The port is at the base of Titirangi, where the Tūranganui River flows into the bay. It has been an important voyaging and trading area for many centuries. The port’s commercial history dates back to 1872, when the public wharf was gazetted. Find out more about the history of Eastland Port and the surrounding area on this page.


In order to move the port forward we must recognise its past. We must acknowledge that decisions made 150 years ago, when the port was established, did not respect the wishes or interests of everyone who lived here at the time.

The Twin Berth project encompasses our commitment to work more collaboratively and openly with hapū and iwi. We will ensure cultural values and relationships are considered and recognised throughout our developments. The integrity of Te Toka a Taiau will be preserved.

1872: The public wharf is gazetted, and the first harbour master and pilot are appointed in 1874.

1882: The Gisborne Harbour Board is established by an act of Parliament.

1885: The Harbour Board begins construction on a breakwater to improve access to the port.

1914: Gisborne Port is thriving and has the highest value of export per capita in New Zealand. Exports include meat, fish and locally grown produce.

1927: The river training wall and diversion channel are constructed to separate the river from the Kaiti Basin.

1931: The Kaiti Basin Harbour is completed.

1960s: 60% of New Zealand’s maize crop is grown on the Gisborne plains and fishing is a growth industry.

1967: The Wharf 7 overseas terminal is opened. The project includes an additional wharf on the breakwater, and the dredging of a turning circle to enable bigger vessels to berth.

1997: A second overseas shipping wharf is opened (now known as wharf 8).

2003: Gisborne District Council sells the port asset to the Eastland Community Trust (now Trust Tairāwhiti), who rename it Eastland Port.

2009: Eastland Port exports one million tonnes for the first time in a calendar year.

2018: Eastland Port achieves a record-breaking three million tonnes of cargo exported in a year.

2023: Eastland Port reintroduced container shipping after the region was devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle. Major damage to the roading network meant a solution was needed to get containers out of the region.