Refining NZ

The Project

In March-April 1976 a lichen monitoring study commenced with the aims of providing ecological information on lichen populations within several kilometres of the Marsden Point Oil Refinery. The results have provided a long-term record of lichen populations, a highly sensitive bioindicator of air quality, particularly sulphur dioxide. Bioresearches’ lichen study enabled the evaluation of possible effects of sulphur dioxide emissions from the Refinery, and is one of the longest running studies of its kind in New Zealand. 

For the Crude Freight Project, Bioresearches’ assisted NZ Refinery with its consents to deepen and realign Whangarei Harbour’s entrance to better provide for new-generation super-sized ‘suezmax’ tankers. The project, which involves dredging 3.7 million m3 of harbour sediment, is expected to have positive economic and environmental impacts on Whangarei and Northland.

Bioresearches undertook coastal bird surveys that included 124 hourly counts and habitat use records at nine locations (2015-2017 inclusive), breeding season surveys and little penguin surveys conducted during daylight hours and at dusk. The significance of habitats and mitigation were determined for both coastal and pelagic species. Evidence was presented at a hearing in 2018 and mitigation and monitoring measures proposed by Bioresearches were accepted in full by the commissioners.

Key details


Marsden Point Refinery: Ecological effects, survey and monitoring
New Zealand Refining Company Ltd.
1976 - 2018

Project team

Delivery partners we worked with
Refining NZ