August 2009 (pdf) - Port Nelson

August 2009 (pdf) - Port Nelson

August 2009


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

in Nelson

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.

Horsing About

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.

World View

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

they arise.

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

Martin Byrne

Chief Executive

Port Nelson Ltd has a new online

appearance with an upgrade of our

website. Marketing Manager, Chris

Williams says the design company

we use, (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 •

RePort Nelson is a triennial publication produced for Port Nelson Limited by:

Nelson Media Agency - • SeeReed Visual Communication -

Photography: Troy Dando, Roy Skucek, Brian McHaffie and Jacquetta Bell

Port Nelson Limited report. August 2009. Page 3


Asia Trade

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.

port news

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.”

In Memoriam

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

Happy Filing

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.

(seated right)

Foosball Fanatics

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.

Spreading Out

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

and dry.

Richer Interactions

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.

port progress

“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...

Fruit Salad

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.

Wearing White

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

Independent I

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.

...and beyond

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

competitive service.

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

Relations Manager.

She comes to us from

Goldpine and has

extensive experience

in the HR field having

worked previously for

Fonterra, Staples Rodway

and the Bank of New


our port our people

25 Years

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.

safe harbour

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.

Lifesaving Gun

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.

Safety Culture

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.

Leading Lights

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


Keeping Safe

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


environment update

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

attractive now

that it has been

landscaped. Nelmac

carried out the

project, using

coastal species

appropriate to the

Nelson region. This

is one the projects

that our previous


Officer, Frances

Woodhead, drove

along with her usual

enthusiasm, and

as the trees grow

they will be a fitting

reminder of her time

at the port.

Noise update

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.

Dust Dampening

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

looking back

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, (local history website); Te Ara

Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

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