New cruise berth delayed

7:29 am on 3 March 2012

Port Lyttelton is delaying plans for a $20 million purpose-built cruise berth.

The port company has been reviewing all its development plans since the earthquake last February.

The estimated cost of the cruise berth has risen since then by about 40% to $20 million.

Chief executive Peter Davie says the decision to defer the start of the project has been difficult, but the port has to be financially responsible.

Mr Davie says a new facility would need to be completed by October, and the timeframe was looking increasingly challenging.

Some cruise liners have already decided to call at Akaroa for at least another year anyway.

Mr Davie says the cruise industry remains a priority for recovery of tourism in Canterbury, but the port is not prepared to take short cuts or risks with the design and construction.