The first of the infrastructure projects associated with the Whakatāne Regeneration Programme is now officially underway.

Whakatāne District Council today announced that with the release of tender documents to industry, the remediation of Whakatāne Town Wharf was beginning.

The construction of the Whakatāne Town Wharf began more than 100 years ago in 1919. It was extended in 1936 and 1940 and has become a much-loved town feature.

The 134m wharf is already home to the Whakatāne Sport Fishing Club, and will also become an integral part of the new riverside walkway and public space, which is part of the $29.2 million dollar Whakatāne Riverfront Revitalisation.

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In order to ensure the wharf is strong and safe for many years to come it requires maintenance and strengthening.

This will include replacing and strengthening piles and concrete structures underneath the wharf – around 70 cubic metres of concrete in total.

Whakatāne Mayor Judy Turner said the wharf remediation project couldn't come at a better time for the district as they look to kick-start the economy again after two major setbacks.

"This is one of a series of projects we are working on with local, regional and national partners that will bring much-needed employment and economic activity to our region."

In April, while still in lockdown, Whakatāne District Council asked concrete remediation experts for expressions of interest in the project.

The physical works are expected to take around seven months to complete.

The wharf will remain open most of the time that work is underway, although visitors and those working and living nearby will notice noise from the works.

Vessels moored on the wharf will be relocated to safe berthage nearby and will be permanently located in the proposed new Boat Harbour when this is completed.

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The Whakatāne Town Wharf Remediation is funded by the Whakatāne District Council and the Provincial Growth Fund.

It is the first step in a wider project that enables Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and Whakatāne District Council to work together for better social, economic, environmental and cultural benefits for all of the Whakatāne Region.

The programme is forecast to provide $80 million in local GDP growth per annum when it reaches fruition.