Kaikoura quake: Long recovery ahead for damaged Wellington port

CentrePort's infrastructure is built on reclaimed land which sunk, buckled and liquefied in the quake (Newshub.)
CentrePort's infrastructure is built on reclaimed land which sunk, buckled and liquefied in the quake (Newshub.)

Wellington's port is facing a long road to recovery, with vast areas still out of action due to sunken land, liquefaction and damaged container cranes.

CentrePort is built on reclaimed land on Wellington Harbour and was significantly damaged in this month's 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has toured the site and says while parts of it are open, other parts will remain out of action indefinitely.

"They've got reclaimed land that's badly broken and has the liquefaction - not quite like we've seen in Christchurch but they've still got it," he says.

"They've got buildings that possibly may need to be moved."

Mr Bridges says the damage means the number of trucks on the road will increase.

"I think it will mean some changes in Wellington - it probably does mean a bit more freight in and out of Wellington and the lower North Island has to go by truck."

He says the port will benefit hugely from urgent laws being passed, allowing it to skirt resource consents.

Parts of the port are open including the ferry terminals and cruise ship terminals.

KiwiRail on Monday announced a new coastal shipping freight service called NZ Connect.

"The disruption to New Zealand's key supply route between Auckland and Christchurch will continue for many months as the rail and road links are rebuilt," KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said.

Newshub.