Cruise Berth piling to be completed in March 2020
Cruise Berth

Piling work for New Zealand’s first purpose-built cruise berth is now on the home stretch, with all piling expected to be completed in March.

LPC Infrastructure Manager Mike Simmers says after the Christmas break, contractors are back on site working to complete the berth, which is on track to be opened by November for the 2020/2021 cruise ship season.

“All main wharf piling was finished before Christmas, and there is about 4-6 days of marine piling to go and a few weeks of land-based piling work to complete. All of this piling will continue intermittently and be completed in March.”

To keep an eye on the weekly piling schedule in 2020, click here. The daily piling schedule can be found on the homepage of Harbourwatch.

Our Marine Mammal Management Plan

At Lyttelton Port, we’re committed to being a responsible part of the Lyttelton Harbour marine environment, which is why we worked with some of New Zealand’s leading experts on our cruise berth Marine Mammal Management Plan (MMMP).

Our Environment and Planning Manager Kim Kelleher says before the project began in late 2018, the team worked with leading scientific experts on from Cawthron Institute, Blue Planet Marine and the Department of Conservation to develop the MMMP.

“The plan focuses on ways to minimise the potential impacts and manage the risks to Hector’s Dolphins, particularly around underwater noise.”

Since then, similar measures have been adopted at a number of other marine construction sites in New Zealand, including the America’s Cup project.

A key part of the MMMP on the cruise berth project has been the use of highly-trained marine mammal observers from Blue Planet Marine to constantly monitor a Marine Mammal Observation Zone. If mammals are seen in this zone, piling shuts down immediately.

The location and extent of the zone is based on Hector’s Dolphins sensitivity to noise, and modelled underwater noise levels caused by piling.  This modelling showed a zone of 450 metres was required for the main wharf piling at the cruise berth.

"We're incredibly proud of raising the bar in New Zealand, for the standard of ensuring marine mammals are protected on construction jobs," says Kim.

There is also a large amount of observation data on Hector’s dolphins that has been collected throughout the project, including extensive underwater acoustic data collected by Styles Group, who have been using underwater devices to monitor the sounds Hector’s dolphin’s make at eight monitoring sites in the harbour since  January 2017. Four sites also monitor the total underwater noise.

“We will be working with those experts to publish the results and findings of our extensive monitoring programme and research, which is really exciting,” says Kim.

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