Te Pūwaha projects underway

Published on 28 October 2021

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Work is progressing on-site for Te Pūwaha - Whanganui's port revitalisation - following the latest COVID-19 lockdown, with demolition underway and more community engagement opportunities to come.

Whanganui District Council work has resumed on the demolition of the 80-year-old Victory Shed, which is located on wharves set to be upgraded as part of Te Pūwaha. The complex demolition is expected to take around 8-10 weeks, including the removal of asbestos.

The council's chief operating officer, Lance Kennedy, says, “Now that our on-site demolition and work towards consent has resumed, our priority is as before - to protect the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui River, and to ensure the safety of our workers and our community.”

Te Pūwaha will be the first major project designed and delivered under the legal status of the Whanganui River as Te Awa Tupua. Work undertaken through Te Pūwaha will include replacement and repair of 400 metres of wharves and building onshore infrastructure to support commercial activities.

Project partner Horizons Regional Council has primary contractor Mills-Albert Limited on board and rocks are being delivered to the stockpile site at Morgan Street for the upgrade and repairs to the North Mole.

Q-West boat builders, another Te Pūwaha project partner, are preparing their new site for building and eventual relocation. Q-West managing director, Myles Fothergill, says, “The old Tod Street silos have now been removed and this has really opened up the space down at the wharves. This is where we’ll establish our purpose-built facility, which will include a 330 tonne vessel hoist.

“I see huge potential for marine industry growth in the Wharf 3 area and look forward to seeing development underway in Wharf 2.” 

The council and other Te Pūwaha partners are working with Whanganui iwi hapū collective, Te Mata Pūau, in a co-management approach.There are a number of specialists engaged, with guidance from planners Mitchell Daysh, to inform the project partners’ decision making and consent application. On-site sampling and investigative works are underway. They include sediment testing, looking at what may be living in the sediment. The specialist team also includes an archaeologist who will examine the site around the Victory Shed and add to an extensive report commissioned prior to the deconstruction of the Red Shed.

The insights gathered will help inform Te Mata Pūau and the council about potential items of cultural and biological significance so that these can be considered in upcoming discussions with Whanganui hapū and the wider community around sediment management.

Te Pūwaha Project Director, Hayden Turoa, says, “Te Pūwaha is aimed at securing the Whanganui port as a community asset and our way of working to get there is collaborative. In addition to our discussions with hapū, there will more community engagement opportunities to come as part of the port revitalisation.”


For more information and updates about visit: Te Pūwaha - Whanganui's Port Revitalisation Whanganui District Council

  • Te Pūwaha refers to the gateway, or river mouth. It is also the name of the Whanganui port revitalisation project.
  • The project is a partnership involving Whanganui Iwi and five other groups invested in the project. The five other groups are: Whanganui District Council; Horizons Regional Council; Q-West Boat Builders; Whanganui District Employment Training Trust and central government’s regional economic development and investment unit, Kānoa – REDIU.
  • The total investment in Te Pūwaha is over $50 million, with infrastructure works to be carried out over three tranches or phases.
  • Te Pūwaha is aimed at securing the Whanganui port as a community asset for the next 50 years and beyond. Upon completion, Whanganui will have a modern marine precinct.


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