Construction underway at Whanganui port

Published on 15 September 2023

Hon. Kieran McAnulty, Mark Petersen (Whanganui Port director), Mayor Andrew and Kahureremoa Aki (Te Puwaha chair) breaking the ground

From left: Hon. Kieran McAnulty, Whanganui Port director Mark Petersen, Mayor Andrew and Kahureremoa Aki Te Pūwaha chair

Regional Development Minister, Hon. Kieran McAnulty was in town this week to ‘break the ground’ and mark the start of construction on the Te Pūwaha Stage One Port civil construction works.

The Stage One works involves the construction of a heavy pavement vessel hardstand and concrete structures out over the water capable of carrying Q-West Boat Builder’s 380 tonne capacity mobile boat hoist. In addition, a specialist water treatment plant to service the vessel maintenance heavy pavement is to be built, along with demolition and ground preparation works. 

Whanganui Port director Mark Petersen acknowledged the momentous occasion.

“Rebuilding the Port will strengthen our position in New Zealand’s blue highway, while also enabling the building and maintenance of world class vessels right here at our own back door. The opportunities this will bring to our community cannot be under estimated.”

“To share this day with Minister McAnulty is particularly fitting, as without the support of central government, this project would not be possible.”

Funding for this work is split evenly between the Provincial Growth Fund as managed by Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, and the Whanganui District Council’s investment into the Whanganui Port Limited Partnership, which is developing, and will own and operate the redevelopment assets.

Mark Petersen broke the ground alongside Minister McAnulty, Te Pūwaha project chair Kahureremoa Aki, and Whanganui Mayor Andrew Tripe.

Kahureremoa Aki has been on the Te Pūwaha governance group since its inception, initially as a community representative and latterly as chair.

Kahureremoa acknowledges the support and leadership of hapū and community to reach this stage, and to continue to take the project forward.

“Our community have been incredibly supportive of this project, and to share this milestone with many who have been involved over the past couple of years is very special,” she says.

“It is clear that by working collaboratively we have overcome what may have been seen as traditional boundaries between the likes of council, hapū and others – rather than them and us, it is just us, as we all work towards a common goal.”

“That goal is one step closer today.”

Mayor Tripe shared his pride in being involved with Te Pūwaha.

“What makes this project really special is the way it’s brought people together and upheld the values of the Te Awa Tupua legislation, acknowledging the Whanganui awa as a living indivisible whole.”

“For the council, this partnership with Iwi represents an entirely new way of working and it’s the first major infrastructure project within the country to be delivered in this way.”

Concrete Structures Limited are carrying out the rebuild works and their first task is to lift the deck of the existing wharf in the areas where they will be building a new sea wall, using tubular piles to create land to water’s edge.  

The team will then work backwards to create safe secure land behind the piles so Concrete Structures 400 tonne crane can be driven out to the water’s edge to build the new infrastructure for the mobile boat hoist.

The Stage One works are expected to be complete by November 2024.

Now that stage one works are underway, Project Director Phil Wardale confirms that procurement for the next phases of the works will get underway which will focus on the selection of a design and construct contractor to rebuild the adjoining wharf two, and the sourcing of dredging equipment for the Port.

While in Whanganui, Minister McAnulty also spent time viewing progress at the North Mole, along with visiting project partner Q-West Boat Builders to hear about their plans to move to the Whanganui Port and to view progress on the Auckland Transport ferry currently under construction.

For further information, contact Te Pūwaha communications:
Kate Ritani
022 0636278






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