Frequently asked questions

Through feedback channels such as our website, online engagement platform and feedback forms.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant we were unable to hold public open days earlier this year, but we made alternative arrangements to ensure people could still get involved and have their say.

We have since held public information events in Waitohi Picton and Blenheim and will continue to engage with iwi and the community as the project progresses.

You can subscribe to our electronic newsletter and visit this website, email or speak to someone directly. Please contact us with your name and address at irex.project.team@kiwirail.co.nz or call us at 0800 NEWFERRY.

 

We’re consulting directly with Te Ātiawa regarding land-based issues, and also with all Te Tau Ihu Iwi in relation to the use of the Marlborough Sounds. Their values and priorities are being intertwined with detailed planning for the project. The project provides good opportunities to recognise Mana Whenua and Kaitiakitanga at the Ferry Precinct, at the Terminal in particular.

All being well, new ferries are targeted to enter service from the mid-2020s so critical infrastructure will need to be in place before then. We expect construction to start in 2021 and take about four years.

We’re still in feasibility stage so the cost isn’t yet confirmed, and we’re working through potential funding models.

 

Yes, there will be a new terminal building that will accommodate expected growth in passenger numbers and ensure a good customer experience. The concept design shows a two storey high building. This is likely to be the largest we would build. During the design phase the building may reduce in size from what is shown on the current plans.

We’re working through options for the terminal and car-parking area and can’t say for sure yet whether there will be opportunities inside or close to the terminal for other businesses.

We will continue to share our plans with the community as they are developed.

 

A temporary terminal building is planned for a location near to the existing terminal. A primary requirement for the project delivery will be maintaining ongoing services to passengers and protecting the ability of service providers to continue to operate. There will inevitably be some ‘work-arounds’ as construction progresses but maintaining ongoing operations in an efficient way is a high priority.

We plan to maintain services for our customers during construction. As happens now, ferry schedules may be altered to meet market and seasonal demands. It is possible that some changes may need to be made as a result of construction, but these will be carefully planned to minimise disruption for customers.

The Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan and the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan identify the National Transportation Route as passing through Tory Channel. We anticipate that the new ferries will continue to use this route as well as the northern entrance as required. We are engaging with the Harbour Master as part of the process which includes discussing the use of Tory Channel for the new ships.

We are in the early design phase of the project, and are considering ship speeds, wake and emissions. We are aware of both the requirements in the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan and the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan regarding wave energy. The ships are being designed to comply with these requirements.

Emissions from the ships will comply with current international regulations, such as MARPOL Annex VI which addresses both discharges to air and discharges to water. The ship design will allow for progressive improvements to the power systems as technology develops.

We will make every effort to enhance the environment through the construction and future operation of the port. We will use industry best practice standards to minimise the environmental impact during construction, particularly in relation to water quality, aquatic ecology, effects on the coastal environment and protection of cultural values. We are taking expert advice on how to design and construct the project to ensure minimal adverse environmental impact.

Yes, access to Waitohi Wharf, Westshore and Shakespeare Bay will be minimally affected by the project. StraitNZ / Bluebridge will continue to operate from their existing terminal, marshalling areas and berths and will not be impacted by the project.

We haven’t confirmed our plans yet, but we will need to make some changes to the roading network to manage increased waits at rail crossings and other expected transport impacts.

We have shared some changes proposed as part of the Ferry Precinct Redevelopment and sought feedback on them from key stakeholders and the community. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport and KiwiRail are also looking at what additional transport changes might be needed to improve how people move around and through Waitohi/Picton.

We expect to complete this investigation work in the first quarter of next year, and will publish additional information then.

We don’t yet have details confirmed, but we are planning to improve the walking and cycling network and connections between the ferry terminal and the town and surrounding transport network. Pedestrian and cycling links are also being explored as part of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport and KiwiRail joint investigation.

The Coastal Pacific service will not be affected by the Ferry Precinct proposals.  The train station platform may be extended to improve the rail facilities at Waitohi Picton. The new terminal building will service both rail and ferry passengers.

 

The proposed project design has all ferry vehicle marshalling (including private vehicles) entering the Port at Lagoon Road. We expect we will have to make some changes to the local road layout to accommodate additional vehicles and longer trains carried by the new, larger ferries. The options we’re proposing are explained in the About the project section of our website.

We don’t expect the new ferries to be full as soon as they arrive, but they will allow for freight growth of around 50% over their expected 30-year life.

Cars and walk-on passengers are very seasonal. We expect numbers to remain fairly low in the winter and to increase significantly during the summer.

We expect the total number of passengers crossing the Cook Strait to increase by about 10% and that the new larger ferries will lead to more cars during the Christmas and Easter busy periods. These increases will occur over the next 30 years, and eventually individual sailings in peak periods could carry up to twice as many cars as today.

Yes – KiwiRail will work with Wellington Port company CentrePort to design and construct a new Interislander terminal and related infrastructure. This project is still in the feasibility stage.

We will refine our proposals after considering the consultation feedback and lodge the project’s consent applications.

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Transport network improvements

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail are looking at transport changes that might be needed to improve how people move around and through Waitohi/Picton.

Our task is to look at changes that may be needed in addition to transport changes already proposed as part of the larger Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct project. The Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct is proposing construction of an overbridge at the Dublin Street rail crossing along with changes at the Broadway crossing and the northern end of Market Street.

Our additional transport changes are proposed for the short, medium and long term.  We are currently building a case for these proposed transport changes through a ‘single stage business case’.  No decision on funding has been made but once the business case is completed, funding is likely to be applied for in stages.

We received a lot of community feedback about these changes at our recent Q&A events in Waitohi Picton and Blenheim and via the online feedback website. Feedback closed on Tuesday 3rd November and we expect to publish a feedback summary report towards the end of November.

In the meantime, you can view the comments we received via the online feedback site via the link below.

www.nzta.govt.nz/picton-transport-improvements

Waitohi Picton Ferry precinct selected for RMA fast tracking

On 16 June The government announced that the redevelopment of the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct is among the 11 projects named in the legislation designed to get New Zealanders back to work. Over the four-plus years it will take to redevelop the precinct, more than 200 full time jobs are expected to be created in direct construction employment at the top of the South Island and 100 jobs in indirect employment throughout the supply chain.

Click here for the Environment Minister David Parker’s media release announcing the projects selected for RMA fast tracking. Our June newsletter also has more information.

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