Kaitiaki of the environment
Surrounded by water, and located at the base of Titirangi, we have a responsibility and a commitment to caring for and respecting the environment.
All our operations must follow detailed consent conditions. Every significant project has its own management plan. We carry out comprehensive environmental monitoring, which we regularly report on.
In 2019 we joined the Climate Leaders Coalition. Together with our parent company Eastland Group and our other business sectors, we are measuring and aiming to reduce our emissions.
Our team continue to work on a range of environmental initiatives to help improve the health and mauri of the moana, awa and whenua that surround us.
Our industry-leading and award-winning approach to port-related stormwater treatment is a world first.
The minute it starts raining, our stormwater treatment plants start working. Each one will continue reticulating the water until it's safe to release. We currently have two plants on port, with a third being planned as part of the Twin Berth project.
Our testing regime ensures our stormwater discharges not only meet, but exceed, the requirements of our resource consent.How does it work?
Creating a protected coastal habitat for kororā
The seawall, which runs along our southern log yard and rises up to seven metres high, is a vital line of defence for the port. In June 2021 we started a significant project to maintain and rebuild the seawall, to provide ongoing protection for the port against disruptive swells, large waves and erosion.
Penguin Management Plan
During the construction phase, a number of kororā (little blue penguins) were discovered in the area. In response, we engaged local ecologist Steve Sawyer to create a comprehensive penguin management plan covering the seawall and immediate surroundings at Kaiti Beach.
This plan was then reviewed by local iwi and hapū, Whaia Titirangi, the Department of Conservation and Gisborne District Council. It includes multiple actions to enhance the seawall habitat and protect the kororā.
A penguin exclusion fence has been installed to prevent kororā from entering the southern log yard and interacting with port operations. The fence will also act as a barrier for ferrets, which are known predators of kororā.
Several protected breeding/nesting burrows will be created on the seawall. These will be surrounded by low growing coastal plants and provide additional shade and shelter to prevent visiting kororā from over-heating in the summer months.
Accessibility at the bottom of the rock wall has been improved, to ensure penguins are able to get up the seawall around the boulders easily and find the nesting boxes and burrows.
Steve Sawyer highlights that, in his experience, kororā mortalities in Tairāwhiti have largely been attributed to both domestic dogs and ferrets. This pattern is recorded at other sites around New Zealand. The nesting area on the seawall is now protected from dogs behind a security fence. Signage has also been erected to raise awareness about kororā and encourage dog owners to keep their dog on a lead around the seawall area.
With help from Whaia Titirangi, a group of passionate Kaitiaki aiming to restore Titirangi, predator traps are being deployed and monitored along the seawall, Titirangi and Kaiti Beach.
The plan recognises that annual population monitoring of kororā will be vital in evaluating the success of the conservation efforts. A specialist dog and handler will be brought in to undertake kororā surveys along the seawall between September and October each year.
The locations of individuals and nesting pairs in the rock wall structure and penguin boxes will be recorded with GPS. A report will be produced annually and will include a summary of the number of pairs, breeding success, chick productivity to fledging, and include plans for the following season.
Cleaner awa and moana
Two Seabins in the inner marina help us collect and remove rubbish from the inner harbour. Eastland Port funded one; the other was donated by local woman Melissa Henry, who set up a Givealittle page to raise the funds. Her motivation for the project came after seeing litter in the ocean while out on a boat with her father.
A Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that filters water to collect rubbish, petroleum-based surface oils, detergents and micro plastics down to 2mm small. It’s powered by a small water pump and can catch an estimated 1.4 tonnes of debris per year. The water is then pumped back into the marina, leaving the litter and debris in the catch bag.
Our Seabins are used to teach local students about the impacts of pollutants on our oceans, and the importance of disposing of rubbish correctly.
Concrete recycling programme
We’ve invested in an excavator and crushing head which is saving tonnes of material from going to landfill. We’re crushing concrete and turning it into construction materials that will be used back at the port. It’s projects like these that are helping us to reduce carbon emissions and waste, and are part of our commitment to sound environmental practices.
Our work with Whaia Titirangi
Whaia Titirangi is a programme that has been built with a view of supporting, nurturing and assisting young kaitiaki on their journey as they follow their passion for the taiao and whenua. The Whaia Titirangi team are employed by Ngati Oneone via the Te Poho o Rawiri Marae, and have planted thousands of trees on Titirangi. Their ultimate goal is to have Titirangi (maunga/hill next to Eastland Port) predator free.
It is important to our team that we support the tremendous work Whaia Titirangi Kaitiaki have been doing on Titirangi. We have done a collaborative planting day on the Kopuawhakapata Stream where we donated mulch from the port and hundreds of plants. We have also sponsored 150 predator traps, an all-terrain-vehicle and trailer so they can transport equipment and plants more efficiently around the maunga. Whaia Titirangi are also assisting us with the monitoring of predator traps at our kororā habitat site.