6 Wharf Project Update: Project on Track

13 piles down, 387 to go  
The HEB Construction team are making good progress with piling, having installed 13 piles out of 400 that will support the wharf. With progress on track for the first section of the wharf, preparatory work for piling the second 200 metre section has started. This prep work involves:

1. Relocating any penguins found in the revetment wall to our sanctuary
2. Removing the existing limestone rock and boulders
3. Backfilling the area with smaller recycled fill to build a foundation for sheet piles
4. Installing sheet piles along the edge of the wharf area to create a temporary wall that will prevent erosion of the port (from wave and tidal forces).

Once all that is complete, piling in this second section can start!

Piling is progressing well

47 penguins relocated to the sanctuary from the second 200m section 
Last week we welcomed back our penguin detector dog, Rua; his handler, Joanna Sim; and kororā expert of 30 years, John Cockrem.

Working with our environmental advisors, Paul Rose and Te Kaha Hawaikirangi, the team have found and successfully relocated 47 penguins in the last few days. Penguin spotting and detection continues right through the dismantling process, which started this week with Rua and co back to assist for a few days.

Paul Rose relocates a penguin to our purpose-built sanctuary with Rua watching on

Stage one dredging underway 
Heron Construction and Dredging have started dredging in the berth pocket and disposing material at our offshore disposal area. The team have dredged around 30,000 cubic metres of around 1.3 million cubic metres that will be dredged. Turbidity – a measure of water clarity – at Pania Reef has stayed within the normal range as measured by our environmental dashboard.

The GPK hard at work dredging in berth pocket

Work to establish artificial reef starts end of this month 
Next week, Heron will start taking limestone rock out to our primary artificial reef site 1.4 kilometres north east of Pania Reef (see map below).

The arrangement of these boulders into a reef will take place over the next 18 months. The limestone, which mimics a natural reef system, will create a structure to encourage colonisation of algal and invertebrates, which will in turn help to attract fish.

There will be no fishing at the reef during construction and until it is well-established.

We have also secured resource consent to develop a second artificial reef at another site – known as Gwen B – if we have enough limestone after establishing the first. We’ll keep you posted about this development.

Some of the limestone rock that will be deposited at the artificial reef site

Marine exclusion zone around port extended
As announced, the harbour master has extended the safety exclusion zone around the port. For your safety, if you’re out on the water please ensure you keep out of the exclusion zone unless on port business (marked below) and keep 50 metres away from the dredge.

Meet our team: Paul Rose and Te Kaha Hawaikirangi – environmental advisors 
Meet Paul Rose and Te Kaha Hawaikirangi. Both are environmental advisors for Napier Port. They’re working on the 6 Wharf programme, making sure we protect the environment as we build this essential wharf for our region.

1. Tell us what your work on 6 Wharf involves.

Paul: We make sure Napier Port has the plans and measures in place to minimise the potential for harm to our environment as we undertake construction and dredging. That includes protecting marine mammals, minimising noise and traffic for our neighbours and protecting the birdlife that lives on port – like the penguins we’ve been moving to our sanctuary this week.

Te Kaha: I believe the work we do is similar to that of a kaitiaki; we monitor and protect our environment. We also engage with mana whenua and make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to protecting the cultural importance of the marine environment.

2. What’s been the most challenging or interesting part of the project for you so far?

Paul: Becoming a qualified penguin handler is definitely up there. I’ve suffered a minor scratch or two along the way as we relocate them out of harm’s way. Each penguin that is relocated is also micro chipped, which provides valuable research on the at-risk and declining species.

Te Kaha: Establishing the Marine Cultural Health Programme – it’s the first of its kind in Aotearoa. We want a cultural monitoring programme that doesn’t just satisfy the consent conditions but is to a gold standard and meets the expectations of mana whenua.

3. How long have you lived in the Bay and what brought you to the Port? 

Te Kaha: I whakapapa to the local hapu that hold mana whenua in the Ahuriri area and have lived here all my life. I was previously with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. I moved to Napier Port last year to add to my kete of knowledge about the marine environment and on cultural matters.

Paul: I grew up in the Bay and have been working at the Port for just over three years. Everyday at the Port is different, from working with the public to creating an artificial reef and chasing penguins in the rock walls.

Left to right: Te Kaha finding and relocating a korora; and Paul (right) with Professor Cockrem from Massey University.

Left to right: Location of reef where the GPK will be heading to with limestone rock to build the reef; and the extended marine exclusion zone is now in place.

Questions?
If you have a question about the 6 Wharf project or something you’d like to learn more about, please drop us a line at 6wharf@napierport.co.nz.

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