Back on 20 August 2019, on the day of Napier Port’s IPO – its entry to the public marketplace – the Port’s opening price was set at $2.60. Many in the community bought in.

Today, two years later to the day, Napier Port’s shares are selling at $3.21 – that’s a gain of almost 24% over two years. A better gain over the period than the vaunted Port of Tauranga.

Two years that included our initial Covid-19 lockdown, a collapse of cruise ship business, a massive Covid-induced disruption to global shipping affecting our in-bound supply chains and outbound exports that shows no sign of abating soon.

BayBuzz understands some of the region’s primary producers – the sector that has held the region’s economy afloat – are organising private charter ships for the next growing season.

In the midst of all this the Port has managed volume growth, progressed 6 Wharf (the initial trigger for the IPO), and launched a major programme with iwi to protect the Hawke Bay marine environment. And grown to a market cap of $644 million, up from $520 million at listing.

Currently the Port is taking heat for its handling of the proposed ‘inland port’ in Whakatu (now delayed five years or more), and over concerns expressed about the extent of Covid vaccinations amongst its employees.

On the latter point, the Port has now reported to BayBuzz:

“We know that 100% of NP frontline employees (Tier 1A) are vaccinated. We know this because we’ve been a part of it and facilitated it – we’ve helped administer/organise it, we’ve encouraged people to get vaccinated at work, given time off to do it, have support in place for anyone who may feel unwell following vaccination, set up information sessions and a fit-for-purpose venue on port to make it as easy as possible.

“We estimate as a company, 85% of all NP employees are vaccinated. Again we know this based on how many people we have organised vaccination appointments for – but as discussed previously, only the MoH from the outset has held individual’s personal, confidential health information.”

Not a bad vaccination bar for other Hawke’s Bay enterprises to meet.

And, all in all, not a bad two years for Napier Port in spite of ill winds and a lingering sore at Whakatu.

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