Royal Billy Point (Pauanui)

Since the new Royal Billy Poiint boat ramp at Pauanui opened over Labour Weekend, it's been getting well used by recreational boaties

Royal Billy Point boat rampSince Labour Weekend, our staff have also met with the project working group for a final project debrief, which will result in some minor work to be completed to improve the function of the new pontoon, This ncludes adding safety bolsters around the posts, so boats don't get scratched while tying up. There will also be some minor fixes to the timber wall.

An Archaeological Authority approval from Heritage New Zealand is due to be issued next month, which will see the remaining work at the wharf completed after Easter next year.

Some other points to note:

  • The new floating pontoon has been delivered to Whangamata and is stored in the marina compound.
  • The current plan is for a tug to tow a piling barge to Tairua on Tuesday 5 November. 
  • Tug will depart for Whangamata, pick up the pontoon and tow it back to Tairua on Wednesday 6 November. 
  • Installation of a new access bridge and the pontoon will occur between 6-12- November Site disestablishment and tug/barge depart Tairua 13/14 November.

This means the wharf pontoon will be closed to public from 6 through 13 November while this takes place.

We anticipate there won't be any issues with the ferry not running at the moment. The boat ramp will not be affected.

Royal Billy Point upgrade


The whole project has been broken into three stages:

  • Stage one - This involves replacing the floating wharf structure and aluminum access bridge. This work is being done by local and outside contractors under the supervision of Council staff. Construction is taking place off-site and will be delivered in late-September.
  • Stage two - This work started on 17 June and involved removing three sections of the access walkway, widening and replacing further west. This has been contracted to Bridge It NZ for $699,545.43.
  • Stage three – Began mid- July with contractors EPL Construction removing the existing boat ramp and timber wall and constructing  a new wider boat ramp with longer timber wall. ($682,301)

Staff continue to meet regularly with members of the working group. The next meeting will be held on 10 October, 12.15pm at the Pauanui Community Hub.


The boat ramp is over 50 years old as it was part of the original comprehensive development of Pauanui in the 1960s. Over the past few years the boat ramp has deteriorated.

The wharf is used mostly for pedestrian access to the Tairua – Pauanui ferry service that operates from the floating pontoon. The pontoon remains an all-tide facility for shallower draft vessels.

Royal Billy Point is the primary location for trailer boat parking and boat launching at the closest point to the harbour entrance at Pauanui. As part of the project residents have stated that there is a need for improvements to boat queuing, particularly in the summer months where the ramp is well used and boats have to temporarily moor on the beach while waiting for the boat ramp to become free and the vehicle and trailer are manoeuvred to the ramp.

A submission to the Tairua- Pauanui Community Board meeting 09 September 2013 stated that during the Christmas period and long weekends over 200 boats per day use this boat ramp. It is expected that demand for boat launching will increase over time with a number of approved subdivisions in Pauanui.

The Tairua-Pauanui Community Board received the project from a group of Pauanui residents in 2013 and then set this as a priority project. At the end of last year they supported the proposed design and scope of the Royal Billy Point boat ramp and pontoon project.

The Pauanui jetty was built in 1993 and is constructed approximately 300 meters out into the harbour at Royal Bill Point reserve. At the end of this structure is a floating pontoon. The pontoon structure is 16.0 meters long x 3.55m wide. The timber decked pontoon is supported by six precast concrete flotation cells with four guide piles.

The Pauanui wharf pontoon was programmed for replacement in year 2018/19 of the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan and will now be incorporated into the Royal Billy Point boat ramp redevelopment project in order to save costs associated with establishment and disestablishment of equipment.

A budget of $65,000 was approved through the 2017/2018 Annual Plan for detailed design and consenting. Following a stakeholders meeting on 21 August 2017 Total Marine Services Ltd were engaged to prepare detailed designs for the concept. These designs were discussed at a stakeholders meeting held on 7 November 2017 with some minor changes being requested to the location of the boat ramp pontoon and timber retaining wall, and a platform along the top of the retaining wall.

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