PrimePort in Timaru. Photo supplied.
The Timaru District Council voted unanimously to accept
Port of Tauranga's surprise proposal to become a 50:50 joint
venture partner in the town's PrimePort, which has been
neglected by shipping lines in recent years.
In a surprise move about five weeks ago, Port of Tauranga
announced plans to take a 50%, almost $22 million stake, in
Timaru's PrimePort, which is expected to revitalise the port,
with its 35-year lease on container operations, land and
Port and transport sector analysts have admitted to not
knowing what Port of Tauranga wants to achieve with the joint
venture, while Tauranga has said Timaru could become a
''marshalling point'' for South Island cargo, to link with
international services from Tauranga.
The Timaru council will sell 21.43% of its total stake,
taking its stake down to 50%.
The balance of POT's 50% will come from the sale of private
company Port Industry Holdings Ltd's entire 28.57% stake, the
latter owned by nine private South Cantabrians, mainly from
Following the departure from Timaru by giant shipper Maersk
about two years ago, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch had
picked up about 70,000 containers annually from Timaru, while
Port Otago had opened a rail link and handled about 10,000.
Port Otago chairman Dave Faulkner said recently Port Otago
was confident of retaining its share of containers from South
A Timaru District Council spokesperson said yesterday there
had been 44 public submissions put to the council yesterday,
41 in support and three against, after which the 10
councillors and mayor voted to unanimously support the