Company History


Start writing about almost any place on the coast of New Zealand and it’s not long before a historic figure steps into the picture – Captain James Cook.

In the picture of the Port of Napier, James Cook made the first faint stroke of the brush, when, on 14 October 1769, his ship ‘Endeavour’ stood off the Napier bluff after a run down the coast from Portland Island at the northern extremity of what later became known as Hawke Bay.

Whilst Napier was declared a Customs Port of Entry in 1855, it wasn’t until The Napier Harbour Board Act, 21 October 1875 was passed before the Napier Harbour Board was born. Many acrimonious discussions were held over a period of years on the viability of moving the port from the Ahuriri spit to its current location, beneath Bluff Hill.  The decision to move followed a public poll held in January 1885.  The completion of the initial breakwater in 1886 was the birth of the deep water port as we know it today.

The Port of Napier Ltd was born of port and waterfront legislative reform of 1988 – 89, which spelt the end of Napier Harbour Board as an entity.


Milestones Achieved





 21st Century