Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Clifford Bay hots up as issue as investigation gears up

Clifford Bay hots up as issue as investigation gears up

By Pam Graham

Jan. 22 (BusinessDesk) - Marlborough's mayor is hoping meetings early this year will shed light on why the government is seriously considering a $422 million ferry terminal at Clifford Bay which will knock the economy of Picton.

Marlborough District Council Mayor Alistair Sowman says a meeting he has on Thursday with Andrew Robertson, the management consultant running the Clifford Bay project will be an opportunity to find out more.

The council has also initiated public meetings in February and Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee will speak to the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce in March.

"People can't understand why the government wants to do it if it doesn't stack up economically what's the rationale? We're having trouble getting anyone to talk from the government," he said.

The government has assembled a team led by Treasury and transport officials to further investigate building an inter-island road and rail freight port at Clifford Bay in Marlborough. A report is due in the middle of this year and expressions of interest would be called for in 2014.

"I spoke to Gerry Brownlee myself just before Christmas and he was cagey and said wait for the report, " Mr Sowman said.

"I think they really are serious in seeing if it can work or not," he said.

Mr Sowman said the issue had stirred up business people and a lot of families in Picton, where the existing terminal is, were worried because they were reliant on the ferries for their income.

The council-owned Marlborough Port only received $7 million of income a year from the ferries, making the economic rationale for the new terminal hard to understand, he said.

The ministry team is also meeting Strait Shipping, which has said that a revival ferry services from Wellington to Lyttelton Port should be considered because 80 percent of freight goes to Christchurch and beyond.

Moving to Clifford Bay from the existing wharves at Picton could lead to larger ships, while cutting the journey time between Wellington and Christchurch by 80 minutes by ferry/road and 110 minutes by ferry/rail.

The government is considering making the project a private/public partnership, with companies including Infratil expressing interest.

The Clifford Bay project team is also talking to KiwiRail's Interislander and to ports.

Industry observers say Interislander boss Thomas Davies has always been keen on the Clifford Bay project and had been trying to revive it as an idea that could be funded from road transport budgets rather than rail budgets.

The Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce says the terminal would have economic benefits for Wellington.

Road Transport Forum boss Ken Shirley said there were serious constraints with the existing Picton service which were not going to change.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Interest Rates: Wheeler Hikes OCR To 3% On Inflationary Pressures, Eyes Kiwi

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler lifted the official cash rate for the second time in as many months, saying non-tradable inflationary pressures were "becoming apparent" in an economy that’s picking up pace and he's watching the impact of a strong kiwi dollar on import prices. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news