A ship carrying up to 14,000 cattle will leave for Napier for China on Sunday, marking the single largest export of livestock ever carried out in Hawke's Bay.
The Al Kuwait is a purpose-built live export ship and arrived in port overnight on Thursday.
The Ministry of Primary Industries has approved an application for Al Kuwait to export 14,000 cattle to China.
However, the final number of cattle may change after veterinarians have inspected the animals before loading.
It is expected to take four days to load the cattle onto Al Kuwait, with an estimated departure date of Sunday.
Hawke's Bay woman Caz Petterson, who has organised protests against live animal export said there would be no official protest from animal rights groups as they had prior commitments.
Al Kuwait is the eleventh livestock vessel to dock at the Napier port since the tragic sinking of Gulf Livestock 1, where two New Zealanders lost their lives.
After the sinking of Gulf Livestock 1 last year, the Government said the export of livestock by sea would cease following a transition period of up to two years.
Petterson said that delay was "not good enough".
"I can't see any explainable reason why they need two years to stop it."
MPI animal health and welfare director Dr Chris Rodwell said exports will continue until April 2023, depending on demand and supply.
"All shipments are subject to fully meeting MPI's animal health and welfare standards."
- Maddisyn Jeffares, Hawkes Bay Today