Better work prospects for Maori could be just one of the welcome spin-offs from the arrival of a new $4.5 million container depot in Napier.
A new shipping container depot officially opened this week, with property owner Mana Ahuriri Trust regarding it as a long-term win-win with the prospects of job creation for its people and certainty of sustainable growth for new tenants ContainerCo Limited.
Mana Ahuriri Trust chairman Piriniha Prentice said the Mersey St land formed part of its Waitangi Treaty Settlement with the Crown.
“We see this as a good way of getting our investment portfolio underway. We’re thrilled to provide a new site for ContainerCo as it not only gives us long-term cash flow but provides our people with career opportunities.
“For us, business relationships are ‘about people’ not transactions; creating career opportunities for our people as well as developing long-term relationships with successful businesses such as ContainerCo,” Mr Prentice said.
ContainerCo is one of New Zealand’s leading independent container storage and servicing businesses, operating at six strategic sites, which serve the four largest ports in New Zealand – Ports of Auckland, Port of Tauranga, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and Napier Port.
ContainerCo Hawke’s Bay manager Garry Fly said the five-hectare site was a consolidation of its two container park sites in Battery Rd (which closed in 2016) and Austin St, which will be transitioned to closure or re-purposed next year.
Mr Fly said the $4.5m investment provided a strong signal of export and import growth in Hawke’s Bay as well as the success of Port Napier in attracting cargo to and from the wider region.
The facility would store up to 4000-5000 empty containers (TEUs) which can be cleaned, repaired, tested and stored on behalf of some of the world’s leading shipping companies.
It will also be the regional home for ContainerCo’s container hire and sales, and specialised refrigeration businesses.
“The new site futureproofs our presence in Hawke’s Bay. We have seen significant growth in the requirement for various container and other shipper related services in recent years and expect this to continue.”
Mr Fly said the business has a fantastic relationship with Mana Ahuriri that extends well beyond being the norm of a tenant and landlord contract.
“This is a unique partnership and we will be working with Mana Ahuriri to create career opportunities starting from apprenticeships through to management.”
The Napier facility employed 15 staff.
Additional development of the facility will provide a new range of services designed to support containerised horticultural exports in the region.
Last year, Napier Port handled a record 48,310 TEU through on-port packing facility Port Pack.