The remediation complements work already underway to remediate Whakatāne Town Wharf and signals a significant investment in infrastructure improvments by Whakatāne District Council. The work will be carried out by Construction Techniques Ltd – trading as BBR Contech, who will carry out the reconstruction works at both wharfs.

The Ōhope project will be drawing upon a pool of 8-10 local workers, including welders, formworkers, and general labourers employed by BBR Contech especially for the works. All workers will receive skills development and training opportunities during their employment on these specialist projects.

Port Ōhope Wharf was built by the Whakatāne Harbour Board in 1957 and it has served the

Ōhope community well for nearly 70 years. To make sure it can keep doing so well into the future, the distinctive landmark and vital piece of marine infrastructure will be repaired and have its supporting structures reconstructed using modern methods and materials.

A work site has already been set up at the wharf in preparation for the works beginning. Project Manager, Phil Wardale, says most of the action happens underneath the wharf structures, so while you won’t see too much happening, you will definitely hear it.

“Our contractors will be using a technique called hydroblasting to remove the decaying concrete from the wharf structures in preparation for the reconstruction. This can be very noisy, but noise is monitored to stay within consented limits. The contractor has installed special equipment to trap dust and debris and noise screen material to minimise noise. Safety is paramount for this project, as is protecting and enhancing the harbour environment.”

Mr Wardale says letters were delivered to local residents and a drop-in day was held a few weeks ago to explain what the project is about and to let people know what to expect. 

“It may be slightly inconvenient at times, but it’s for a good cause and we plan to more than double the structure’s lifespan so it can go on serving the community for many years to come.”

Council has been able to leverage the opportunity to use the specialist contractor from the Council and Provincial Growth Fund-funded Whakatane Town Wharf works to bring forward the most significant investment ever made in the Ōhope Wharf. The investment in the Ōhope Wharf is 100 percent funded through the Harbour Fund.

Mr Wardale said the work programme taking place in two sections so that at least half of the wharf will always be accessible for people walking, fishing – or just enjoying the stunning views.

The Ōhope Wharf Remediation Project is due for completion by the end of the year.