The redevelopment of the Lyttelton Port in Canterbury will play a significant role in the future economic growth and prosperity of the South Island by boosting jobs and trade, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee say.
On the same day trade ministers from around the world signed the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Mr English formally opened the Cashin Quay 2 Wharf, an $85 million expansion that will increase the Port’s ability to grow trade in the coming decades.
Mr Brownlee, Speaker David Carter and other dignitaries joined the celebrations.
“The TPPA opens New Zealand up to 800 million potential customers and covers 36 per cent of global GDP. The expansion of the Lyttelton Port means the business is well placed to take advantage of this trade deal.
“Imports and exports coming though Lyttelton Port account for 56 per cent of the total volume coming into the South Island, helping cement the Canterbury region as a key driver of New Zealand’s economic prosperity”, Mr English says.
In the last year, the Port serviced 406 container ships from 94 international ports in 39 countries and the redevelopment doubles the Port’s container capacity.
“This redevelopment highlights the benefits of free trade agreements like the TPPA. These agreements open up new markets to our exporters – increasing our national income and creating more jobs for New Zealanders.
“Like many other innovative companies, the Port is building on its connections with international hubs that link to ports all over the world.
“With an ambitious, future-focussed development like this, I look forward to seeing the Port’s contribution to New Zealand’s economic prosperity”, Mr English says.
The opening of Cashin Quay, which is the rebuild of a wharf destroyed in the 2011 earthquake, marks yet another milestone in the region’s ongoing recovery.
Mr Brownlee says its rapid reclamation and construction is proof great things can come from disasters.
“Soon after the earthquakes we approved the fast-tracking of this 10-hectare reclamation, using over a million tonnes of rubble from central Christchurch.
“The earthquakes saw the Port lose 30 per cent of its operational space and the need to repair 14 hectares of container terminal, so acting quickly and pragmatically was necessary to help Lyttelton meet the needs of the region’s growing economy,” Mr Brownlee says.