About the port > Our Environment


Nelson, like many cities, grew up around its port. 160 years later this puts a modern 24-hour port operation alongside industrial and residential neighbours.



Port Nelson works hard to reduce the impact of its activities on the local and global environment.                                                                                                                                                                             Telarc Registration Marks ENVIRONMENT ISO 14001 2015

Consultation is vital and the Port Nelson Environment Consultative Committee
was set up in 1994 to work with environmental groups, residents, Auckland Point School, port lessees, exporters, operators, the Department of Conservation and the Nelson City Council. 
This group oversees implementation of the Environmental Management Plan and considers issue
such as noise, water and air quality and hears from experts on topics like bio-security.

Residents wishing to get involved with the committee please contact:

Kelly Leonard, Environmental Officer

Direct Dial: 03 539 3861

Email: kelly.leonard@portnelson.co.nz


Previous Minutes to the regular meetings can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

PNECC Meeting Minutes 11 July 2018 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 11 October 2017 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 14 June 2017 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 27 February 2017 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 8 June 2016 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 9 March 2016 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 2 December 2015 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 9 September 2015 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 10 June 2015 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 11 March 2015 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 27 November 2014 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 11 June 2014 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 4 December 2013 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 18 September 2013 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 19 June 2013 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 20 December 2012 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 26 September 2012 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 4 April 2012 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 21 September 2011 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 15 June 2011 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 15 March 2011 (pdf)

PNECC Meeting Minutes 14 December 2011 (pdf)


The Port Nelson Environmental Management Plan sets environmental policies and Codes of Practice for Port Nelson and other operators in the port area. First published in 1996, the activities it covers are regularly reviewed and audited to ensure compliance. As a non-regulatory authority the port company depends on (and receives) excellent cooperation from others to achieve its environmental objectives. Effort, investment, cooperation, research, education and communication are vital in meeting the aims of the Port Nelson Environmental Management Plan.


Environmental Issues Register

The Environmental Issues Register is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week hotline with follow up procedures in place to ensure all environmental calls from the community are registered and dealt with promptly and effectively. The noise calls relate to ships’ generators, ships’ extractor fans, general machinery operations, and container noise. Port Nelson has conducted awareness programs with machinery operators to help them reduce noise. The port has targeted noisy vessels and now berths these ships away from residential areas, where possible.

Port Nelson has taken positive steps towards reducing the severity and frequency of dust related issues also. Monitoring of dust-prone areas has been done and Codes of Practice are in place to prevent dust problems, and improve the response time of the water truck that damps down dusty areas.



In 2007 we became the first port in New Zealand to receive accreditation against this internationally recognised standard for continuous improvement in environmental management. Regular audits keep us on track with continuous improvement and meeting our objectives for managing the most significant environmental aspects of our operation.   



Port Nelson is leading the way in best practice in fumigation by requiring that all fumigations are recaptured. This provides the best outcome for both staff safety and protection of the ozone layer. More information is found in the code of practice for fumigation which can be downloaded in the Environmental Management Plan.



Dredging is required annually at Port Nelson to maintain publicised depths at berths, basins, channels and entrances in the port area. Under our Resource Consent, granted by the Environment Court, dredging occurs at six locations across the port, these are;

• the outer channel (extends from harbour entrance to 1.8 kilometres into Tasman Bay)
• the entrance rocks
• the inner harbour channels
• the Dixon Basin approach channel
• Dixon Basin
• shipping berths

The type of dredge used is predominantly a trailer suction, however, a backhoe dredge is used to excavate rocks and hard material.  Both of these are contracted from outside Nelson.

Over the past 10 years, Port Nelson Ltd has dredged on average 50,000 cubic metres of material per year.  This material is disposed at an approved dump ground in the Tasman Bay, sited approximately 3.5 kilometres west of the harbour entrance.

Dredging is monitored regularly to ensure environmental integrity is maintained, and resource consent requirements are being adhered to. This monitoring, by the Cawthron Institute, covers both hydrological, biological and chemical testing of the disposal site and dredged material. Cawthron reports indicate no significant adverse effects from dredging at Port Nelson.


Calwell Slipway Remediation Project

Learn more about this project by visiting our dedicated website - https://www.csrp.co.nz/

QuayConnect - Green Ribbon Award Winner



Noise Management

The 24 hour operation of the Port is vital to the Nelson economy and that is why PNL works extremely hard at managing it's operations to minimise and reduce noise.

Read more