North Mole rock supply out for tender

Published on July 13, 2021

Te Pūwaha placeholder

Horizons Regional Council has recently gone to market, requesting rock supply tenders for the Whanganui River North Mole reconstruction works.

Under Te Pūwaha – the Whanganui port revitalisation project, Horizons leads the work to strengthen and repair the deteriorating North and South Moles. These repairs are essential to enable an operational port, as they define the river mouth and ensure a navigable depth is maintained for vessels, while also protecting port infrastructure from flooding.

“The rock required for the North Mole has to be of significant density and have suitable soundness, abrasion and weathering characteristics, while also being able to provide a suitable habitat to support marine ecosystems in and around the North Mole,” says Horizons project engineer Dougal Ross.

“While it was initially thought that rock from the local Waitahinga Quarry might be suitable, it is currently dormant and therefore rock supply needs to be sought from elsewhere.”

“Tenders we receive will also be assessed on price and how they will uphold Tupua Te Kawa, social procurements outcomes, project management ability, the company’s track record and resources.”

Te Pūwaha chair Gerrard Albert explains that an important aspect of the rock’s procurement is that the successful contractor must demonstrate an ability to work in line with the values of Te Awa Tupua, albeit the rock might be sourced outside of the catchment. 

“It is a requirement that sourcing of rock is conducted consistent with the community values of Te Pūwaha at the location of the rock source. Those small things are important,” he says.

Construction of the North Mole is planned to begin this summer and will involve removing exposed rubble and steel bars. Works on the mole will be carried out at low tide as much as possible, with clean rock to reduce the risk of adding to the existing sediment load in the Whanganui River.

“We are also conscious of the impact on those who use the area for recreational activities. During the construction period we will work on small sections at a time so there will always be accessible fishing spots,” says Dougal Ross.

As part of the works, the two fishing platforms along the river embankment will be removed during the repairs. These will be replaced and depending on funding, two additional fishing platforms installed.  Plans are underway to ensure that the access roads, shared pathways and parking areas disturbed during construction are reinstated in a way that works better for the environment and for users. 

A draft concept plan for the North Mole will be presented at a Te Pūwaha public hui to be held on Tuesday 10th August at the Duncan Pavilion, Castlecliff. Project representatives will present aspirations for community amenities and tourism, along with plans for dune restoration to encourage an abundance of natural life, which in turn supports fishing and enjoyment of the space.

“We are incredibly excited about the concept plan for the area; it will be transformative for our community and become a location we are all proud of. We encourage you to come to the public hui so you can see these plans first hand,” says Gerrard Albert. 

Further information on the hui will be made available in coming weeks. In the meantime, for project updates, please visit www.whanganui.govt.nz/port or email portproject@whanganui.govt.nz.

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