This ship is carrying a load of Aluminum Ore (imported from Australia) to the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. Though this smelter provides NZ$3.65 billion worth of economic benefit to the New Zealand economy, there are hidden complications related to this industry. The facility is the largest electricity consumer in New Zealand, and uses approximately one third of the total power of the South Island and 15% of the total power countrywide. Most of this electricity (up to 610MW) is supplied by the hydroelectric Manapouri Power Station located in Fiordland National Park. The original plans for this power station, which included flooding of Lakes Manapouri and Te Anua, were shut down by one of the first nationwide environmental campaigns in New Zealand. Even though the lakes were never flooded, there is still concern today about the ecological affects of the excess freshwater that the power station pumps in to Patea (Doubtful Sound).
Alan F. Mark, Keith S. Turner, Carol J. West. "Integrating Nature Conservation with Hydro-Electric Development: Conflict Resolution with Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand." Lake and Reservoir Management. Vol. 17, Iss. 1, 2001