In November 2012 the Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee announced the next step in the investigation of Clifford Bay as a South Island ferry terminal.

The Minister said he considers the business case to be strong enough to justify further testing of the viability of a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay. The assumptions around the commercial parameters in the business case will be tested with key stakeholders.

Read Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee's media statement here(external link).

Clifford Bay investigation report

The Ministry of Transport-led project team has completed its evaluation of a privately funded South Island ferry terminal at Clifford Bay.

Read more about the report here.

Commercial Director appointed

The Ministry has appointed Andrew Robertson as the commercial director of the Clifford Bay project.

Mr Robertson was born and raised in Southland and studied at Otago University receiving a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance. He is a management consultant specialising in strategy and finance, business development, operations management and change management in infrastructure and energy. His previous experience includes accountability for corporate strategy, offshore renewable energy development, acquisitions, and the venture subsidiary portfolio of a major New Zealand energy business. 

Questions and Answers

What is involved in the next step for the Clifford Bay investigation?

The government considers the business case to be strong enough to engage in further consideration of the project’s potential feasibility. The further consideration will involve testing assumptions around the commercial parameters in the business case with key stakeholders.

Who will be involved?

The Ministry of Transport, the Treasury and the NZ Transport Agency will work through the complexities of the business case. The Ministry will engage external expertise as required. The Ministry is expected to report back to the Minister later this year.

What does the Ministry expect to deliver the Minister?

The Ministry expects to deliver a report that includes advice and recommendations. The Minister will consider the Ministry of Transport’s report and make a decision on what action to take next.

What would a decision to proceed with a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay involve?

In short, if a decision to proceed past the current phase is taken it will involve progressing complex commercial, environmental and engineering discussions and negotiations. A framework for such progress would involve the development of an Information Memorandum inviting Expressions of Interest and a Requests for Proposal process. Resource consents would also have to be processed.

A timeline of possible events is included in the background information section below.

This process seems to be taking a long time, why is this?

The business case for a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay contains complex considerations and the government is willing to take the appropriate amount of time to work through these matters.

The government is aware of the potential impact on the New Zealand transport network, and in particular on the Marlborough region, and therefore expects a thorough investigation of all matters.

Why did the Minister meet with stakeholders before he released his media statement?

Minister Brownlee met with key stakeholders before making a public announcement to more directly inform them of the decision to proceed with the next stage.

Background information

The following link contains background information about the investigation of the viability of a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay. It focuses on events since early 2011 up until the Minister’s decision to test assumptions around the commercial parameters in the business case. The information also offers a timeline of events including a possible future scenario if a decision to build the ferry terminal is taken. The timeline is designed to illustrate the work involved in the consideration of a significant new infrastructure asset and to give indicative timeframes for each stage.

Background information on the investigation of Clifford Bay as a South Island ferry terminal.