Tauranga firm advises on major Port transaction

by Mackenzie McCarty30 Jun 2014
Tauranga firm Holland Beckett has announced it advised Port of Tauranga on its strategic alliance with Kotahi Logistics – a transaction which will see a significant increase in container volumes shipped through the Port.

The alliance, along with a separate long-term agreement between Kotahi and Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, marks yet another boost for New Zealand’s $95 billion international trade sector.

The Port of Tauranga announced the conclusion of containerised volume commitment agreements with Kotahi Logistics late last week. 

Holland Beckett partner, Mark Tingey, led the legal team for the Port of Tauranga in the documentation and completion of the arrangements with Kotahi. 

“Not only is the deal with Kotahi a significant step for the Port in becoming ‘big ship’ capable, it is also a significant step change for local businesses in Tauranga,” says Tingey. “The Port has always been a significant commercial driver for Tauranga and is serviced by a large number of local businesses from trucking companies through to logistics and other service industries.  Local business owners should be feeling pretty excited by this news as when the Port is doing well, local business also does well…It’s good to see that the Port has the confidence to use a local law firm in a transaction which has not only regional economic significance, but also at a national level for New Zealand Inc. as well.”

Holland Beckett regularly advises the Port on commercial and strategic matters and recently represented the Port in successfully obtaining resource consent for the deepening and widening of shipping channels in the Tauranga Harbour. 

The new volume commitments from Kotahi will allow the Port of Tauranga to undertake its consented dredging operations in the Tauranga shipping channels, thereby increasing the size of container vessels which are able to call at the Port.  These commitments will also see an increase in container volumes being transhipped through the Port of Timaru, which the Port of Tauranga has a significant strategic interest in.

Tingey was assisted by Ken Hawkes, who recently joined as special counsel to Holland Beckett.  Hawkes has recently returned to New Zealand after many years practicing as a partner with international law firm, White & Case. 

Kotahi is a joint venture between Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms and controls the shipping logistics of a significant proportion of the country's dairy and meat exports to international markets.