New Durie Hill contract awarded

Published on May 21, 2021

Durie Hill elevator tunnel

A new contract to run the Durie Hill elevator has been awarded.

The successful tender is Whanganui Connection, a new company headed by performer and public transport advocate Anthonie Tonnon.

Whanganui Connection will take over the contract for the 102-year-old elevator on 1 June. The previous contract – held by four generations of one family over a period of 40 years – ends on 31 May.

The new contract coincides with the reopening of the Durie Hill elevator. It has been closed since the middle of February to allow the completion of maintenance work on the elevator and the building of a new entranceway.

Anthonie Tonnon says that Whanganui Connection is honoured to be part of operating such a unique community asset.

"Whanganui Connection's goal will be to enhance the Durie Hill elevator's value to Whanganui as a precious but practical means of public transport, as a unique visitor attraction and as a symbol of our history and innovation in urban planning and public transport. 

“In the first instance, this will mean providing the transport functions of the elevator consistently and efficiently, with great service.”

He says he would like to hear from locals about their ideas for the Durie Hill elevator.

“We'd love people to take a journey with us, tell us what's important to them about the elevator and what more they feel it could offer."

Whanganui District Council group manager customer experience, Marianne Cavanagh, said she was delighted the contract had been awarded to such an enthusiastic advocate for public transport.

“Anthonie really sold us with his proposal. He has some great ideas for the elevator, and he’s passionate about Whanganui’s history,” Marianne Cavanagh says.

Whanganui Connection has been awarded a one-year contract, with the option to renew.