21 Apr 2011

Concern some ports can't handle cruise ship influx

8:21 pm on 21 April 2011

An advocacy group is concerned some of New Zealand's ports will not be able to handle an increase in larger ships as they prepare for a record cruise season.

Ninety-six cruise ships berthed 552 times at New Zealand ports during the season which started in October last year and finished earlier in April.

This coming season, 116 cruise ships are expected to make 690 calls, bringing 200,000 passengers. It is estimated they will spend $346 million.

Cruise New Zealand spokesperson Doug Colaco says more cruise ships are visiting Australia and continuing to New Zealand.

Mr Colaco says he is concerned ports such as Napier, Tauranga and Port Chalmers are already near-capacity and would need to improve their infrastructure to be able to handle the larger 300-metre plus ships.

Port Chalmers and the Port of Napier dispute Mr Calaco's claim, saying they are already well-equipped.