EASTLAND Port in New Zealand will soon receive a NZ$60 million upgrade on one of its wharves, part of the port’s Twin Berth project.

The rebuild of Wharf 7 is due to begin in late March this year and is expected to reach completion in around 18 months.

Built in the 1960s, the original wharf will be demolished and rebuilt to create a resilient lifeline asset which will support the Tairāwhiti region’s increasing exports.

Eastland Group chief operating officer regional infrastructure Andrew Gaddum said the project is a major milestone for the port and region.

“It will be strong enough to accommodate the three new mobile harbour cranes that arrived recently and will be capable of withstanding a one-in-2500-year earthquake event, providing significant regional resilience in the event of a natural disaster,” he said.

Infrastructure construction specialists McConnell Dowell were awarded the contract to rebuild Wharf 7. The company has worked on marine and other projects across New Zealand, Australasia, and Asia.

Eastland Port infrastructure manager Marty Bayley said the wharf design had been significantly refined.

“We’ve taken the time to work closely with McConnell Dowell to refine and modify our original concepts, and come up with some innovative solutions,” he said.

“The enhanced deck-on-pile design will further increase seismic resilience, improve operational longevity, reduce steel use by 70% and minimise the environmental impact of the structure.”

Mr Bayley said construction can take place without disturbing the seabed or impacting the local rua koura (crayfish puerulus) population.

“We’ll be undertaking the work while continuing to keep the port operational,” he said.

“Throughout the build process we are being mindful of our neighbours, everyone who uses the harbour, the wider community and our customers.

“We’ve formalised consultative partnerships with the hapū of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, to ensure cultural values and relationships are considered and recognised.

“Each of the hapū were provided all of the project management plans for review and feedback, prior to their approval and construction.”

The wharf rebuild is part of Stage 1 of the Twin Berth project, along with an upgrade to the slipway.