RECOVERY or new development was a key question for kiwi authorities as they came to grips with the massive task of dealing with a severely damage Port of Lyttelton following the 2011 earthquake.

The quake epicentre was just 4km from the port and caused massive damage to infrastructure including administration offices, container handling facilities and access roads.

Jarod Pettersson, director of Christchuch environmental consultancy Enviser Ltd, provided advice at the time and this week spoke at seminar in Hobart organised by the International Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure.


He described recovery efforts as “a long and winding road” and the need to answer “what does recovery look like?”

He said the choice was between rebuilding the facilities “as they were” prior to the earthquake “or should it deliver an enhanced port”.

“The big question there was, if this is not going to be just a rebuild, would the community see it as recovery or would they see it as something else?

“And what about getting approval?”

Ultimately Port of Lyttelton decided that “recovery should be more than a rebuild” and to use insurance money to set the port up for the future via the NZ$900m Port to the East project.

“Port to the East was basically shifting port operations eastwards, further away from town and relied on creation of a new container terminal,” he said.