It has been a busy couple of months with plenty of action on the ground and even more on paper towards the build of Ōpōtiki's Harbour.
Some of the most obvious action has been along Snell's Road where Ōpōtiki District Council's work on a new road and cattle race is complete. From here, the contractors, HEB construction, will continue the road out to the worksite near the headland.
Project Manager, John Galbraith, said that with the completion of the road, a lot more activity will start out on site.
"Last month, we had a dawn blessing at Te Roto Urupa and completed most of the work on the road surface, cattle race, culvert and fencing. It has been great to work closely with the Ngati Ngahere hapū who have redevelopment plans for the urupa site and they working to ensure the carvings are restored and the site has good facilities like signage and parking for future generations.
"HEB [contractor for the Harbour build] has been busy as well and we are working to have them mobilised out to site in the coming weeks. From there, we'll start to stockpile materials, compaction test the ground and start bringing out some of the big machinery that will become a common sight at the river mouth.
"However, some of the most significant progress has actually happened behind a desk in the past month as we finalise contracts, fine-tune designs, peer-review some of the calculations and modelling, and ensure we have the right team in place for the next steps," Mr Galbraith said.
One of the biggest contracts announced so far has been the contract for steel moulds won by local Ōpōtiki firm, C Hayes Engineering. Well-known local, Charlie Hayes, said that his company would be refurbishing and constructing the hanbar moulds to be used to build the seawalls.
John Galbraith explained that concrete hanbars are a vital component of the seawall design providing stable armouring to the seawalls to help them withstand wave action and tides over many years.
"Our designs call for a combination of rock and rubble and various sizes of these concrete hanbars along the length of both seawalls. Each of these hanbars need to be created in large moulds and that is where Charlie and his team come in," Mr Galbraith said.
The Provincial Growth Fund is a key funder with $79.4m pledged through the NZ Upgrade Programme. Mr Galbraith said that all the key agencies – central and local government, contractors and consultants were working well together.
"It is exciting to see the project ramping up and increasing activity around town. The contract with Hayes Engineering is indicative of how important this project is for the Ōpōtiki District. I look forward to the big changes I can see on the horizon," Mr Galbraith said.