Buller District Council

Media Release- Westport Harbour

28th March, 2018

The Buller District Council will take over management of Westport Harbour and associated assets from its holding company Buller Holdings Ltd from April 3rd.

At its January meeting council resolved to enter into a sale and purchase agreement with Westport Harbour Limited to purchase land and improvements associated with the Port for their market valuation of $1,340,000.  Port operations will be reviewed again in July.

Next month, former Harbourmaster Mike Graham will return in a part time role along with former administrator Jackie Mathers as Port Manager/Administrator.    Two additional staff, providing marine support and maintenance will be engaged on an “as needed” basis.

Council Chief Executive Andy Gowland-Douglas said she was pleased to be able to recruit two experienced people to manage the port with the ultimate aim of a “cost neutral” situation for ratepayers.   “There will be a cost to ratepayers of retaining an operational port, but both Mike and Jackie are very keen to try and make it work” she said.   “Both of them feel there are opportunities worth pursuing and they have a desire to provide a safe and viable future for both current and future port users”.

Ms Gowland-Douglas said she realised there had been some angst regarding the operational and navigational safety of the port without a Harbourmaster and hoped that the appointment of Mr Graham would help alleviate those concerns.  “Mike has a large health and safety component attached to his role and it’s something he feels strongly about.   I have no doubt he will work to ensure we have as safe an operation as possible” she said.


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