We are replacing the iconic Akaroa Wharf – originally built in 1887 – as it is nearing the end of its usable life based on a 2018 structural condition assessment.
We’ve been working in partnership with Ōnuku Rūnanga, and speaking to the Akaroa community about the replacement of the wharf – with $19.1 million funding having been included in the Long Term Plan 2021-31.
A concept design for the replacement wharf was approved at the 12 May 2022 Council meeting. A tender process to appoint a design team can now start, with construction estimated to begin in 2024 pending design and consent. The target for completion is 30 June 2025.
Discussions with commercial operators regarding temporary access and operation during the construction period are also underway.
We understand this project is of high interest to the Akaroa community as the existing wharf is an integral part of Akaroa’s heritage. It has high historical, social, cultural and contextual significance.
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We will rebuild in the existing wharf’s location.
The new wharf will not be a replica of the existing one but be its own structure – using the best materials available for the conditions, which complement the local environment and take into consideration the longer-term maintenance costs.
Key features of our approved concept design include:
The existing wharf is more than timber, concrete and iron; it holds stories and memories for the people that use it.
We are keen to ensure the full history of the wharf is captured and recorded, as well as collecting its intangible heritage including personal memories and stories from the community.
Akaroa Area School’s history teacher, Garry Brittenden, is helping capture this history and wants to hear from anybody who has a story related to the wharf. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your memories of the wharf.
Elements from the wharf which have been identified as having high heritage significance will be salvaged wherever possible. We are exploring ways that some of these can be incorporated into the new structure, or utilised for interpretation.
There may also be an opportunity for the community to access and use some of these salvaged materials for other projects in Akaroa.
We will let the community know more about the salvage project as the project progresses.
Two privately-owned buildings adjoin the current wharf and connect to the Council-owned structure.
We are working with the building owners on what the replacement project means for them.