- Watts Shipping Register
- Watts Shipping Register
NZ Marine News Vol 57 No 3 December 2010
Compiled by Michael Pryce with the assistance of M. Berthold, A. Calvert, I. J. Farquhar, N. Kirby, R. J. McDougall, and from the newsletters of the Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty Branches of the Society
Riverboat “Waimarie” Saved
In June 2010 it was revealed that the Wanganui District Council had agreed to help get the paddle steamer Waimarie sailing on the Whanganui River again. Councillors resolved to give the two trusts running the iconic paddle steamer NZ$70,000 to help them out of their financial woes - but that money came with a raft of conditions. The operating trust appealed to the council for help in March 2010, saying both it and the restoration trust had run out of money. It estimated it would need NZ$70,000 to get through the next four months. The boat is also due for its ten-year survey, which will cost $157,000. Meanwhile, Waimarie’s winter sailing schedule has been suspended. Councillors agreed to the $70,000, along with nine conditions. Mayor Michael Laws described Waimarie as “boring” but praised the trustees for being “honest and open”. “Frankly, it is a tired and an expensive attraction - and the trustees agree that changes need to be made.” Councillor Rob Vinsen said the Waimarie may appear to be boring “for those of us who are used to it”. “It’s no more boring than the Earnslaw in Queenstown, in my opinion. We need to look at it through the eyes of a visitor to Wanganui, and then it becomes an integral part of this city’s image. “It’s really worth supporting, and it would be a tragedy if it was lost to the city.” Deputy Mayor Dot McKinnon agreed with Mr. Vinsen and said the Waimari’'s experience was not unique. “This is a recessionary time, and people don’t have disposable income. “Over the past ten years, the trusts haven’t put their hands out (for money) at all, and I think that's commendable.” Mr. Laws said agreeing to the $70,000 was not a quick-fix solution. “Let me make this clear: this is only the start of the rescue operation. This is the start of trying to create a better experience relating to Waimarie and to put it on a better financial footing.” Members of the trusts were at yesterday's Council meeting, but declined to comment to the Wanganui Chronicle.
Holcim Lose Westport Management Contract
In June 2010 “The Westport Times” reported that Holcim New Zealand’s contract to manage Westport harbour would not be renewed when it expired at the end of August 2010. Holcim and its predecessor, Milburn Cement, had managed the harbour under various arrangements since 1988. The Buller District Council will transfer harbour management to Westport Harbour Ltd. (WHL), a subsidiary of Council’s holding company Buller Holdings. The future of the ten harbour staff had yet to be decided. Buller Holdings’ Manager Trish Casey said the employees were valued for their skills and experience. She hoped a transfer to WHL could be achieved quickly and smoothly. “We are currently working through the implications for these employees, and will be keeping them informed about this,” she said. The new management regime was not expected to produce any noticeable change or disruption to port operations, Mrs. Casey said. “The Council now has in place a holding company with a mandate to advance the commercial interests of the ratepayers, and the harbour is a business that will benefit from this expertise. “There will be a clearer separation between port management and port customers.” The harbour was supposed to have been transferred to Westport Harbopur Ltd. a year ago, but the transfer had yet to proceed. Mrs. Casey said Buller Holdings and council were still working through the asset transfer options. “There have been a number of different options considered and we have taken particular care to ensure that these don’t have any unintended consequences. We hope to finalise this in the next couple of months.” There would be no significant impact if the asset transfer was not completed by 31st August 2010. “There is an agency agreement in place already between council and Westport Harbour Ltd. that provides for this,” Mrs. Casey said. Former Harbourmaster, Councillor David Barnes, said the new arrangement would be good for the harbour and ratepayers. The harbour would be managed within Westport, and the holding company would bring a more commercial focus than previous councils. Successive Councils had been “extremely accommodating” to Holcim over port dues to support the company’s continued operation in Westport, he said. “Previous Councils have let their heart rule. Holcim may have had a very favourable hearing from previous councils, which is not necessarily good for the harbour. “I felt the management of the port had drifted away from Westport and it’s not Holcim’s core business to manage a harbour. “It could be seen as an incestuous relationship, which it often was by other customers of the port.” Other port users had believed Holcim exerted influence to gain preference for its cement ships. That had only ever happened once, without success, while he was Harbourmaster, he said. During a decade as Harbourmaster he had worked with nine different Managers of Buller Port Services, (BPS), the Holcim subsidiary contracted to manage the port. In his last six years, none of the BPS managers was “marine orientated”. “The original set up was that the Milburn shipping manager had a master mariner’s certificate and was appointed as general manager of BPS,” Councillor Barnes said. “Over the last eleven years that has not been so. “The appointment of (current BPS manager) Peter McGrath should have been made a lot earlier.” Councillor Barnes said the harbour was one reason why he had stood for Council. He did not blame previous councils for not properly understanding it, but the current Council had got to grips with harbour affairs. “I’m very happy that this Council, and in particular Buller Holdings Ltd. and the board of directors fully understand what the harbour is about and the general manager of Westport Harbour Limted (Mrs. Casey) has got a very good and complete grasp of the running of the harbour.” Holcim is clearly unhappy about the change. In a notice to staff during June 2010, Holcim General Manager of cement, Ross Pickworth, said the company would prefer to continue managing the port. He said Council had not provided its reasons to change. Holcim would work constructively with council to ensure a seamless hand over, Mr. Pickworth said.
Possible New Cement Wharf at Timaru
During late July 2010 preliminary work on a possible new wharf and storage area for cement exports out of Timaru was under way there. Holcim New Zealand, which plans to build a NZ$300 million cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru, had earlier signalled that it would look at sending the product to Timaru by rail for distribution. Drilling rigs have been involved in geotechnical work at Evans Bay on the southern side of Timaru port. Holcim’s capital projects manager, Ken Cowie, said that the work was being undertaken to assist in establishing costs for the project. Holcim would build a wharf and silos for a specialised bulk cement carrier. A decision by Holcim's European parent on whether to go ahead with the new cement plant was expected in December 2010.
Orange Roughy Fishery
In July 2010 it was stated that the orange roughy fishery on the Chatham Rise, an area between the South Island and Chatham Islands, was continuing to collapse, fisheries officials said. The area was showing a continuing drop in fish numbers, even though a ‘rebuilding strategy’ with a phased reduction in catches has been in place for the past two years, said Ministry of Fisheries deepwater fisheries manager Aoife Martin. “The latest results for orange roughy on the Chatham Rise show the rebuilding strategy has not yet had the results we need to see,” Ms. Martin said. “Significant catch reductions are already proposed for the next fishing year with the support of the fishing industry but we will need to carefully monitor and assess whether this will be effective,” she said. “If not, further measures will be implemented next year”. New Zealand’s orange roughy fishery first developed on the Chatham Rise in 1979, a year after New Zealand declared a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but decisions to fish the stock down to very low levels proved disastrous as researchers initially did not realise the species lived up to 120 years and likely took a long time to breed replacement fish. Despite later clear warnings from some scientists if high catch levels continued, fishers collapsed the Challenger Plateau stock to three per cent of the unfished biomass, and there were significant catch reductions from annual catches of 40,000-50,000 tonnes during the 1980s. A 2006 assessment of the largest orange roughy stock (East Chatham Rise) has been described by researchers as a failure because though it predicted a substantial rebuild of the species, the stock size has continued to decline. Ms. Martin said the latest scientific research commissioned by the Fisheries Ministry shows that “our management approach has worked but that we have some work still to do to get the right management measures in place for some areas”. In the orange roughy management area 7A - the Challenger Plateau northwest of the South Island, she said the fishery had “recovered well” after being closed in October 2000 to protect long-term sustainability because the fish numbers had dropped below “acceptable levels”. “The recovery in fish numbers we are seeing is very pleasing and shows that closing fisheries where we need to does produce results,” said Ms. Martin. The fishery had now recovered to the point where it could be sustainably re-opened to fishing, she suggested. The ministry was proposing a cautious re-opening of this fishery with a conservative catch limit of 500 tonnes.
Maersk Upgrades Service
A fourth vessel and new port call at Brisbane was introduced on Maersk Line’s Southern Star Express service from August 2010 JRS Pegasus (9,983 gross tonnage, built 2009) joined Vega Gotland, Maersk Radford and Maersk Aberdeen on the schedule at Brisbane on 14th August. Reversing the previous Melbourne/Sydney rotation, the trans-Tasman service will consequently call at Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Lyttelton, Port Chalmers, Wellington, Nelson, New Plymouth and Auckland.
In Vol.57, No.2, we recorded the arrival of the former Strait Shipping’s freight ferry Kent, as Ken, at Mumbai on 2nd June 2010. Further information is that she was beached at Mumbai on 24th June 2010 at ship breaking plot PWB-6 for demolition by MSV Steel Corporation.
Search for Minefield off Lyttelton
In August 2010 it was announced that a World War II minefield believed to have been laid off the entrance to Lyttelton Harbour on Banks Peninsula, had eluded Navy searchers as Lyttelton Port Company plan to dredge a deeper channel. The ten mines, thought to weigh up to a tonne each, were apparently laid by the German minelayer Adjutant in June 1941. They were not moored but were laid on the seabed and were intended to be detonated by the acoustic or magnetic activity of ships passing overhead. None of the mines exploded and no ships were sunk and the Navy believes over the years the mines sank into the “glutinous ooze”' of the seabed. “It is probable they were either fused incorrectly or had a defective initiation mechanism,”' said the head of the Navy’s Mine Counter Measures Team (MCMT), Lieutenant Commander Kelvin Barrett. The Navy was asked to search for the mines amid fears there may be a problem dredging the channel if the mines were still there. The Port of Lyttelton planned to deepen the channel by up to four metres. The searcher team worked from the Navy dive ship H.M.N.Z.S. Manawanui earlier in 2010 and searched about a square kilometre of seabed, although Lt. Cdr. Barrett said they did not have the capacity to find mines below the seabed. If they were not visually sighted they would not be found. Lieutenant Commander Barrett said that while there was not a great chance of the mines exploding if they were picked up in the dredge, when they dried out they could become dangerous. “It is likely they may well have corroded. “They are probably inert in that they are wet and the fuses and the like are unlikely to function while they remain wet.” He said if a dredge picked up a mine and dumped it in its hopper it was unlikely to explode. “But if it was allowed to dry out and that would take several weeks, certainly the detonators become quite dangerous.” He said if a mine was picked up in the dredgings the military would be called to safely dispose of it. Adjutant also laid about ten similar mines off the entrance to Wellington harbour a day or two after laying the mines at Lyttelton and that minefield had also not been found. Adjutant later met the German auxiliary cruiser Komet north of the Chatham Islands but broke down and, after being stripped of anything useful, it was scuttled. The Navy said Adjutant had the distinction of being the only enemy vessel sunk in New Zealand waters during the war.
Wynyard Quarter, Auckland
During August 2010 progress was reported on the rebuilding of the Wynyard Wharf area in Auckland. Building planning and construction work worth about NZ$260 million is going on around Auckland's expanding Wynyard Quarter. John Dalzell, chief executive of Sea + City, the public body overseeing the funded works at the Tank Farm, said construction in the western Auckland waterfront area was increasing as teams of workers moved in. Much of the work is due to be ready for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Steel work on the new NZ$32 million Viaduct Events Centre, formerly the Marine Events Centre, is well under way. “There’s about NZ$100 million of publicly funded works around Jellicoe Street, Silo Park, the new Viaduct Events Centre and the Wynyard Crossing, which has changed its name. “It used to be known as the Te Wero crossing or bridge. As well, planning work on the new NZ$160 million ASB building is under way,” Dalzell said. Jellicoe Street will be changed into a tree-lined boulevard which will be linked to a new North Wharf promenade with casual al fresco dining. At the end of Jellicoe Street will be Silo Park, a waterfront park with 5,200 square metres of open space. Hawkins Construction has erected part of the framework on the new events centre on the waterfront, Dalzell said. About a third of the framework to form the building’s footprint is in place and Hawkins is moving on to the second storey of the structure in front of the Emirates Team New Zealand base. That building will be demolished by early September 2010, Dalzell said. Back towards the city, Jellicoe Street between Halsey Street and Daldy Street has been blocked off to public access and work is under way for new buildings and landscaping. Alongside Jellicoe Street’s old red shed (the distinctive red-doored waterfront structure where ASB last year announced its development on the waterfront) ground works are being carried out to erect two new red sheds on either side of the existing building. The three buildings will be home to eight to ten hospitality tenancies operating bars and restaurants, Dalzell said. Two new buildings will be temporary structures, able to be relocated in the next few years because the land is zoned for higher-rise buildings. The rooftop design of ASB’s new head offices, with a distinctive cone-topped dome, is understood to have been changed. Kiwi Income Property Trust is to own this building, due to be finished by the second half of 2013 and to rise on the site alongside Sanford's buildings and the FishMart.
Trawler “Paerangi” SoldThe large stern trawler Paerangi (5,500 gross tonnage, built 2003) was sold in 2010 by Paerangi Holdings Ltd. to Emerald Fisheries AS, Norway and renamed Juvel
Korean Trawler “Oyang 70” Sinks
The South Korean stern trawler Oyang No. 70 (2,003 gross tonnage, built 1972) capsized and sank at about 4.40a.m. on 18th August 2010 when about 400 nautical miles east of Dunedin. Fortyfive crew (a mix of Korean, Indonesians and Filipinos) were rescued by the New Zealand Talley’s-owned stern trawler Amaltal Atlantis (1,899 gross tonnage, built 1991) but six of her crew were lost, including her Master. Oyang 70 was owned by Sajo Oyang Corporation a company incorporated in Korea, and was registered on the Korean Shipping Registry and flies the Korean flag. She had operated in New Zealand waters since the 1980s and was one of the oldest fishing boats operating in New Zealand, Lyttelton-based and built in 1972. She was chartered by Southern Storm (2007) Ltd. and was fishing for southern blue whiting. It is understood that she washauling in fishing gear when she turned over and sank within ten minutes. She had passed a Maritime New Zealand safety inspection the previous month. She had sailed from Dunedin on 14th August 2010 for a four-week voyage to southern fishing grounds. Survivors later said that she sank because the captain tried to take on too many fish in one net and would not listen to protests about the fish haul. The ship began listing, and water flooded the onboard factory and engine room. Industry conjecture was that she had somehow lost stability whilst hauling a large catch of fish up her stern-ramp, and had flooded through open engine room hatches. No doubt further details would be revealed by the inquiry.
New Zealand Ports Restructure Calls - Again
In mid-August 2010 a business lobby group raised the subject of Council-owned port companies with a report that called for a radical restructure of the port sector. Among its recommendations were that councils should be required to sell their shares in port companies. The forum, whose members include Business NZ, Business Roundtable and Federated Farmers, wanted evidence to support claims that local council ownership is a barrier to ports rationalisation and could be leading to inefficient investment in ports for parochial reasons. Only five of New Zealand's fourteen commercial port operations have an element of private ownership. Ports of Auckland has been totally owned by the Auckland Regional Council through Auckland Regional Holdings, since a takeover in 2005. The report said all but one of the ports, Auckland, had since corporatisation in the 1980s made a positive economic return in aggregate, and the four major container ports, Auckland, Tauranga, Lyttelton and Otago, had made “very substantial” economic returns. But it noted a sharp deterioration in the returns of Auckland’s port company “particularly since it was effectively nationalised”. There was evidence local authority ownership had militated against the rationalisation of ports and the introduction of experienced international operators to manage ports, the report said. Most ports had “considerable scope” to improve efficiency and service quality and there was evidence their performance had declined in recent years compared to major Australian ports. “There is some evidence that Ports of Auckland and possibly Lyttelton have in recent times succumbed to local pressures to retain and grow the volume of trade through their port agreeing to provide international shipping lines with levels of service at charges such that the services do not make a full economic return,” the report said. The report, which will go to Cabinet ministers, suggests four policy options to address “alleged inadequacies that have been found justified”. One was to require local authorities to sell their shares. This would reduce the extent to which parochial interests could inhibit the introduction of new efficiencies and remove concern that local politicians pressure ports to set lower prices to attract and retain shipping services to their region. Forum Chairman Charles Finny conceded there would be zero political will for pressing councils to sell their shares in the lead up to next year’s general election. The other three options were for the government to require improved financial information disclosure (the report alleged some port companies were breaching legislation regarding disclosure); contestability in container stevedoring (loading and unloading); and separation of the roles of port landlord and stevedoring services as in Australia.Efficiently accommodating the next generations of containership callers could deliver a NZ338 million per year saving to the New Zealand economy from 2015-2016, according to a report prepared by the New Zealand Shippers’ Council released in late August 2010. The report warns that failing to welcome larger vessels “sooner rather than later” will “seriously damage” the country’s trade performance. It advises that New Zealand’s export trade, 99 per cent of which is transported by sea, is already being impacted by reduced shipping services. It predicts losing the country’s existing level and quality of shipping services to South East Asia alone would see costs for exporters increase NZ$194 million per year to ship via Australia, with the additional threat of longer transit times seriously concerning exporters of chilled product. Following twenty key conclusions, the report offers the following five recommendations: before further industry consolidation takes place, the Government ensures the legislative framework is not a barrier to bigger ships being introduced to New Zealand and takes the required steps to ensure anti-competitive behaviour such as cartel pricing or capacity restrictions (whether by ports or carriers), does not result due to increased use of vessel-sharing arrangements and/or port consolidation shipping companies consider opportunities to further combine capacity on some of the services that currently call at New Zealand to bring forward the timing of the scale benefits to New Zealand two ports, one in the North Island and one in the South Island, should invest to become 7,000-TEU ship-capable within the next five years under a scenario where a North Island and a South Island port become 7,000-TEU ship-capable, the remaining two key container ports should secure the necessary resource consents and prepare to implement appropriate capital plans in the future, when it becomes viable through growth in trade, for New Zealand to have two bigger ship ports on each island KiwiRail should, as a priority, ensure the NZ$750 million of Government funding earmarked for its turnaround plan is targeted at parts of the rail network that will support a bigger ships future As an addendum, the report also recommends the Ministry of Transport, in its current work to “improve the data gap”, should establish a mandatory data collection regime and ensure the data collection methodology and approach developed is robust and consistently applied by all relevant parties. Shippers’ Council chairman Greg Steed has urged all involved in the supply chain to consider the report’s findings and recommendations extremely seriously. “It is imperative to the future security of New Zealand’s export trade the country becomes capable of accommodating bigger ships as soon as possible,” he said. “The Shippers’ Council recommends investment is made to improve New Zealand’s infrastructure as a matter of priority or we risk leaving New Zealand disadvantaged and unable to compete in global markets.” Widespread stakeholder reaction greeted the release of the New Zealand Shippers’ Council report. Both the Port of Tauranga and Lyttelton Port of Christchurch have understandably welcomed the key recommendation they be targeted as the “logical” sole ports in each island within the next five years.
“Aratere” Lengthening Project
Information from the August 2010 KiwiRail staff newsletter said that:-“KiwiRail has signed contracts with the Sembawang shipyard in Singapore for a major extension project to increase the capacity of the Interislander ferry Aratere next year. The project will provide thirty per cent more freight and vehicle space along with extra passenger capacity to Aratere, Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis said. The ferry will go to the Sembawang shipyard in March 2011 where she will be lengthened by about thirty metres. “Aratere is our busiest ferry year round, and already the most likely to be full,” said Thomas. “She works on critical sailing times, where we need extra capacity now and into the future in all three markets; passengers, commercial vehicles and rail freight. “The extension is a critical element of KiwiRail’s Turnaround Plan. Moving freight quickly across Cook Strait is one of the most important issues raised by our customers. “With only two of our three ferries rail-capable, we can’t always move customers’ freight as quickly as we would like to. Ultimately making all three ferries rail capable is the aim but extending Aratere will also help significantly.” The ship will be cut in two and a 29.25 metre-long pre-fabricated section will be inserted. “This is quite a common procedure for modern ferries and we are using a shipyard which has all the skills and experience required,” said Thomas. The diesel electric power plant will be enhanced during the project and a new more streamlined bow section will be added, improving Aratere’s efficiency and carbon footprint while smoothing her journey across the Cook Strait. “The lengthened hull and new bow design will also significantly reduce Aratere’s wake profile,”explained Thomas. “Modelling indicates that we can cut the wash by around twentyfive per cent in the environmentally- sensitive area of the Marlborough Sounds.” Aratere is scheduled to return at the end of August 2011, in time for the Rugby World Cup demand. “Now we have committed to this project, we can open passenger bookings well into 2011, helping our customers with their future travel plans.” Aratere is presently planned to sail from Wellington on 14th March 2011 for Singapore. Construction of her new mid-body commenced in Singapore in early October 2010.Aratere was withdrawn from service for a couple of days in mid-September whilst Sembawang shipyard staff made a final check of the ship prior to commencing construction of her new mid-body. Aratere was looking very weather-beaten at this time, and badly in need of a spruce-up before the summer passenger season. By late September 2010, Interislander’s main rival, Strait Shipping, was worried about the Government paying to lengthen the Interislander ferry Aratere, official papers showed. The NZ$42 million project is being paid for with Government funds set aside for state-owned enterprise KiwiRail, as part of its turnaround plan. A Ministry of Transport briefing to Transport Minister Steven Joyce, showed Strait Shipping, which operates the Bluebridge brand, was concerned the extension would give Interislander extra passenger and commercial vehicle capacity without its having to carry the capital cost. The company said it considers that would give Interislander a competitive advantage, as Strait Shipping was required to bear the full cost of any capital improvements. Mr. Joyce said the intent of the lengthening was not to give Interislander a competitive advantage over Strait Shipping, but that could happen.
Black Robin Shipping’s coaster Jaguar (1,044 gross tonnage, built 1985) arrived at Lyttelton from Timaru on 18th August 2010 for drydocking and survey. She came out of drydock on 23rd August and laid-up at 3 West inner berth, with her future movements uncertain. She was still alongside there when the 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the Christchurch area (and Lyttelton) in the early hours of 4th September 2010. After a delayed arrival in New Zealand, she has not performed much commercial work since arriving in New Zealand. She had sailed from Timaru on 8th January 2010 with grain for Onehunga. She arrived at New Plymouth on 17th April 2010 with grain from Timaru. She arrived at Wanganui on 8th May 2010 with grain from Timaru. Later, her rival on the New Zealand coast, Anatoki (561 gross tonnage, built 1992), loaded grain in Timaru on 18th August, obviously taking “her” cargo. Another competitor, Baldur (484 gross tonnage, built 1975), started another competing service from Timaru to the Chathams on 12th September 2010.An article in “The Timaru Herald”on 25th August 2010 gave some indications of problems facing her owning company. “Local trade valued at NZ$10 million between Timaru and the Chatham Islands could soon be under threat by an Auckland-based firm, the Aoraki Development Trust warns. The new service between Timaru, Napier and the Chathams will be launched early next month by 44 South Shipping Co. The company has been running Baldur between the islands and Napier for fifteen months. It has just announced it is to call at Timaru from about 8th September 2010, where it will become the fifth to rival Black Robin Freighters which has run Rangatira between Timaru and the Chathams since 2000. Vessel manager of 44 South, Shane Barber, said the decision to extend their run to Timaru came after “multiple inquiries” and would see two sailings a month, against Rangatira’'s thrice-monthly run. “It’s more the service we look at rather than the monetary value.” Baldur would ship freight, like groceries and frozen items, but the tonnage was not known yet. “We’re just doing a shakedown really, to see what interest comes of it, but we are looking at staying there as a long-term service.” Mr. Barber said support from the Chatham community had grown over the fifteen months the company had been running there. But even so, Black Robin Freighters managing director Kelvyn Leslie questioned whether there was sufficient trade for two ships. “We’ve had four different competitors over ten years, five if you count this one.” Mr. Leslie said the company had reduced its Chathams service from four or five sailings a month to three “because there’s just not enough cargo”. It had axed its sailings to Napier too. Aoraki Development Trust chief executive Wendy Smith said the value of trade between Timaru and the Chathams was about NZ$10 million, symbolising an extremely strong relationship between the two. “That’s a massive and ongoing benefit to South Canterbury businesses.” She claimed the prospect of a vessel competing with Rangatira put that under threat. “If the Black Robin service becomes uneconomic, there’s no guarantee this Auckland-based provider will continue calling at Timaru. “We would certainly be strongly in support of Rangatira continuing and see this competition as a major issue,” Mrs. Smith said. Freight from Timaru to the Chathams includes heavy equipment, supermarket supplies and produce. In return, the islanders send “tens of thousands” of head of stock, paua shells and other items, Mrs. Smith said. She said Timaru had a close relationship the Chathams, which included an enterprise training programme. Rangatira’s rival vessel, Baldur, is nine metres wide, has a 150-cubic-metre cargo hold capacity and a 100 cubic metre freezer. Its deck can handle up to 130 tonnes of freight. Rangatira sailed from Timaru on 24th August 2010 on her 691st voyage to the Chathams.Chatham's previous operators, Cook Islands National Line probably said the same about Black Robin Shipping when they moved into the Chathams trade about ten years ago, and would be one of the five carriers stated to have “come and gone” on the trade. Others would be Black Bart Shipping and Reef, and all three had one common denominator, the same ship, which was progressively named Ngamaru III, Black Bart and Southern Motu as each different operator took their turn with her.Jaguar’s sailing date continued to drop back, the latest change being to the end of October 2010.
In late August 2010, Wellington-based Seaworks Ltd. purchased the catamaran ferry New Tiboshima in Japan. She was renamed Seasurveyor and registered in Wellington. She is a passenger/cargo vessel built by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Japan in May 1989. She was 223 gross tonnage, and of 38.95 metres length overall, 10 metres beam and 1.65 metres draught. She is powered by twin-screw diesels, with a service speed of 16.5 knots, and originally able to carry 300 passengers and operated by a crew of five. It is understood that, after arrival in Wellington, some modifications will be carried out on her to convert her for workboat use, including the fitting of various gantry cranes. Seawork’s other workboat, Seawatch, is fully contracted to support the FPSO operations off the Taranaki coast, so is not now available for other work, and the new Seasurveyor is intended to fill this gap.
Wanganui District Council Buys Back Port
A lengthy dispute over Wanganui’s port came to an end after the district council agreed to buy it back for $2.75 million at the end of August 2010. Mayor Michael Laws announced the deal to purchase the port’s business assets and lease from River City Port. “This agreement is not just about the future of the port but $14 million of Harbour Endowment property. It can now be properly utilised for the benefit of the wider Wanganui community,” Mr. Laws said. The deal brings to an end a legal battle that has cost the council more than NZ$500,000. The port was sold by the council to commercial users in 1989, who then sold the lease to River City Port in 2004. “(River City Port) believed there were obligations on council and the ratepayers to contribute to the capital development of the port. Council and River City Port have been in dispute about that since 2006,” Mr. Laws said. He believed the settlement was a good deal for River City Port and for the council. We estimate that if we had lost the legal case, it would have been a cost of $7.3 million to the ratepayer,” he said. "This is a major windfall for the Wanganui community and for the first time since 1989 the port and its future operations will rest with the local authority.” Mr. Laws said the port had suffered serious decay over the last 20 years. “I envisage the future of the area will be as a recreational marina and resource for all of Wanganui. I’d like to see fishing platforms and pleasure crafts and the area beautified by tearing down the wharves.”
Former “Westpactrust Ferry”
The original "Westpactrust Ferry", which has been lying idle in Picton for several years, nameless and painted a hideous purple colour, was towed back to Wellington and was noted lying in Seaview Marina on 21st August 2010. An article published in The Eastbourne Herald on 28th August 2010 provided more details. “An old WestpacTrust ferry lying idle in Picton for a decade has been brought back to Eastbourne by two artists, who plan to make it a floating art studio. Steven Crawford and Linda Gilbert bought the catamaran four months ago, berthing it at Seaview Marina on 20th August. They plan to move on board and transform the boat into a unique home and workplace. “We saw it and thought it was too good to resist”, Ms Gilbert says. The catamaran started life in the 1980s as Tiger Lily II, having been specially designed to take tourists through coastal rock arches between the Bay of Islands and Cape Brett. It served as the Eastbourne to Wellington ferry during the 1990s, but has not seen any action since being decommissioned ten years ago. Ms. Gilbert, a multi-media artist, says the indoor passenger deck will make a fantastic studio, with panoramic windows letting in floods of light. There is no risk of engine judder messing up a delicate brushstroke, as the deck is a separate structure from the hulls, perching serenely on top while the engines work. “It’s nice and stable” she says. “Ultimately it’s an art studio on water”. The couple eventually plan to convert the open-air top deck into living quarters. Mr. Crawford, an engineer and sculptor, is able to do the heavy work, such as welding, the renovations will require. The ferry will need a lot of work even before the couple can move aboard to renovate, as the deck is completely gutted except for the bar and galley at the stern. “We’re not going to live on it for quite some time”, Mr. Crawford says. While the couple have no schedule or firm plans for renovation, they have settled on a new name for the vessel – Thunderbird. The long-term plan is to sail around the country and even abroad, creating art. The ferry can do 22 knots, and is perfectly capable of sailing to Australia, Mr. Crawford says. Ms. Gilbert is less convinced. “I’ll be flying there” she says.Details from previous New Zealand Marine News states that:- After being laid up since September 2000 in Seaview Marina, the former Wellington Harbour ferry Westpactrust Ferry sailed from Wellington on 10th January 2004 for Picton, where she was slipped at McManaway Marine for inspection and survey. She was found to be in need of substantial mechanical and structural hull repairs and she was still there in mid-February 2004. She was built in 1981 at Whangarei as Tiger Lily II, and successively held the names Government Print I, East by West, Trustbank Ferry and Westpactrust Ferry. She is of 106 gross tonnage, and 18.54 metres registered length. The small passenger ferry Westpactrust Ferry (181 gross tonnage, built 1981) sailed from Wellington to Picton in January 2004. Painted purple, and with no name visible on her hull, she was lying at anchor in Shakespeare Bay, Picton, in October 2008. She had been advertised for sale since 2005, but she had obviously had no takers.
Large Barge Adrift in Waitemata Harbour
A runaway 350-tonne barge drifted almost ten kilometres through the Waitemata Harbour, unmanned and unnoticed, before coming to rest on a reef. An investigation is underway into how the vessel came loose from its moorings at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery on the afternoon of 29th August 2010 and floated under the harbour bridge to Mission Bay. But the more curious question might be how no one noticed that the 140-metre barge was drifting out of control. It was discovered only when the dredging barge grounded on a reef just 100 metres from Mission Bay beach. Deputy Harbourmaster Jim Dilley said there were no reports of the drifting barge until it grounded. An unmanned vessel of that size on the water over such a distance was a definite danger to others. “It’s not something we like floating around the harbour by itself, that’s for sure,” said Mr. Dilley. “It’s a reasonable-sized barge, anything like that floating around the water is a hazard. It could have hit all sorts of things.” It was said that it was a “miracle” the 350-tonne steel barge, named RHR, didn’t kill anyone on the water. “Any boat that was hit would have sunk instantly. A barge that massive, with no lights on a gloomy afternoon, would have been unstoppable.” The Harbourmaster called the owner at around 6p.m. to tell him that RHR had grounded 100 metres from Mission Bay beach. A tug then towed the stranded barge to a wharf at the Ports of Auckland. There was evidence that the mooring lines had been cut.
New Pacifica Shipping Coastal Feeder Service
In late August 2010, it was announced that the joint North Asia/New Zealand direct service operated by COSCO, Hamburg Süd, NYK Line, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, was to be modified. The current port rotation which includes six ports in North Asia & six in New Zealand, has proven to be very challenging, leaving little contingency time in the event of inevitable delays often caused by adverse weather or other unforeseen port difficulties. In order to return the service to a reliable service between New Zealand and North Asia, the member lines feel it is now necessary to take decisive corrective action in order to ensure schedule integrity for the future of the service. Consequently with effect from early September, we will no longer call directly at the ports of New Plymouth, Nelson and Wellington, but will instead offer a reliable feeder connection using Pacifica’s coastal service in its place. Key benefits of this change include much better schedule performance as well as weekly coverage for Nelson and Wellington customers, as part of our ongoing commitment and strategy in servicing to these ports and these important trade regions. Spirit of Resolution thereafter operated a Lyttelton, New Plymouth and Onehunga service, whilst Spirit of Endurance operated a Lyttelton, Wellington, Nelson and Tauranga service, carrying containers (and others) for this service. The large container ships on the North Asia service are Cosco Fuzhou, Cap Capricorn, Cosco Yingkou, ACX Diamond and Cap Manuel.Pacifica Shipping also benefited from broken roads and rail following the earthquake in Canterbury. The company over 2,000 container units since the magnitude 7.1 earthquake, and another 1,000 containers are due to be delivered over the next few days. Pacifica Shipping said it clearly shows the importance of having regular sea freight connections with other ports around the country.
“Spirit of Resolution”However, an unfortunate incident took place on 18th September 2010, when Spirit of Resolution (3,850 gross tonnage, built 1997) sailed from Onehunga in bad weather and struck the Manukau Bar outward bound at 8.45a.m., damaging her rudder. She refloated after about ten minutes and continued her passage westward. (Severe weather conditions had been affecting the entire country for several days, and a moderate/heavy swell was present on the Manukau Bar.) She had her engines operable, but could only steer with her bow thrusters, and was noted a few miles west of the bar a few hours later, using her thrusters to keep her bow-on the swell, and moving slowly further offshore. On the evening of 19th September the assistance was sought of the small tug Rupe (283 gross tonnage, built 1984) from New Plymouth, and Rupe had a towline made fast to her by the morning of 20th September. However, no progress could be made in the prevailing weather conditions and by 21st September she was seeking further tow assistance from Norwegian oil rig tender Far Fosna (2,766 gross tonnage, built 1993). On the morning of 21st September she was about sixty miles north of New Plymouth, off Kawhia. The tug Rupe returned to New Plymouth late on 21st September, whilst Far Fosna took over the tow. Spirit of Resolution was anchored off New Plymouth by late evening/midnight on 21st September. She berthed at Port Taranaki on 24th September for inspection and to change her crew, then left New Plymouth on 26th September in tow of the tug Rupe, bound for Lyttelton for drydocking and repairs, where she arrived on 30th September 2010. Her containers remained on board for the tow and were discharged at Lyttelton on 1st October.
On 4th September 2010 at 4.35a.m., a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the Christchurch area, including the port of Lyttelton. In early October it was announced that Lyttelton had called off its proposed merger with rival Port Otago Ltd., saying it needs to focus on repairing damage from the earthquake. Lyttelton Port Co. (LPC) deputy chairman Bill Luff said that their boards had “reluctantly agreed to call a halt to merger discussions” as a result of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake. Although most parts of the port have continued to operate, LPC expects repairs to infrastructure and facilities, including the rebuilding of up to four berths, to cost more than NZ $50 million. Luff said the earthquake had forced the company to review its short and long-term asset management and development plans. However, the port assured customers it would continue to maintain service levels and full operational status as the economy recovers from the natural disaster. LPC is 79 per cent owned by Christchurch City Council while Port of Otago Ltd. is wholly owned by the Otago Regional Council, and holds a 15 per cent stake in LPC.
Slip Closes SHI and Railway South of Kaikoura
A large landslide that closed State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura also blocked the railway line, disrupting freight and passenger trains between Christchurch and Blenheim. The highway was closed late on 9th September 2010 following the slip at Peketa, eight kilometres from Kaikoura, in which an estimated 15,000 cubic metres of soil fell on to the road and railway lines down to the sea. The road and rail closure has come at a time when it is important to get supplies to Christchurch following last Saturday's earthquake. Experts had assessed the size of the slip to be the biggest in several years and estimated it would take several days to clear, police said. The cause of the slip has been attributed to heavy rainfall, not as a result of any recent earthquake activity. Contractors worked through several nights to clear a giant slip blocking State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura and the road was reopened on 16th September.
New Ferry “Straitsman” for Strait Shipping Ltd.
In early September 2010 it was announced that Bornholmstrafikken had sold their ro/pax ferry Dueodde to a New Zealand buyer in accordance with the future plan for the traffic to Bornholm. Dueodde would be delivered after docking shortly after October 1. Dueodde will be replaced by the Povl Anker on the Ystad-Rønne run until the new Austal fast ferry Austal catamaran Leonora Christina is delivered from Australia. The Rønne–Køge service is performed by the sister vessel Hammerodde, which earlier has been rebuilt by STX Europe Shipyard in Helsinki. Dueodde was built at De Merwerde Shipyard in Hardinxveld in Holland in 2005. The ship is powered by a double MaK-plant with an output of 8,640 kW to a services peed of 18 knots. She will replace Monte Stello, which will be sold. Hammerodde and Dueodde worked on the route between the island of Bornholm, Koge, the Danish port near Copenhagen, and the Swedish port of Ystad. They were built in eleven months to act as freight-only or car / passenger ferries. They have an overall length of 124.9 metres and 23.4 metres moulded breadth. Dueodde has a design draught of 5.3 metres and a deadweight (at design draught) of 2,883 tonnes, and she is of 13,906 gross tonnage. Vehicles are accommodated across two decks in a total lane length of 1,248 metres, distributed across seven lanes, 3.1 metres in width. This corresponds to around 92 trucks or a mixture of cars and trailers. The vehicles are stored in decks number three and five, with 4.9 metres and 5.2 metres clearance heights respectively. Deck three has a lane length of 645 metres. These decks contain reefer plugs. The ferries can accommodate 400 passengers. These can be housed in 20 one-berth cabins, 36 two-berth cabins or four four-berth cabins. There are also 256 reclining seats. Deck seven contains a cafeteria area with 50 seats as well as a reception area, shops, toilets and a children’s area. There is a viewing lounge with 91 seats, a non-smoking lounge with 57 seats, a smoking lounge with 30 seats, an allergy lounge with 48 seats and a pet lounge with 30 seats. The owner’s included in the design the potential to expand the accommodation to 770 passengers. Power is provided by a pair of MaK 9M32 medium-speed diesel engines, each with an output of 4,320kW at 600r.p.m. They are connected to a Jahnel reduction gearbox and to a controllable pitch propeller. This gives a service speed of around 18.8 knots at a 90 per cent MCR. The vessels have two Alfa Laval heavy fuel oil treatment system, a self-cleaning diesel oil separator and a bilge water separator. Steering is carried out by a pair of Tenfjorfd electro-hydraulic gear, each connected to a Rolls Royce rudder. The rudders have a 45 degree deflection to both sides. It takes fourteen seconds to turn them 65 degrees, or 28 seconds with one pump being used. The vessel ride is controlled by a set of Fincantieri fin-type stabilisers. When manoeuvreing in port, a bow thruster is used, this is powered by two auxiliary alternators. The electrical installation was carried out by Croon TBI technik. The ships’ electric power is provided by three MAN Holeby 6L 16/24 gensets. These can develop a total of 1,545kW of power. The vessels’ emergency power is provided by a 260kW Man D2866 LXE201 genset. There is also a 1,160kW PTO alternator which can be employed to generate power at sea. The fire fighting facilities include a seawater-based fire system and a CO2 flooding system for the engine room and galley. The emergency equipment includes two 150-person lifeboats, seven 35-person inflatable rafts and two fast-rescue boats. The liferafts are supplied by Viking. Central heating is carried out by means of a heat exchanger from the thermal oil system, in which circulation pumps supply the accommodation heating and domestic hot water. The vessels are classified by Lloyds under the notation +100A1 RORO Passenger Ship, LMC, UMS. Straitsman will replace Monte Stello in December 2010, increasing Strait Shipping’s capacity before the peak season and 2011’s Rugby World Cup. “The purchase is a very significant investment for a private, New Zealand owned company and represents our long-term commitment to servicing the route,” Strait Shipping managing director Sheryl Ellison. The new ferry has fifty per cent more freight and vehicle capacity and space for a third more passengers than the vessel it replaces, while burning significantly less fuel, “it will enable us to meet our freight and passengers needs in the high season, and around key events such as Rugby World Cup 2011, while remaining sustainable during the slower off peak.” .Big screens will be installed to allow for the Bluebridge service’s offering of free movies. Ms. Ellison said the vessel would be the youngest ferry on Cook Strait. The ship was renamed Straitsman in recognition of Strait Shipping’s first vessel, in service for eleven years from when the company began in 1992. She was drydocked at Fredericia during mid-October 2010, and sailed out to New Zealand via Panama Canal, and was intended to be in service on Cook Strait before Christmas 2010.
Former “Tasman Venture”
The palletized cargo ship Tasman Venture was sold from her trade to Tauranga in 2000 and renamed Forest Venture (10,199 gross tonnage, built 1977), under Cypriot flag. She was sold to Indian shipbreakers and arrived at Alang on 3rd July 2010 she was beached there on 10th July 2010 for demolition.
Taharoa IronsandsIn early October 2010 it was announced that Japanese shipping company NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha – but generally known just by their initials) and New Zealand Steel Mining Ltd. (NZSM) had agreed to extend their current contract for an additional fifteen years for the transport of ironsand from New Zealand (Taharoa Terminal) to China and Japan. Shipments under the new contract are to begin from 2012 using a newly-built 175,000 tonnes-deadweight bulk carrier constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and dedicated to the transport of ironsand slurry. The annual volume is expected to be about 1.2 million tonnes. NYK and NZSM are nearing the end of a contract for the transport of ironsand slurry using a 150,000tonnes-deadweight converted bulk carrier (Taharoa Express), which is the only vessel in the world capable of loading ironsand slurry via a single buoy mooring and submarine pipelines, and as a result requires advanced operating and loading/discharging technique and know-how.
Former FPSO “Whakaaropai”
The FPSO Whakaaropai (72,247 gross tonnage, built 1976) left offshore Taranaki in 2006 and sailed to Singapore. Since then, she was renamed BW Endeavour in 2006, renamed BW Peace in 2007 and BW Cidade De Sao Vincente in 2009. She arrived at the Tupi oilfield, off Brazil, previous to 25th June 2009, where she is in use as a FPSO.
Neptune Pacific LineTwo ships owned by Neptune Pacific Line were sold in 2010. Capitaine La Perouse (2,024 gross tonnage, built 1983) was sold and renamed Don Alfonso Sr. Capitaine Cook (8,967 gross tonnage, built 1978) arrived at Jiangyin, China, on 27th January 2010 for demolition. Neptune Pacific Line still operates Capitaine Wallis (5,234 gross tonnage, built 2003). Members may recall that such names were previously carried by Sofrana Unilines ships, but after a management split, the “Capitaine” names went to Neptune Pacific Line, whilst “Sofrana” became a name prefix, such as their current tweo ships Sofrana Surville (9,935 gross tonnage, built 2007) and Sofrana Tourville (9,684 gross tonnage, built 2009).
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