note containers or use facilities such as putting stops on containers or releasing
Pre-noting puts all the information about a container such as contents, destination and
weight into the port system and issues a pin number for each container to the shipper
and the carrier. Parke says the new system is a ‘great leap forward’ especially for smaller
shippers who didn’t previously have access to container tracking.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 6
around the port...
Some of this year’s fruit went
out on a unique loader in mid
May. Seatrades Changuinola
Bay loaded both apples and
kiwifruit, which is unusual
enough; added to that she is
a union purchase geared ship,
meaning ship’s derricks load
the pallets of fruit, and her
destination was direct to the
USA which is also unusual for
fruit loaded at Port Nelson. Just
to top it off both Stevedoring
Services Ltd and our own
Tasman Bay Stevedores were
loading it at the same time, and
Enza and Zespri were working
from the same office.
The Safmarine Bayete is one of the large Maersk extra loaders this year. Safmarine was the prominent shipping company
of South Africa, before being taken over by Maersk some time ago. They retain their separate identity and still paint their
ships in the traditional white of the old reefer vessels that formed a large part of the Safmarine fleet.
Earthrace must be one of the
strangest looking vessels to visit
the port, calling in mid-April as
part of a two-day stopover on its
nationwide tour. Last June, the
boat set a world record for a
powerboat to circle the globe
and did it with renewable
biodiesel fuel and a net zero
carbon footprint. The voyage
covered 44,000km and took 60
days, 23 hours and 49 minutes,
smashing the old record by more
than two weeks. While in Nelson,
Earthrace was open to the public
and took sponsors out on a trip
around the bay.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 7
The fishing sector’s had its share of gloom, so it
was good to see Sealord’s new factory trawler
Independent 1 freshly painted in the company
colours for sea trials before the hoki season. The
43 metre vessel was built in Norway in 1997
and has been used for fishing and as a research
vessel. The on-board factory can produce skin
on and off fillets, fillet blocks,
mince and fishmeal.
Catching the bus
If you see a bus at Port Nelson dressed in the colours used in
Melbourne city don’t try buying a ticket to St Kilda! A couple
of the new buses pass through the port every two months as
an export from Ashburton. QuayPack has the job of securing
them on a 40ft flat rack and strapping them down for an
inspection from a marine insurance assessor before they are
declared fit to be shipped by Swire vessels across the Tasman.
Supervisor Andy Farmer says it’s not a big slice of business,
but it is steady and for the Christchurch company Tauras
Logistics to choose Port Nelson shows we are providing a
Farwell to Ross Heath
Photo: Tim Cuff
The whitebait better look out now that Ross Heath has retired
from his role as tug skipper – 40 years on from joining the Nelson
Harbour Board as a wharf carpenter. Ross says the biggest change
in his time at the port has been the move to containerisation, and
with that a shift in the type of vessels calling here.
Ross was very thrilled with his retirement gift of a Bill Burke pastel
work with the tugs WH Parr and Huria Matenga as the focal point
of the painting.
Rapt to be welding
A new work experience student from Nayland College, Damian Rout, has a clear
view ahead to his chosen career as a fabricator: “I just like working with metal,”
he says. “I’ve been doing some welding in my work experience at the port - its
good to get hands-on time.”
Damien’s invitation to do work experience came about after a school visit
promoting the variety of work opportunities at the port.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 8
Melisa Kappely joins us
at the end of August in
the new role of Employee
She comes to us from
Goldpine and has
in the HR field having
worked previously for
Fonterra, Staples Rodway
and the Bank of New
our port our people
for Colin Jefford
The milestone of 25 years employment at Port Nelson
was marked for Colin Jefford in April. Colin enjoys his job
maintaining the two tugs and crewing on them, noting that
he has taken the trip out through the Cut literally thousands
of times. Most of his long marine history is on much longer
trips – Colin went to sea when he was only 15 years old and
did many years with the British Royal Navy. However, he finds
his current job satisfying and enjoys the independence and
freedom that goes with it.
Taking up the Challenge
Karen Barnett becomes our Compliance Manager, reporting
to the Chief Commercial Officer and responsible for the
provision of effective quality management services and for
overall compliance reporting and monitoring of company
News in brief
Samantha Key has accepted the permanent position of
Accounts Payable Officer, taking over from Kay McCullum.
Samantha has worked in accounts payable background in
the both the UK and Christchurch, her home town.
Congratulations and best wishes to Ryan and Sarah Wrigley
who were married in late March; and to Glenn and Brigitte
Davis who were married at Easter.
The ‘PNL Global Girls’ are busy gathering up the kilometres as they take part in this year’s Workplace Challenge. It’s the second year
the company has sponsored a team, and Kamelia Chapman, Karen Barnett, Tressa Latimer and Debbie Pritchard are doing us proud
– having already paced their way from the open to the advanced division. This took their challenge up to 12,500 paces a day, which
they can achieve through walking and other exercise such as yoga. The challenge started in late April and runs for about 10 weeks,
with encouragement for achieving milestones on a website that records each team’s efforts on a course around a ‘virtual world’.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 9
Dollars for Wellness
Sick pay is one thing – but what about being paid to stay
well? For the last three years staff have been offered $350 a
year in Wellness Dollars, money that can be spent on a list of
approved activities, mainly focussed on encouraging physical
activity. There’s been great uptake on this offer, with people
putting the money into buying bikes, sporting equipment,
gym memberships and yoga classes; or focussing more on
their professional development with coaching sessions.
As part of this scheme, Wellness Coach Donna Corry from Ramazzini holds
fortnightly sessions on site to show staff simple and practical techniques for stress
reduction, releasing physical tension and sleeping better.
Near Hits Save Lives
We’ve covered the people who’ve won
movie passes for reporting ‘near hits’ on this
page, but why are we so keen on upping the
reporting of these? Safety Advisor Jim Lane
says accidents and near hits are all learning
“The difference between them is that with
an accident a price has been paid in either
damage, or worse, injury,” he says. “Near hits
are warnings that come at no direct cost
- and it’s good sense and good business
to work on prevention and improvement
by investigating near hits as vigorously as
Our monthly ratio of reported near hits to
actual accidents is as high as six to one.
Rather than shooting to kill, this gun shoots
to save. Our new speed gun is multipurpose,
and is used within the port to help keep
speeds down and out on the water to
monitor the speed of recreational craft
within the Haven.
Port Nelson is up there with the top 25% of companies in New Zealand when it
comes to Health and Safety, according to the team of five we sent to Auckland
in May for the annual Safeguard Conference at Sky City. Led by Safety Advisor
Jim Lane were Andy
Farmer from Quay Pack,
Shane King from Tasman
Bay Stevedoring, Electrician
Dennis Maxted and Peter
Hoff from the Workshop.
Comments from our team
“Health and Safety has to
be part of your business
not just an add-on.”
“Health and Safety has to
come from the top, from
the CEO down and this has
improved at Port Nelson.”
Andy Farmer sums it up by
noting we’re on the right
track but there is always
room for improvement.
Maritime New Zealand paid a visit in late April to conduct the first of what will
be a nationwide audit of navigational aids. Marine Operations Manager and
Harbour Master, Roy Skucek, Murray McGuire from PNL and a Nelson City Council
representative were part of the audit. It was pleasing to see Port Nelson get
high praise for the extensive background information pack prepared by Murray
McGuire. We are now working on three action points to bring our systems into
line with those required by MNZ. These are:
• adapting the Maximo planned maintenance system to include all nav-aids and
markers outside the port
• developing a memorandum of understanding between PNL and NCC detailing
ownership and responsibility for maintenance of all nav-aids
• ensuring purchase procedure for new equipment is in line with international
We welcome any suggestions or information to make Port Nelson a safer working environment.
If you have a name you would like added to our mailing list, please let us know.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 10
meet the client
Alexander’s new Argosy being
loaded at Port Nelson.
The Alexander Group
Rod Alexander has been around trucks since he was three. His
Dad set up the Alexander Group in 1971 with a small fleet of
tipper trucks carting grain products. The operation is now a
leading tanker transportation business, providing distribution
services nationwide to the wine industry, Shell NZ and BOC Ltd.
Rod did his apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic and then
headed overseas to work on the groomers at a ski field in
Canada. Returning home he joined the family business, first
driving trucks, and going on to work in dispatch and fleet
management before taking up his current role as General
Manager of Alexander Grain. Rod has fond memories of his
truck driving days – he says back then it was a chance to ‘turn
the phone off’.
In the early 1980s the company entered the wine industry
and Alexander Grain now provides specialised bulk wine
transportation to strategic bottling facilities. This service
combines road and coastal shipping and accounts for about a
third of the Alexander Group business.
the outset and the company was able to secure long-term
Alexander Grain collects the wine in 25,000 litre temperaturecontrolled
containers from around sites in Marlborough, and
as far away as Cromwell in Central Otago. It’s trucked to Nelson
and the containers are loaded on to the Pacifica Shipping
vessel, Spirit of Resolution. Within 17 hours the wine arrives at
Onehunga, is unloaded onto a fleet of trucks and distributed
to bottling facilities in Auckland. The containers are returned
to Marlborough to be washed and re-sanitized.
One of the benefits to the wine industry of using his service is
that it’s seen as ‘green freight’.
“It also makes more sense to bottle the wine in Auckland
because all the consumables, like the glass and the labels are
there,” Rod explains, “it’s in the port of export and the North
Island is where most of the domestic market lives.”
“We were approached by Marlborough wine producers to come up with an alternative way to transport bulk
wine across the Strait and up to Auckland, and I pursued the idea of using coastal shipping,” says Rod. “The
service we offer today is cost effective on the main trunk and cost competitive on SH1 and the Strait.”
Although based in Cambridge in the Waikato, the Alexander
Group has been operating in and out of Marlborough for
many years. In 2005 Rod and his family followed the wine side
of the business and moved to Blenheim.
To set up the service Rod had to source seventy ISO food
grade containers and develop cleaning facilities and a base in
Renwick – that took 18 months. During this phase Rod went
back to driving trucks so he could get a feel for what was
needed. He says the wine industry was very supportive from
Rod says the good relationship Alexanders have with Port
Nelson and the service he receives is absolutely crucial to his
“It makes it possible for us to run a competitive alternative
to the main trunk line, Cook Strait and SH1 – and to deliver a
service with solid support systems and personalised care,” he
says. “I also recognise and appreciate the investment the port
makes in purchasing new equipment, such as the top loader,
that benefits our operation.”
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 11
Monitoring steps up
Port Nelson has been granted a 30 year resource
consent for the maintenance dredging that keeps
the shipping channels and berths at the right depth,
but this has come with increased requirements
for monitoring. Some of the monitoring done
by Cawthron that was previously voluntary has
now become mandatory, and there are some new
measures required. These include more ‘paperwork’
such as setting up a dredging complaints register
that will log and follow up on calls from the public,
preparing an annual work plan for the Nelson City
Council, and issuing an annual report that puts the
results of the testing regime into layman’s terms.
Sampling and testing
Spoil from the dredge is dropped in a designated area northwest
of The Cut about 4km out to sea. Monitoring of this area
will now be done five yearly, but is expanded in terms of the
number of contaminants sampled for. Water quality will also
be monitored annually during spoil disposal operations, with
the turbidity of water compared with a control site. Within the
harbour there are seven sea floor sites in the dredging areas
to be sampled on a rolling basis to measure the contaminants
in sediments that will be transferred to the spoil ground.
Cawthron scientists get ready for a dive.
At the slipway
It takes a long time for the slipway area to silt up, and it has
not been dredged for over 23 years. However, the lessees
have now asked for this dredging to be done. This area has
been identified as high in contaminants such as heavy metals,
though in recent years there has been a lot more effort to
contain the material from vessels being repaired. Cawthron
staff recently did sampling to test for the current level of
contaminants. The plan for disposing of the material from
around the slipway is to mix it with spoil from other dredging
sites in the dredge hopper to reduce the overall level of
Meet Thomas Marchant
Our new Environmental Officer has a very relevant background
for the role with Port Nelson. He has been working
as Compliance Officer with the Tasman District Council in
the areas of Industrial Discharges and Air Quality. Before that
he was employed as a Consultant Planner with a local firm,
where he gained experience in some specific environmental
issues we deal with, such as fumigation and dredging.
Thomas has a Bachelor of Science and a Post Graduate
Diploma in Resource Studies from Lincoln University. He and
his wife Bridget moved to Nelson from Christchurch a couple
of years ago and have three children, Eliza (6), Louis (4) and
Celeste (1). Outside work and family Thomas enjoys playing
football and getting into the hills.
Our main entrance
is a lot more
that it has been
carried out the
appropriate to the
Nelson region. This
is one the projects
that our previous
along with her usual
as the trees grow
they will be a fitting
reminder of her time
at the port.
Five of the houses most affected by port noise have now
been insulated, at a total cost of $154,000 as we work our way
through the issues involved with the variation to the Nelson
Resource Management Plan.
The newly appointed Noise Committee, with representatives
from the hillside residents and PNL is meeting regularly, and
letters have been sent to the 110 households in the next noise
contour, where the costs of mitigation are shared between
owners and PNL. A further group of houses, least affected by
noise, will be provided with ‘technical advice’, with the Noise
Committee deciding where that obligation falls.
The recommendations made by the independent commissioners
are currently under appeal to the Environment Court.
While the dust is not such a problem in winter we are still
maintaining the pro-active dampening down of any areas
where logs are being worked. We’ve also come up with a
plan to save on the cost of the water used by the tanker by
installing some rainwater tanks to make the most of the large
catchment areas on sheds. Saving rain will be a lot cheaper
than using treated water from the city’s Maitai supply.
RePort is Green
In line with our environmental policies
RePort uses elemental chlorine free paper
produced from sustainably managed forests.
RePort is printed with vegetable based inks.
Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 12
A short history of fishing in Nelson
Fish bones in middens
around Nelson testify that
pre-European Mäori were
into seafood as a protein
source, while stones used
to weigh beach seines show
the sophistication of their
catching methods. Once the
settlers arrived, fish and oyster
saloons were common until
these shellfish became the
first victim of over-fishing.
Commercial fishing was limited
by difficulties in storage and
transport until 1900 when the
Nelson Fishing Company was
formed and installed freezing
machinery at its new premises
at the port. New technology
went hand in hand with
other changes, such as the
development of trawling, as
oil-fired vessels became more
efficient and replaced coal
burning steamers. Part of Nelson's fishing fleet at rest in what they call "the Frog Pond", behind the northern end of the old Main Wharf. c. July, 1974.
Until the Second World War the New Zealand fishery was
characterised by little fleets of small owner-operated vessels,
supplying local markets from the inshore fishery. As well
as supplying local shops, fish from Nelson was shipped to
Wellington on the overnight ferry that ran right up until
1953, often with an even fresher catch slung aboard in large
baskets at French Pass.
By 1960 there were 21 fishing boats registered in Nelson and
33 full time fishermen. Snapper and Tarakihi, Gurnard and
Trevally dominated the catch, as they did in New Zealand’s
other inshore fisheries. In the mid-60s the way was open for
expansion into deeper waters, and the newly reclaimed land
around Port Nelson was just the place to site a fish factory.
New Zealand Sea Products Export Ltd was formed in 1965
and was poised to revolutionise fishing in Nelson and beyond.
The Harbour Board pulled out the stops to get the reclaimed
site ready for the building and even agreed to remit part of
the lease until the business was established. Noleen Burton
who worked at the factory recalls:
“We all stood on the wharf and watched the two big Sea
Harvester trawlers, which had originated in Trondheim
Norway, arrive at different times ready to begin. After the
arrival of the trawlers, the whole operation began to
mushroom, with jubilation at the first overseas sales. All
factory staff were allocated a free half pound of fish per
family member per week. Smoked fish and fishmeal
production began also. The future looked rosy.”
But the firm went into receivership in October 1968. One of
the trawlers was bought by the government and became
the James Cook research vessel; the premises and equipment
were sold to a consortium and one of the trawler skippers,
Charles Hufflett, became the managing director of a new
company, Sealord Products Limited.
In the mid-1970s government export incentives stimulated
the industry, which invested in more and bigger boats. Depth
sounders, radar, sonar, and advances in fishing gear added to
the size of the catch and the number of fishing companies
in Nelson grew. In 1978 a storm arose over the government
decision to put a catch limit on Tasman Bay snapper – these
had been pair-trawled by Sealord’s Whitby and Fifeshire, and
Skeggs’ Waihola and Hawea, gathering quantities that would
today be remarkable for the level of exploitation. By the early
‘80s a crisis had developed in the coastal fisheries, but two
developments opened up a way forward: the move into deepsea
fisheries and the establishment of a quota management
system. Over the next 20 years the fishing industry became
one of New Zealand’s biggest export earners and one of
Nelson’s biggest employers.
Right now times are tough for the inshore fishing fleet, with
diesel prices and the demise of the Tasman Bay scallop
enhancement scheme adding to their woes. However, the
ability to diversify between tuna, oysters and wetfish on a
seasonal basis helps to keep them afloat.
Deep-sea fishing remains a mainstay of the industry, with the
hoki season its busiest period. Sealord still has its processing
headquarters and most of its administration based in Nelson.
Skeggs has now left town, though they still have an interest
in aquaculture through Pacifica Seafoods. Other major players
are Amaltal and Solander, NZ King Salmon, Talleys in Motueka
and Sanford in Havelock. Nelson is still the biggest fishing port
in Australasia, but the growth today is towards aquaculture,
particularly in the processing of farmed salmon and mussels.
Sources: W H Parr, Port Nelson Gateway to the Sea, 1979; Alec Woods, The Outside
Table, 2005; Noleen Burton, www.theprow.org.nz (local history website); Te Ara
Encyclopedia of New Zealand.