26 January 2023
The upgrade of KiwiRail’s Kaiwharawhara Wellington Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process in what is a major milestone for the project.
KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the project to redevelop the Interislander terminal precinct at Kaiwharawhara.
“This project will provide a significant improvement to the current facilities, including a new Interislander terminal building and wharf to accommodate the two new purpose-built and greener Interislander ferries that will be delivered from 2025.
This project is part of an $8.6 billion Government investment in KiwiRail rail and ferry infrastructure to seamlessly carry people and freight from one end of the country to the other. The transformation of the Interislander will be a win-win for the economy, the environment and the tourism sector,” says Mr Reidy.
The two new ferries will be kinder on the environment, reducing Interislander’s carbon emissions by 40 per cent as the old fleet is phased out. Reductions will progressively increase to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by increasing battery capacity and using cleaner fuels.
The project will include a new terminal building and wharf at Kaiwharawhara, commercial and private vehicle marshalling areas and an upgraded railyard. Ground improvements under the terminal building and ramps behind the seawall will increase its resilience to earthquakes and sea-level rise.
The current fleet of Interislander ferries are nearing the end of their working lives and will be replaced by the two larger rail-enabled ferries.
These new vessels will be able to carry twice as many passengers as the current fleet, provide 300 per cent more rail capacity, and almost double the number of trucks and other vehicles. The new diesel-electric hybrid ferries are being purpose-built for the Cook Strait crossing.
“This project will help support New Zealand’s transition to a low-emission, resilient future that benefits job creation, the economy and the environment,” Mr Reidy says.
The main construction work on the terminal redeveloped is scheduled to start by mid-2023.
The approval was granted by an independent panel - 012423 - final decision (epa.govt.nz)