A Tale of Two Ports

Port of Tauranga has cracked the $100M net profit mark for the first time, underlining how efficient it has become as NZ’s largest port. The NZX-listed Mount Maunganui-based company also reported this week its long-term credit rating had been elevated from ‘BBB+’ to ‘A-‘ by credit rating agency Standard & Poors. The short-term rating was affirmed at ‘A-2’.

PoT’s market capitalisation hit $4.3bn in the wake of its latest result, a huge leap from the $78m at the time of its IPO in 1992. The company has provided a river of gold for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which retains 56% of the shares.

So why have other local bodies, which own ports, been so slow to follow the example of the BOP Council in partially privatising their port businesses and reaping the rewards?

Continue reading “A Tale of Two Ports”

Napier Port is in good health – but Jones will find regions in need of PGF injections

Shane Jones, in his role as Regional Economic Development Minister, has been showering money around the country so lavishly no-one would have been surprised if he had turned up this week in Parliament wearing Santa Claus’s gear.

The more cynical might argue he is buying (badly needed) votes for NZ First – though that would under-estimate the subtlety the old master Winston Peters brings to the game. The trick is to unlock donations to NZ First’s coffers from grateful industry beneficiaries: it worked a treat with the racing industry.

The problem for Jones in the coming year will be to identify where to place what’s left in the generously endowed – but nevertheless limited – Provincial Growth Fund.
Continue reading “Napier Port is in good health – but Jones will find regions in need of PGF injections”