Port Revitalisation Project

Port revitalisation hero image

Project update coming soon

The revitalisation of Whanganui's Port, located at the mouth of Whanganui River, is important for economic development locally, and to future-proof Whanganui as it continues to grow in population and attract more people who expect modern facilities and protection of unique natural surroundings, such as an historic river port.

In its 2019/20 Annual Plan, Whanganui District Council decided to bring funding for port redevelopment forward to 2019/20 and to increase it further by $6.2M – giving a total of $12.3 million in 2019/20 for infrastructure requirements currently needed for port users. Additional funding of $12.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund will provide combined funding of $24.5 million for port infrastructure development at the port. This funding also takes into consideration the cost to protect the health, well-being and function of the Whanganui River.

This port infrastructure development includes rebuilding of 420 linear metres of commercial port wharves including the replacement of Wharf 2 and Wharf 3. The associated development of a purpose-built Whanganui Port Marine Precinct includes the construction of a boat launch infrastructure to accommodate New Zealand’s second largest boat hoist with a capacity of 300 tonnes.

Deep water access to the port will be secured by the dredging of the commercial port basin, with options for the port to acquire purpose built dredging equipment to maintain depths within the port

This proposed infrastructure will not only support current marine services and coastal shipping and freight services, but encourage potential tenants in the marine industry as well as from the seafood harvesting and processing sector to consider co-locating and investing in the port.

In 2016, the Council received government funding through Accelerate 25, the Whanganui-ManawatÅ« regional growth study, to develop a plan for revitalising the port area.


A new governance model will ensure the revitalisation of Whanganui’s Port takes place in a way that includes the whole community and recognises the new legal status of the Whanganui River under the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017.

The local government and private projects to strengthen the port’s retaining structures and physical infrastructure, will now be combined, under shared governance, as a community-led project called Te Puwaha (the outlet or river mouth).

Under the Te Awa Tupua Act, a set of innate values called Tupua Te Kawa, must guide all decision making in respect of the Whanganui River. 

Memorandum on the implications of proposed Whanganui Port and River dredging(PDF, 841KB) 06/6/2017
Whanganui Port Vessel Navigation Report 30 June 2017(PDF, 806KB) 30/6/2017
Marine Zone Reference Group Minutes 7 June 2017(PDF, 187KB)  07/6/2017
Recreation Zone Reference Group minutes 7 June 2017(PDF, 162KB)  07/6/2017
Freight and Logisitics Special Interest Group minutes 7 June 2017(PDF, 171KB) 07/6/2017
Freight and Logisitics Special Interest Group Minutes 4 May 2017(PDF, 215KB)  01/6/2017
Freight and Logisitics Special Interest Group Meeting 10 April 2017(PDF, 133KB)  01/6/2017
Freight and Logistics Special Interest Group Meeting 19 April 2017(PDF, 108KB)  12/5/2017
Midwest Ferries - Feasibility Study - Whanganui to Motueka Service Final Report - 5 May 2017(PDF, 2MB)  05/5/2017
Freight and Logistics Special Interest Group Meeting (Formerly Midwest Ferries Special Interst Group) 3 April 2017(PDF, 117KB)  04/4/2017
Minutes - Zone 1 - Marine Zone Reference Group - Meeting 4 - 17 March 2017(PDF, 145KB) 17/3/2017
Minutes - Zone 2 - Recreation Zone Reference Group - Meeting 3 - 16 March 2017(PDF, 150KB)   16/3/2017
Freight and Logistics Special Interest Group Meeting 1 February 2017 (Formerly Midwest Ferries Special Interest Group)(PDF, 85KB)   01/2/2017
Whanganui Port Revitalisation Master Plan(PDF, 5MB)   22/12/2016
Minutes of Community meeting - 20 December 2016 at Concert Chamber(PDF, 342KB) 20/12/2016
Minutes - Zone 1 - Meeting 3 - Marine Reference Group - 20 December 2016(PDF, 332KB) 20/12/2016
Minutes - Zone 2 - Recreation Zone Reference Group - 19 December 2016(PDF, 385KB) 19/12/2016
Minutes - Zone 1 Marine Reference Group - 7 November 2016(PDF, 2MB)   07/11/2016
Minutes - Zone 2 - Recreation Zone Reference Group - 7 November 2016(PDF, 494KB) 07/11/2016
Minutes - Freight and Logisitics Special Interest Group (Formerly Midwest Ferries Special Interest) - 4 November 2016(PDF, 335KB)   04/11/2016
Minutes - Zone 6 Education and Training - 2 November 2016(PDF, 119KB)   02/11/2016
Minutes - Zone 1 Marine Reference Group - 1 November 2016(PDF, 120KB)   01/11/2016
Reference Group Workshop Presentation(PDF, 5MB)  18/10/2016

Defining terms used within the Port Revitalisation Programme

Portfolio hierarchy


A project is a temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products. Usually a set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period to achieve a set of objectives.


A temporary flexible organisation structure created to co-ordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities.

  • Programmes are typically completed in several tranches over an extended period to achieve outcomes that are greater than the sum of the parts. 
  • Programmes are about managing change with a strategic vision and a roadmap of how to get there. They are able to deal with uncertainty and complex inter-relationships in a dynamic environment by being flexible.


All the programmes and stand-alone projects being undertaken by an organisation, a group of organisations, or an organisational unit.


Community of interest

A community of people who share a common interest and exchange thoughts about it.

Reference group

Specific groups of people gathered to provide a balanced, representative view of the community as well as relevant insights, knowledge and expertise on a zone-by-zone basis to ultimately help determine a masterplan for Whanganui Port. 

The reference groups will remain closely involved in the masterplanning process over the lifetime of the Port Revitalisation Programme.

Special interest group

A group of people with a particular interest in one area, for example: Castlecliff, Whanganui–Motueka Ferry.

Feasibility stages 

Scoping study

A preliminary study to define the scope of a project – literally: “What could it be?”

Pre-feasibility study

“What should it be?” Pre-feasibility studies usually include a range of options for the technical and economic aspects of a project and are used to justify continued exploration, to complete the required project permitting or to attract a joint venture partner.

Feasibility study

“What will it be?” As the name implies, a feasibility study is used to determine the viability of an idea. 

The objective of such a study is to ensure a project is legally and technically feasible and economically justifiable. It tells us whether a project is worth the investment.

Decision points

Strategic assessment

Outlines the strategic fit and the drivers of change.

Decision: Confirms the need to invest and to proceed to business case development.

Indicative business case

Makes the case for change, explores the preferred way forward and shortlists options.

Decision: Confirms the case for change, the proposed way forward and to proceed to a detailed business case.

Detailed business case

Determines potential value for money, prepares for the potential deal, ascertains affordability and funding, and plans for successful delivery.

Decision: Confirms the way forward, to formally approach the market and prepare implementation of a business case.

Information memorandum

A document used generally in the financing of projects to define the work and to detail its financing arrangements.


  • Zone 1: Todd Street – Marine industry
  • Zone 2: Wharf Street – Recreation and community users
  • Zone 3: Morrison Street – Industrial
  • Zone 4: Heads Road – Industrial and storage
  • Zone 5: Taupō Quay – Commercial
  • Zone 6: Training and education services as it relates to the precinct  

Masterplan and maps

The draft masterplan for the Whanganui Port Revitalisation Programme incorporates ideas from the four reference groups and the public.

Business registration

For businesses who are interested in registering their business with the Whanganui Port Revitalisation Programme please fill out this form.