The first sod was turned on the Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct on 29 September, marking the beginning of the construction of the future marine hub of the Bay.
A small group of representatives from Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, local iwi and marine businesses gathered at the precinct site at dawn. Kaumatua Peri Kohu, representing local hapu Ngai Tamarawaho, delivered a karakia (blessing) wishing the project well going forward. After a few short speeches, Tauranga City Mayor Stuart Crosby and Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Philip Sherry broke the ground – trading the traditional spade for a sizeable excavator, which will soon be in operation at the site. Construction is set to begin next week when HEB Construction (HEB) takes over the site for an 11-month programme of works. HEB was selected as civil works contractors for the Marine Precinct primary works. HEB is one of the leading civil construction companies in New Zealand, headquartered in Mount Maunganui.
Breaking ground: Mayor Stuart Crosby and Regional Councillor Philip Sherry
After being selected as the preferred contractor, HEB worked closely with Marine Precinct Project Director Phil Wardale to develop the best engineering design solutions for the project. “We really enjoyed working with HEB to refine the tendered design. HEB provided us with value engineering solutions and alternatives, which will enable us to deliver a quality precinct within the project budget,” says Phil.
With HEB’s support Council selected a modern engineered solution for the hardstand, which will need to support the combined weight of New Zealand’s largest-capacity vessel hoist and a vessel of up to 350 tonnes. “It was a challenge but we got there. We also did a lot of work with HEB to look at alternative solutions for the seawall and finishing elements for the lifting bay,” says Phil. “HEB has a large pool of local resources and is able to manufacture construction elements in town which we would otherwise have to import. We will use precast concrete components to finish the lifting bay, providing a long lasting and attractive solution.”
HEB is very experienced in marine infrastructure, having worked on marinas and ports around the country, including the extension of Tauranga’s own port in 2013. HEB CEO Derrick Adams says the company has built more than 20 wharves throughout New Zealand, including four in Tauranga. “We have a large steel fabrication workshop and the ability to manufacture our own precast. Our experience and our local resources mean we can really deliver for both the Council and the community,” says Derrick. “It’s always great to be a part of local project that we know will benefit the city and the region we live and work in. We’re glad to have the opportunity to work with Tauranga City Council on this key infrastructure project.”
The contract awarded to HEB has a value of $6.5 million. Deliverables include the 6,300 square metre heavy-duty hardstand (pavement), a new concrete wharf, a lifting bay complete with runways for the vessel hoist, seawall armour rock protection, access roads and other core infrastructure services to the new lots. Based on current construction timeframes, assuming no significant weather-related delays, construction would be completed in August 2017. The vessel-hoist would be delivered at the same time, prior to being assembled and tested on-site. Opening of the precinct is pencilled in for September 2017.
About the Marine Precinct project
The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct is an $11.4m project to deliver a purpose-built marine servicing facility at Sulphur Point. The precinct will provide a base for boat building and refit businesses in Tauranga and will be managed by Tauranga City Council under the Vessel Works brand. By mid-2017 (stage 1 development), the precinct will include lots in a range of sizes for marine businesses, a 6,300m2 vessel storage area (hardstand), deep-water marina berths for large vessels and New Zealand’s largest vessel hoist (350-tonne haulage capacity and extra-wide). Further development (more lots, extension to the hardstand) will be undertaken in stages, based on demand from the industry. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is the funding partner for the Marine Precinct project, contributing $5 million through the Regional Infrastructure Fund. Tauranga City Council’s $6.4 million contribution will be partially offset by the sale of properties on and near the site.