Six months and $1.4M later, Tairua has a new wharf, boat ramp and floating pontoons at Mary's Beach. In August 2017 the facility got final engineering sign-off and is now open for public use. "It's brilliant to see this project finished within budget and on time," says Bob Renton, Tairua-Pauanui Community Board Chair. "An upgrade of this facility is something that our communities have wanted to see for many years, and our Board is so pleased to see it happen during our tenure." Since its original construction (mid 1860s), the wharf has been rebuilt 4 times, the last instance was back in 1963. Since 1995 there have been a number of design plans to upgrade the wharf and there's been two condition assessments - in 2011 and 2014. Following public consultation and the establishment of a working group in 2016, construction started in March this year. The existing ramp was widened and extended to improve launching at low tide and an additional two new 30-metre floating pontoons were installed - one alongside the wharf to increase the number of boats that can launch as well as improving safety, due to the tidal flows of the harbour - the second one on the seaward side of the ramp at an angle to provide for safer launching. An official opening for the facility is being planned for Saturday 30 September 2017 The project The budget for the Tairua Wharf Project is $1.4M. The purpose is to improve trailer boat launching facilities for Tairua as well as cater for larger recreational boats, commercial fishing and charter operators and help further economic development in Tairua now and into the future. Trailer boat launching fees may be introduced in the future as user pays, along with commercial berthage fees, to offset maintenance costs. The Tairua wharf being dismantled piece-by-piece using a crane, which is sitting on a barge. The existing concrete wharf was removed, along with the concrete support piles from the seabed. A new wharf was constructed, then the existing boat ramp was widened and extended to improve launching at low tide. Two new 30-metre floating pontoons were then erected. Project components 1. Since its original construction (mid-1860s), the wharf has been rebuilt 4 times the most recent in 1963. 2. Boat ramp. The existing ramp was widened and extended to improve launching at low tide with additional two new 30-metre floating pontoons. a.) one alongside the wharf to increase the number of boats that can launch as well as improving safety, due to the tidal flows of the harbour; andb.) The second one is on the seaward side of the ramp at an angle to provide for safer launching. Construction timeline March 2017. Demolition of the old wharf. March -April 2017 . Construction of new wharf May 2017. Construction of new rock wall. June 2017. New boat ramp and pontoons. August 2017. Completion October 2017 - Official opening. Historical timeline In March 2016, the Tairua Wharf Working Group agreed with the Community Board’s recommendations that significant cost savings could be made by removing an additional wharf pontoon and that the rebuild of the wharf and boat ramp providing for vehicle access should proceed. Without the additional pontoon, the costs for the new wharf, boat ramp and a rock wall, along with consent fees means the project cost will increase from $1.2m to $1.4m. This represents an additional $3.50 per ratepayer over 30 years. Late 2015 both the Tairua Stakeholder Working Group and the Community Board approved a draft concept plan for the Tairua Wharf and Boat Ramp which included a new wharf pontoon to provide additional loading space for the ferry, which goes between Tairua and Pauanui. Also widening and improving the existing boat ramp to help with launching at low tide. Two additional 30-metre floating pontoons to help boat launching at all tides. Since 1995 there have been a number of schemes designed by the boating communities to create a destination facility at the Tairua Wharf and Boat Ramp at Mary's Beach.The McNabb design (1995) included significant land reclamation to create a parallel promenade for larger boats to load and unload and varying locations for the boat ramp and pontoon. All required land reclamation. Facilitated by Council and Boffa Miskell, a number of other designs were also proposed, which were then costed with all options exceeding allocated budget of $1.2M. Two condition assessments of the facility in 2011 and 2014 found the Wharf only had a 3-6 year life span and there are health and safety issues with the Boat Ramp. The Working Group (2015-16) Donna Brooke (2015 Tairua-Paunaui Community Board representative), Warren Maher (Tairua-Pauanui Sports Fishing Club), Chris New (Tairua-Pauanui Sports Fishing Club), Rob Glasgow (Tairua-Pauanui Ferry Operator) John/Margaret Norman (Coromandel Fisherman), Jim Hope (Charter Boat Operator), Roy Veil (Charter Boat Operator), Graham Empson (Community Member).