Wharf Project Construction Expected to Begin Later This Year

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In 2019, Waikato District Council and the Raglan Community Board received funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for the redevelopment of the Whāingaroa wharf and wider harbour. With some of the projects ready to go, the tender for the walkway, pontoon and structural repair are expected to be awarded in late June or early July this year.

Funding has come from the Ministry of Business and Innovation and has been allocated to four projects currently underway to transform the wharf and wider harbour now and for the future. These projects include: The Whāingaroa Wharf Walkways project; the Pontoon Design and Build, the Whāingaroa Wharf Structural Repair project and the Whāingaroa Harbour Strategy.

Raglan Community Board Deputy Chair Dennis Amoore who has been involved with the wharf project says, “Long-term thinking” is required to ensure that community needs are represented in the process.

The tender for the construction of the three projects has been grouped to include the three construction projects; the walkway, pontoon and structural repair. 

“The tender has been grouped as we found a lot of synergies between the three projects. The tender process is due to close in May,” said Dennis.

Once the tender has been awarded to a contractor, he expects that work on the structural repairs can begin around July while the pontoon and walkway will be subject to a consent process.

“The tender will be awarded based on the affordability of the project. We’ve already had a few surprises come up,” said Dennis.

He refers to some of the geological inspections for the walkway project that uncovered soil that was softer than expected. These surprises will ultimately impact the project by adding unexpected costs.

“If the projects are over budget we can look at  a value engineering process to see where we can save money, and use of materials or think about how to scale back,” says Dennis.

The feedback process for the walkway design was completed in 2021 with the majority of submitters choosing Option One. This option features tidal stairs that are located closer to the wharf which will provide longer access to the water at all tides.

Whaingaroa Harbour Study

Initial discussions for the Whāingaroa Harbour Study has involved speaking to iwi partners, stakeholders and the wider community about what is important to them for the future of the harbour.

The strategy aims to consider things like moving people and goods around the harbour; what infrastructure may be needed; walkways and cycleways to get people to and from the harbour and between jetties as well as recreational activities that could take place in the harbour.

Dennis says the draft report for the Whāingaroa Harbour Strategy should be available in late April where it will go back to stakeholders and the community for an opportunity to provide feedback.

Congestion at the boat ramp has also been a contentious issue for some time with many recreational fishermen using the space along with local businesses and community members.

With fishing being described as “brilliant” in Whāingaroa over the past few years, there has been suggestions of implementing a boat ramp fee and this will be looked at in an upcoming by-law review although Dennis is skeptical whether this will impact the number of people using the boat ramp.

“There are some options but they will be quite hard to achieve,” said Dennis referring to potential parking spaces to accommodate the overflow vehicles.

“Reducing congestion around the wharf means that we have to look at parking. We have to look at the big picture and make some hard decisions – do we reclaim land as one example”