Sediment from the city and wider catchment area builds up in and around the wharves and the shipping channel and needs to be removed every couple of years.
Ports of Auckland currently has two permits, issued by Auckland Council, which allow the removal of this natural sediment so that our berths and the channel is safe for ships to use. We are authorised to remove up to 50,000m3 of maintenance dredging of natural sediment material a year for this purpose.
Capital dredging is required to accommodate larger vessels. Ports of Auckland has carried out capital dredging several times over the past 70 years.
In November 2019, we applied to Auckland Council to deepen the shipping channel, Fergusson North Berth and its approaches in two stages over the next 15 years.
The first stage of capital dredging will enable vessels already calling at other New Zealand ports to call in Auckland. Stage 2 will provide enough depth for the New Panamax class ships that are planned to be used on New Zealand services in future.
The hearings occurred in late June 2020. Auckland Council approved the consent in late 2020, but this decision has since been appealed to the Environment Court. The appeal process is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. The application and supporting technical information can be found here.
Dredged and material reuse tracking - updated every six months:
|Year||Time period||Amount of dredging||Percentage disposal/reuse|
|2020||Jan - Jun||0|||
|2020||Jul - Dec||0|||
|2021||Jan - Jun ||0|||
Marine Disposal - Marine Dumping Consent EEZ400011
Ports of Auckland holds consent to dispose of both maintenance and capital dredged material. This consent is the subject of a Judicial Review proceeding challenging the EPA decision to grant the Dumping Permit filed by Protect Aotea with the High Court on 2 August 2021. The Court is currently assessing this application and will set out a timeframe for hearing the claim in due course.
The permit (EEZ400011), granted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) authorises the disposal of dredged material at the designated Cuvier Disposal Site (CDS), 27 nautical miles (50 km) east of Cuvier Island (Repanga). The CDS disposal site, also known as the Auckland Explosives Disposal Site, has been used periodically since the end of WWII for the disposal of unwanted munitions, vessels and dredged material.
The CDS disposal site is one of five official disposal sites around New Zealand. The CDS is outside the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and inside New Zealand's exclusive Economic Zone. The location of the disposal site in relation to Auckland and the Coromandel can be seen in the this map. The dumping of approved dredge material is authorised within a circle of 200 metres radius centered on position 36°28′S 176°17′E.
The marine dumping consent authorises the disposal of a total of 2M m3 of dredged material from capital dredging and 1.75M m3 of maintenance dredging at the CDS over the term of this consent. The consent conditions also set annual disposal limits of no more than 50,000 m3 of maintenance dredgings and 400,000 m3 of capital dredgings.
The consent authorises only the disposal of material dredged by a barge-mounted mechanical excavator and disposed of using a bottom-opening barge at the disposal site.
- Ports of Auckland's application and supporting impact assessment and a presentation summarising the impact assessment and findings can all be found here.
- The supporting technical reports prepared for the application can be found here.
- The independent technical peer reviews of these studies, undertaken by New Zealand and international specialists can be found here.
- EPA's decision report and consent conditions and can be found here or here.
Condition 15 requirements
Condition 15 of the MDC requires that Ports of Auckland provide stakeholders access to information prepared as a requirement of the consent. Condition 15 states:
a) Provide the stakeholders identified in the Engagement Log Summary (Attachment 3 of the application) with up-to-date information on the activity authorised by this consent. This information shall include the results of any monitoring, and reports, required to be prepared by the conditions of this consent.
b) Make available the information provided to stakeholders under clause (a) for the duration of this consent through a website maintained by the Consent Holder. The relevant sections will be maintained with the latest consent information.
POAL will therefore routinely update this website with all consent related information from: