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images 10 1851

The 500ft long Wynyard Pier in Official Bay was completed

1852 loading cargo

Work began on the first Queen Street Wharf.

bullet 1958

Shaw, Savill and Company was formed to trade with New Zealand. Their first ship to travel the route was the Avalanche and arrived in Auckland in September, 94 days after leaving London.

bullet 1863

On February 7th, The worst maritime disaster in New Zealand history took place when the HMS Orpheus, a 1,700 ton steam corvette hit the middle bank at 1.30pm. At 9pm the mast where most of the crew had taken cover went over board and only 70 out of 250 survived. This highlighted the limitations of the port of Onehunga even though it is over 100 miles shorter to sail from Onehunga to Sydney than from Auckland.

images 5 1871

The Provincial Council pass the Auckland Harbour Act which made provision for a harbour board of 13 members.

bullet 1873

The New Zealand Shipping Company was formed to create competition with the other two major traders, Albion and Shaw, Savill.

images 5 1875

The Auckland Harbour Foreshore Act was introduced and gave the board over 5,000 acres of the Waitemata harbour bed.

bullet 1882

The first successful shipment of frozen mutton to London on Albion Line's ship Dunedin started a revolution in the sheep farming industry and the development of the frozen meat export industry.

bullet 1886

The reclamation between Custom House Street and Quay Street was completed. In the course of the reclamation, Point Britomart was completely dug away.

bullet 1888 Calliope dry dock

Calliope Dock was opened on the North Shore for large vessels. Designed to take vessels up to 500 feet. The dock was the largest in the southern hemisphere and had taken three years to complete. The customhouse is built.

bullet 1901

Freemans Bay reclamation was completed. The 23-acre area was then leased to the City Council which developed the area into a recreation ground, Victoria Park.

bullet 1904

Mr W. H. Hamer submitted a plan for the future of the Port. It involved reclamations west of Queen Street and westwards to Point Campbell. The old timber wharfs were to be replaced by new concrete ones and provision was made for further wharves which could be built if needed. Construction began with a £1.5 million loan.

bullet 1907

The Ferry Jetty was completed and in use.

images 6 1908

The Railway Wharf was replaced by Kings Wharf. This was the first ferro-concrete wharf to be built in Auckland. Other wharfs like Queens Wharf, Northern Wharf and Central Wharf followed. Alongside the construction of these new wharfs came the need to deepen the berthage areas to be able to take the larger steamers that were coming to Auckland.

bullet 1910

The walls of the Freemans Bay reclamation north of Victoria Park were completed. The first electric crane was erected on Railway Wharf.

image 4 1912 Auckland Gerry Building


The ferry building was built.

bullet 1913

The responsibility of the Manukau Harbour and the Port of Onehunga transferred from the Marine Department to the Auckland Harbour Board.

bullet 1921 princes wharf


Start of the construction of Princes wharf.

bullet 1925

The railway from Auckland to Whangarei was completed. This, and the completion of the Tauranga line in 1927 saw a drop in passengers and cargo being transported by coastal vessels.

bullet 1931

Despite the Depression, the Western Reclamation and the extension of the Western Wharf were completed.

bullet 1950s

Pallet boards introduced to make cargo and handling easier. Cargo was placed on the pallets, lifted to the wharf and then moved by fork lift to suitable areas. This led to the development of "units", the packaging of cargo into small regular size containers.

bullet 1950 Auckland Ferries under Bridge

The Harbour Board called tenders for the construction of the Import Wharf parallel to the Export Wharf on the Eastern reclamation. When fully operational the Import Wharf, later renamed Jellicoe Wharf, used 17 five-ton cranes.

bullet 1961

The Freyberg Wharf was completed.

bullet 1963

The floating crane Hikinui was delivered.

bullet 1971 First Container Terminal

The Harbour Board built the Fergusson Container Terminal (now called Axis Fergusson) after the British line P&O announced that it would begin to ship cargoes in containers (approximately 6.1m by 2.4m by 2.4m). Although it was opened in 1971, the first container vessel did not arrive in Auckland until June 1973.

bullet 1980s

The responsibility for the Calliope dry dock was taken over by the Royal New Zealand Navy.

bullet 1982

Onehunga opens a container terminal.

bullet 1985 The Container Train

As cargoes increased, the Bledisloe and Kings Wharves were amalgamated and redeveloped to make the Bledisloe Wharf (now Axis Bledisloe) container terminal. In July the Rainbow Warrior was sunk in her berth at Marsden Wharf by bombs planted by French agents.

bullet 1988

Ports of Auckland Ltd bought Auckland Harbour Board's land and assets for a mix of cash and equity, amounting to about $250 million. 100 percent of Port of Auckland's shares were listed on the NZSE with 80 percent held by the Auckland Regional Authority (and not traded) and 20 percent held by the Waikato Regional Council.

bullet 1989 container terminal

The Fergusson Container Terminal handles more than 130,000 containers annually. Waterfront Industry Reform Act and the Waterfront Industry Restructuring Act passed.

bullet 1992

Dredging began in Manukau Harbour to allow larger ships to enter Onehunga Port.

bullet 1996 Auckland Harbour Bridge

Onehunga Port becomes a 24-hour operation.

bullet 1998

Infrastructure Auckland was created to manage the ARC's investment portfolio, including the Ports of Auckland shareholding, and the other assets and funds previously held by ARST.

bullet 2002

Ports of Auckland opened its first inland port at East Tamaki allowing the company to extract further efficiencies in the supply chain.

bullet 2004 Aerial view of the Ports 2005

Ports of Auckland commenced a project to dredge up to one million cubic metres from the commercial shipping lane in Rangitoto Channel in order to widen the tidal window for these new, deeper-draught container ships.

© The University of Auckland Business School