Construction of the Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct was launched with a ground-breaking ceremony in teeming rain this morning.

The $6.5 million civil works contract, won by locally headquartered HEB Construction (HEB), will get underway on Monday.

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 to formally launch Tauranga's new marine hub.

Kaumatua Peri Kohu, representing local hapu Ngai Tamarawaho, delivered a karakia wishing the workers building the project a safe and positive outcome.

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After a few short speeches, Tauranga City Mayor Stuart Crosby and Bay of Plenty Regional councillor Philip Sherry presided over the formal ceremony, with a sizeable excavator used for the task.

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 with extensive experience nationally, including the Port of Tauranga's 2013 extension.

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," said Mr Wardale.

Based on current construction timeframes, assuming no significant weather-related delays, construction will be completed in August 2017. The vessel-hoist will be delivered at the same time, prior to being assembled and tested on-site. Opening of the precinct is pencilled in for September 2017.

Marine Precinct
• 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.