Crowds gathered at a community day at the North Mole to celebrate Te Pūwaha – the Whanganui port revitalisation project.
Cashmore Contracting and Te Pūwaha partners invited residents and recreational fishermen to a community barbecue at the North Mole carpark last Friday, the Matariki public holiday.
Horizons Regional Council contracted Cashmore to repair and reinstate the North Mole. The council's project engineer, Dougal Ross, said while the weather hadn't been kind over the past few weeks the seaward end of the mole was still on track.
"Work upstream has been progressing really well over recent months and we are on target with our project timelines.
"At this point the reconstruction works are around 45 per cent complete, with rock deliveries completed by the end of July."
Work at the North Mole is expected to be complete by December 2022.
People who turned out on Friday had the chance for free food and a chat with some of the personnel working on the project.
Cashmore Contracting project manager Colin Anderson said he was really pleased with the turnout.
"We talked as a team about how we could acknowledge those who have put up with the disruption from the works over the past few months, whether they live down the road from the mole or normally fish here throughout the week.
"We saw Puanga as an opportune time for us all to come together, reflect on the progress so far and celebrate together."
By the end of this month, the public will be able to use the car park on top of the mole during all hours of the day, as construction moves upstream.
Cashmore will continue to clear sand from the sealed road at the end of Morgan St to ensure there is enough space for public vehicles to park.
Kahurangi Simon, a member of hapū representative group Te Mata Pūau, has been onsite for much of the works, documenting progress, meeting locals and ensuring the works uphold the values of Te Awa Tupua.
"Being here onsite has been invaluable, the team at Cashmore have worked with great respect to the awa throughout the whole process, and for them to acknowledge our community in this way shows they understand the importance of people and community at place," Simon said.
The works will cover the length of the embankment from the end of the North Mole to the Whanganui Port.
The reinstatement and repair of the North Mole is jointly funded by Horizons Regional Council, Whanganui District Council and Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit.
A Whanganui Port Project open day is scheduled for Thursday, July 7, and the community is invited to see the planned works at the Whanganui Port first-hand and hear from the project's leads.
Details are online at www.whanganui.govt.nz/port or facebook.com/TePuwaha.
The total investment in Te Pūwaha is more than $50 million, with the infrastructure works carried out over three tranches or phases.
This includes a $26.75m Government investment managed by Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, with the remaining cost and resources covered by Whanganui District Council, Horizons Regional Council, Q-West Boat Builders and the Whanganui District Employment Training Trust (Port Employment Precinct).