Plans to transform the Whāingaroa (Raglan) wharf with new walkways, a pontoon, tidal stairs and give it a new look and feel are set to go ahead following feedback from residents.
More than 100 community members shared their thoughts on two possible design options for the western walkway and on what was important to them for the future of the harbour during a month-long consultation last year.
From 21 November to 20 December 2021, residents were able to have their say via an online and hardcopy survey. Feedback was also received from hapū representatives, members of the business community and other stakeholders earlier in the year.
Raglan Community Board chair Gabrielle Parson says option one for the western walkway, which features tidal stairs positioned closer to the wharf to provide longer access to the water during all tides, was most popular among the community.
“I’m pleased with the amount of feedback we have received, and I think we can feel confident moving forward with these projects knowing we have the support of the community.
“Not only was there a very clear direction from locals on their preferred option for the western walkway, we also received valuable feedback on what is important to residents for the future of the harbour.”
A public drop-in session was also held at the Wharf Bar and Kitchen for residents to meet with the project team and share their thoughts on the plan.
Raglan Ward Councillor Lisa Thomson says she was pleased with the turn out to the information session.
“It was great to see lots of faces there and to hear their feedback on these plans. It’s important the community have their say on things like this because it is the community who used the wharf and need to be happy with whatever changes are made.”
Waikato District Council Community Connections manager Megan May says the next step is to finalise the design of the walkways, pontoon and other upgrades before looking for contractors to do the work.
“We are very excited for what is to come next. Now that we have heard from the community, we can get spades in the ground and construction underway.”
Construction is expected to start in mid-2022 and will take around 8 months to complete. Council will work closely with wharf businesses during this time to minimise disruption.
May says work is also underway on a draft strategy for the future of the harbour.
“We received a lot of feedback from residents around what is important to them for the future of the harbour including what recreational and commercial activities they see taking place, how the development should be managed and how the harbour should be cared for.
“We expect to have the draft strategy complete and ready to share with the community for input in late March.”
More information on the wharf projects is available at https://www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/your-district/district-overview/towns/raglan/wh%C4%81ingaroa-wharf-projects