Major milestone as council work on the Whanganui Port reaches halfway
Published on December 21, 2021
Whanganui District Council’s portion of work as part of the Te Pūwaha port revitalisation project has reached the halfway mark, with 53 percent completed. In the next steps, council plans to apply for resource consent pre-Christmas and go to market in early 2022 to bring contractors on board to progress construction.
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says “the completed work to repair and rebuild the port is a significant milestone for Te Pūwaha project. It’s also really uplifting news for the community as it brings us closer to a revitalised port and sustainable marine precinct that will benefit local people and bring positive outcomes for the Whanganui Awa.”
The completed work includes: rehoming all historic items of interest found to date at the wharf area; repairing the eastern end of Wharf 3; refurbishment of offices and relocation of Whanganui Port Operations to the Short Street / Kirk Street cool store; repairs to the old Harbourmaster building at Tod Street (now housing project partners Te Mata Pūau and Q-West site offices), helping over 15 tenancies to relocate from the port revitalisation project area and the removal of all stored items from the entire area, and the building and installation of secure fencing for the whole area as well as installation of a secure exit point at Kirk Street.
Demolition of the Red Shed from the Wharf 2 area is also complete and all reusable timber salvaged for future use. Some of this can already be seen in the fence around the Tram Shed on Taupo Quay.
Whanganui District Council, hapū, planners and specialists have also been working collaboratively and collectively to provide advice on: ecology; river processes; the content of river sediment; navigation; acoustic noise pollution; power concept design; archaeology; coastal engineering; soil contamination; a water treatment concept design, biosecurity and a survey of the seabed. Their recommendations will help advise on how to protect, enhance and bring abundance to the river through the port revitalisation.
Further work nearing completion includes the demolition of the Victory Shed, currently on track to be completed by the end of December. The asbestos roof of the shed has been carefully removed and disposed of and WorkSafe clearance given to the site.
As with the Red Shed, where possible materials are being salvaged for reuse. Concrete from the Victory Shed walls will be crushed and reused for site rehabilitation throughout the project, reducing the amount of material going to landfill.
Once demolition is complete, the cleared area at the site will receive full land remediation so that it can house future tenanted buildings and facilities within the new marine precinct being developed by Q-West Boat Builders.
Mayor Hamish McDouall says “salvaging material for future use, and bringing in specialists to inform decisions aligns with the principles of mouri ora, mouri tangata, and mouri awa. This is the strategic vision to enhance the health and wellbeing of the awa and the people connected to it – they are central measures of success in our work to revitalise the Whanganui port.”
More significant milestones are coming up very soon for the Te Pūwaha project.
Whanganui District Council interim chief executive Lance Kennedy says, “Whanganui District Council is confident we will be ready to lodge an application for resource consent for the wharf and the construction of the hardstand area by Christmas this year.”
The council is also nearing the completion of tender documents for construction works. The tender will go to market in early 2022 and will be shared on TenderLink to attract contractors.
Lance Kennedy says “We are excited to see the remaining works underway with completion planned for early 2023. When we go to market in early 2022 we are signalling the opportunity to work on an incredibly innovative project and we want to attract suitably qualified civil works contractors with a proven track record in marine infrastructure construction.”
Community engagement on Te Pūwaha project is ongoing, and members of the public can register their interest for updates online at: www.whanganui.govt.nz/port.
People can also follow Te Pūwaha on Facebook for updates.