Council considers selling stake in Napier Port

Hawke‘s Bay Regional Council is considering selling a stake in Napier Port, or listing it on the NZX, in order to raise much needed cash to fund its growth.

Napier port has seen an increase in imports and exports since the Hanmer Springs quake nearly three weeks ago forced Wellington‘s port to close. Photo: Supplied / Napier Port

The port is wholly owned by the regional council and makes up 74 percent of its investments, providing $10 million a year in income.

But with cargo volumes expected to increase by 50 percent over the next decade the port needed $275m dollars of investment, which the council was not prepared to pay for.

It also wanted to reduce its reliance on single investment in the wake of the KaikĊura and Christchurch earthquakes, HBRC chair Rex Graham said.

“A natural disaster impacting Napier Port would have a significant and immediate impact on rates and reduce our ability to do the important work of the Council in enhancing the Hawke‘s Bay environment,” he said.

A panel of experts has investigated three main options: selling a minority stake in the port; listing a minority stake on the stock market, and leasing the port long-term to a third party.

The panel recommended a minority sale and a long-term lease would be the best options.

The regional council will now consider all options and hold a special submissions process in the middle of the year.