North Mole set for repair and revamp in port revitalisation project

Work is set to begin to repair and revamp the North Mole as infrastructure works pick up under Te Pūwaha, the Whanganui Port revitalisation project.

The work to strengthen and repair the deteriorated North and South moles is essential to an operational port, as the moles are needed to define the river mouth and ensure a navigable depth is maintained for vessels.

This part of the project will be undertaken by Horizons Regional Council under the governance of Te Pūwaha and hapū grouping, Te Mata Pūau, in line with the Te Awa Tupua status and in consultation with the community generally. Te Pūwaha Chair, Gerrard Albert, explained the purpose of the work.

“The mouth of the River has been significantly modified for over a century and half,” he said. “The North Mole has fallen into a severe state of disrepair and addressing that provides an opportunity to enhance outcomes for the natural environment as well as provide a safer recreational asset.”

The North Mole upgrade will begin with construction of a rock stockpiling site on the flat dune at the end of Morgan Street.

Horizons Group Manager, River Management, Ramon Strong said they had received queries around traffic management with trucks passing through the area once construction starts.

“At this stage we are expecting around eight trucks delivering shell rock to create the rock stockpiling site each day for a period of two to three weeks. That said we will continually review traffic movements throughout the project to ensure all efforts to mitigate noise and dust are taken,” he said.

The rock stockpiling site will be in use for a period of two years and will be fenced off in the interest of public safety.  The source of rock for the North Mole reconstruction is yet to be determined. With current demands around the country, it may be a combination of sources.

Earlier this week, Te Pūwaha and Te Mata Pūau held a meeting with community leaders to begin discussions on the construction of the North Mole and any potential impacts on community. In attendance was Te Pūwaha governance group member, Jock Lee, as a Whanganui community representative.

“It was a positive meeting, and we are confident all steps have been taken to reduce the impact of dust and noise from construction and movement of traffic for neighbouring properties,” Mr Lee said.

“A letter has also been delivered to neighbouring households, updating residents on the project, and outlining the construction details.”

Also in attendance was Kahurangi Simon of Te Mata Pūau.  

“We are ecstatic to have begun sharing this process with our wider community in focused meetings such as todays. There are community meetings planned for the coming weeks to build on this engagement. Te Awa Tupua promotes inclusiveness, and as hapū we are happy to be leading this process.”

Once the works are completed, Horizons contractors will remove the hardstand and bring the area back to its natural state. A series of hui will be held over the coming months to receive input from the community around how they would like the area remediated.

Mr Lee said “We welcome input into creating a recreational asset that will benefit the Whanganui community, one which is accessible and enjoyable for all, so please we encourage you to join us and have your say on how we can revitalise the North Mole and surrounding area.”

A series of hui and public engagement meetings will be held over the coming months. These meetings will concentrate on the Awa Training Structures and provide opportunities for the community to feed into a co-design process for the urban design elements for the North and South Moles. To register your interest for these hui and keep up to date with the project visit