Shipping schedules Marinas

Port Marlborough is pleased to hear the decision from Marlborough District Council, confirming the council will raise the loan to finance Port Marlborough’s share of the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment, subject to a number of conditions.

CEO of Port Marlborough Rhys Welbourn said:

“This is a significant milestone in a significant project: not just for Picton and Marlborough but for the whole of New Zealand.

The redevelopment of the Picton Ferry Precinct will better connect the ferry precinct with the town, will create more employment opportunities, will see the redevelopment of the Picton terminal building and surrounds, and will renew the Waitohi culverts to improve flood protection for residents. The project also adds much-needed resilience to New Zealand’s north-south connection and delivers environmental benefits in terms of decarbonisation of the supply chain.

Our project team are looking forward to engaging with mana whenua and the community as we move into the detailed design and delivery phase of the project.”

More information about the project is available on the project website here and today’s statement from the Marlborough District Council is in full below.


Media Statement


Date:                     7 March 2022

Contact:               Glyn Walters on 021 278 6858



Council approves loan for Waitohi Picton ferry precinct redevelopment

At a special Council meeting on Friday, Marlborough District Councillors decided to raise a loan of up to $110 million and on-lend it to Port Marlborough to finance its share of the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment, subject to a number of conditions.

Mayor John Leggett said after considering public submissions, Councillors had decided that the best option was for the Council to raise the loan through its existing arrangement with the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency, which specialises in financing the local government sector.

“If Port Marlborough had sought financing through private lending, the interest rate would have been quite a lot higher. That means it would have taken longer to service the loan and also lowered the dividends the Council receives from the Port each year,” he said.

“I want the public to know that this is a very good deal for Marlborough ratepayers and residents. The loan will not increase rates or costs for ratepayers. In fact it will do the opposite and progressively increase the Port dividend paid to Council by up to $3 million a year for the next 10 years, and see the loan repaid within 30 years.”

The decision to go ahead with the loan was subject to:

  • Council being satisfied with the legal agreements between KiwiRail and Port Marlborough;
  • the agreement of KiwiRail to fund the Dublin Street overbridge (less any subsidy from Waka Kotahi NZTA); and
  • agreement being reached between KiwiRail, Port Marlborough and Council on the upgrade of the Waitohi River culverts.

Mayor Leggett said the new ferries and the redeveloped ferry precinct will bring significant benefits to Waitohi Picton and the wider Marlborough community.

“The new ferry precinct will strengthen Waitohi Picton as the gateway to the South Island and hub for the Marlborough Sounds. It will improve connections with State Highway 1 and will enable KiwiRail to carry more freight in and out of the South Island.”

He noted the Cook  Strait  crossing  is  a  strategic  national  asset  connecting  the  North  and  South  islands, providing the vital key for New Zealand’s freight, transport and tourism infrastructure.

“The  ferries  are  also  significant  economically  for  Marlborough  and  the upper  South  Island.  Each  year,  the  Cook  Strait  ferries  operate  over  6,000  services,  transport  over  one  million  passengers, 400,000 cars and up to three million lane metres of freight. Those numbers are forecast to increase.”

“They also provide a tourism experience bringing in money, visitors and supporting jobs in Waitohi Picton. Freight tonnage in New Zealand is expected to increase significantly and KiwiRail sees the rail network playing a role in supporting this growth.”

“I look forward to seeing this exciting project take shape,” he said.

Twenty six submissions from the public were received. The consultation period ran from 17 December 2021 to 4 February 2022 and included hearings.

The meeting was not open to the public because the Council needed to continue without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations) as provided for under Section 7(2)(i) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

However, all the non-commercially sensitive information from the meeting is available at

(The full website link is:

For more information about the ferries project, visit