Watch: Gargantuan Chinese cranes welcomed with a waiata in Auckland

Three gargantuan cranes that have just arrived from China were given a welcome fit for a dignitary this morning at Ports of Auckland.

A waiata rang out and a crowd gathered as a ship carrying the machinery inched towards the dock, ending its three-week journey by sea from Shanghai.

The 82.3-metre-tall, 2100-tonne contraptions - taller than the Auckland Harbour Bridge and many city-centre high-rises - will allow Ports of Auckland to offload shipping containers more efficiently.

"We need bigger, faster cranes so we can keep up with Auckland's growth," Ports of Auckland spokesman Matt Ball said in a statement earlier this week. "The ships that bring our goods from overseas are getting bigger, so we need to make sure we can handle them."

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The cranes, nearly twice the weight of the port's current machinery, are the first in the world with the capability to lift multiple shipping containers of different heights at the same time.

The machinery, which will be put to use at Ports of Auckland, is anchored offshore until Friday. Source: 1 NEWS

The machinery, a first for New Zealand in its size and capability, was given a ceremonious welcome. Source: 1 NEWS

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