Diggers, scrapers and shapers are in full swing at the Waitangi Regional Park project site, and on track to have the first part of the makeover completed by Waitangi Day 2017.

Although the Waitangi coastal area was run-down and often the site of rubbish dumping, new life is being breathed into it through the Hawke's Bay Regional Council project -transforming it into a regional taonga.

Following a Lotteries Committee funding approval earlier this year - worth around $1 million - progress has continued on the park, with a long dry run of weather helping the Fulton Hogan project team transform the most visible part of it.

HBRC Open Spaces Manager Steve Cave acknowledged this construction phase was a disruption to regular users of the area, but firmly believed the results would be worth it.


"Our contractors are doing a first-rate job. We've done a lot to minimise the disruption to users and we expect to have public access to the river back again by the end of November," he said.

"The Waitangi site is full steam ahead just now, though in days of creating these wetland areas, new bird life has arrived and is getting in amongst it."

Fulton Hogan's project lead Harry Donnelly was happy with progress and conscious of public interest from regular users of the area and passing traffic.

"I'm comfortable with the progress we're making, keeping in mind the cultural heritage and ecology of this special area. We've had a few challenges with the materials, but we're on track for completion by Waitangi Weekend," he said.

The park's carpark, celestial compass, formal entrance, educational signage and pathways are expected to be finished by February 2017, including four main pou (carved posts) of the star compass.

- A gallery of project images is available on HBRC's Facebook page at hbregionalcouncil.