The only jetty capable of 24/7, all-weather access in Whangarei's upper harbour has opened with the facility servicing the Whangarei Cruising Club, Whangarei Coastguard, Sailing for the Disabled and Parihaka Waka Ama.
The jetty, at the Cruising Club's Kissing Pt base on Riverside Dr, was formally opened on Friday by Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai and club secretary/treasurer Merv Fair said the new facility was a project well worth pursuing.
Mr Fair said the club's previous jetty was built in the mid-1990s and was only supposed to have a life of about five years. It had lasted far longer than that, but deterioration and health and safety concerns meant a new one was needed, so a fundraising campaign was launched.
The project has cost about $177,000, including removal of the old jetty, construction of the new one, concreting and moving water and power connections.
Much of the money came from the club's coffers, with the other groups also contributing, along with the Whangarei Marina Trust, Pub Charity, Foundation North (formerly the ASB Trust) and Whangarei District Council providing a loan. Sailability North, which runs the Sailing for the Disabled group, had raised funds for the gangway.
Mr Fair said the new jetty was the only facility in the upper harbour that could be accessed 24/7 regardless of the weather, which was particularly handy for the Coastguard, which may have to bring injured people to the jetty to unload into an ambulance. That scenario had also been helped by the wide gangway that allowed easy access for ambulance staff and a stretcher.
The jetty is such that the Whangarei Volunteer Coastguard tie up there when the boat has a town crew on roster.
"We really needed to get a new structure in place and this makes things so much better for everybody involved. It's now the only all-weather, absolutely 24/7 docking facility in the upper harbour. It looks fantastic and is a real credit to all those involved," Mr Fair said.