It’s an important time for Taranaki. The region is determining its long-term direction, shape and strategy through two far-reaching regulatory plans, and Port Taranaki is very much part of the discussion.
The New Plymouth District Council Draft District Plan is now out for public consideration and comment. It sets out the rules regarding how land is developed and used. The Taranaki Regional Council's Draft Coastal Plan is also in the comment and consultation stage and considers the management of natural and physical resources in the coastal marine areas.
The nature of our business means Port Taranaki cuts across both these plans and we will be making submissions on each during 2017.
These long-term documents are important for the sustainability and growth of our region – as is Port Taranaki. Through this process we will, essentially, be asking permission to continue operating as the key transport and logistics gateway for the region.
The port is a vital part of the overall economic success and development of Taranaki. Through servicing the oil and gas, forestry and agriculture sectors, port dependent activity contributes $465 million to regional GDP, and industries that utilise the port collectively contribute $2.5 billion to regional GDP. In addition, Port Taranaki is owned by the Taranaki community through the Taranaki Regional Council. Dividends returned to the TRC help offset rates and in 2016 that dividend was increased by 10%.
The NPDC Draft District Plan will consider rules for, among other things, port access, building height, noise and traffic management. The TRC Draft Coastal Plan will set out proposed rules for discharges to water and air in the coastal marine areas, disturbance and deposition of the foreshore and seabed, the occupation of the coastal marine areas, and the placement, alteration and removal of structures.
These areas of discussion all impact upon our business. We work hard to meet and go beyond our regulatory requirements – for example, many of our health and safety policies are industry-leading. Regular consultation occurs through the Port Areas of Mutual Interest Group (the NPDC and Ngati Te Whiti Hapu) but during this period we will of course extend this to include the TRC, the Moturoa community, port users and public to ensure we are aware of their expectations and can address any concerns.
For our company to succeed for the betterment of Taranaki, we require our core functions to operate efficiently to meet our customers’ needs. We also must have the capability to grow and develop for the long-term. This requires the support of the community and our local authorities.
We’ll be making this clear in our submissions in the coming year.
As another year draws to a close we acknowledge the valuable support received from our customers and community alike. May 2017 be prosperous for you all.