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Improvements planned for Royal Billy Point

23 January 2018

The proposed design for the upgrade of the Royal Billy Point boat ramp and wharf has been finalised and now affected parties are being consulted before the resource consent is lodged, probably at the end of February.

Image: Proposed design and scope of the Royal Billy Point boat ramp and pontoon project. 

Image: Proposed design and scope of the Royal Billy Point boat ramp and pontoon project. Click to expand.

The plan is to widen the boat ramp, realign the wharf access bridge, replace the wharf's floating pontoon, install floating pontoons at the boat ramp and extend the sand-retaining groyne.

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.

"Design plans have been finalised and approved by the stakeholders group and Community Board," says our Project Manager Len Whittaker.

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.

"We are now seeking approval from identified affected parties," says Mr Whittaker.

"We are hoping to lodge the consent applications with our council and Waikato Regional Council at the end of February," he says.

To keep up to date with the project see www.tcdc.govt.nz/royalbillypoint.