Stoney Creek Shipping Company Ltd, which supplies the necessities of life for the 60-odd residents of isolated Pitcairn Island, has based its vessels out of Tauranga's Marine Precinct waterfront for 14 years.
But with the long delayed Marine Precinct development now having made it into the Tauranga City Council's draft annual plan, company owner Nigel Jolly has concerns over whether his two vessels will remain welcome in the port.
"We'd like to stay here, although many people would like us to move," said Mr Jolly.
"They seem to feel our boat is too big for where we are."
However, TCC Marine Precinct project manager Anthony Averill said he hoped the company's vessels could still be accommodated under the new structure.
Stoney Creek berthed two vessels in the precinct waterfront, the 49m MV Claymore II and the 39m MV Braveheart. The company had been servicing Pitcairn Island since 2002 and four years ago won the British Government contract as the sole supply ship for the former Bounty mutineers' haven. The MV Claymore II sails to Pitcairn in February, May, August and and November.
Each voyage involved a 60-day round trip that included shuttling visitors from Mangareva in French Polynesia to Pitcairn once the ship had been unloaded.
The MV Braveheart had a Department of Conservation contract to service Raoul Island in the Kermadecs, and was regularly chartered to groups in the Pacific and in the Antarctic, where its contracts have included supporting the film crew that made the movie Happy Feet. Except for the DoC, all of its contracts were with overseas entities, said Mr Jolly.
"I would hope we can still host Nigel's vessels on our main wharf," said Mr Averill. "I am working on a few options for creating more berth space at the current wharf and also in the new precinct concept."
Mr Jolly was a longtime resident of Palmerston North, although he recently bought a house in Tauranga and the company rented a large warehouse in the city.
He noted that in between the ships' charter schedules, the company spent money in Tauranga maintaining the vessels.
"We're here because it suits us," said Mr Jolly.
"We've got another four years on the current Pitcairn Island contract. All our cargo for Pitcairn comes down from Auckland. If it doesn't suit us to remain, we will more than likely move to Whangarei."
Because the vessels were large, but relatively small compared to those that used the Port of Tauranga's container facilities, it would be difficult to find alternative berthing in Tauranga if they had to move.
"This site would appear to be the only option outside of the Port of Tauranga facilities," said Mr Averill, who noted the business they brought to the city.
"Hence we would work to try and accommodate these vessels as best we can. I would hope the new Marine Precinct will make it easier for these vessels to continue to do business in Tauranga."