A project to provide transformational upgrades to the Whāingaroa (Raglan) Wharf has received a boost of $3.2 million from the Government’s Better Off funding package.
The additional funding will allow for the construction of a western walkway, tidal stairs and other improvements at the wharf such as a pedestrian crossing at the end of Wallis Street.
Waikato District Council Community Connections Manager Megan May says the funding is a big win for Council and the community.
“The Whāingaroa Wharf is a special place for the Raglan community and for those who come to visit. This funding will help us to continue to build a place that future generations will enjoy.”
The western walkway will connect Wallis Street to the wharf while the tidal stairs will provide access to the water, away from where boats are launched on the eastern side of the wharf.
It was originally planned for construction alongside the under-wharf maintenance and repair project and the new pontoon, eastern walkway and kayak ramp which are underway. However, due to a significant increase in construction costs, it was unable to go ahead.
“Construction has become increasingly difficult as a result of supply chain issues and cost increases so to get this extra funding is fantastic,” Ms May says.
The Better Off funding is designed to give councils an opportunity to deliver projects that support infrastructure, housing development and enhance local placemaking and community well-being. The fund is managed by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
It comes on top of a $2.5 million grant for the wharf upgrade from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, managed by Kānoa, the Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit.
Raglan Community Board Chair Dennis Amoore said the addition of the western walkway and other features would improve the area dramatically for visitors to the wharf, as well as those who use the wharf for fishing or boating activities.
“With the western walkway and other features, more of our community will be able to spend time at the wharf enjoying the harbour, and our businesses will benefit as a result.”
Construction on the under-wharf maintenance and repairs, including on the Dolphin Pier, is nearing the finish line and expected to be complete before the end of the year.
Pre-construction works are also under way on the new pontoon, eastern walkway and kayak ramp. Construction will start in the New Year on these works and is expected to be complete by April 2023.