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Ōpōtiki District Council Remind Community To Keep Out Of Active Harbour Construction Site

Ōpōtiki District Council are reminding the community, whilst work progresses on the Ōpōtiki Harbour Project and boats regularly use the water access in and out of Pākihikura, it's still an active construction site.

Pedestrians are urged to avoid crossing the delineation fences on the beaches both sides of the river channel.

David Wyeth, HEB construction’s Project Manager has been leading the project since 2020. He said there have been several recent issues with pedestrians and cyclists crossing the fences and accessing the site.

“Health and safety on site is our first priority. I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to respect those boundaries and not wander on to the construction site. We have all sorts of machinery, truck movements and soft areas within the site and it is unsafe for anyone to cross those fences and be moving around in the construction area,"

“The Ōpōtiki worksite and the fences have generally been well-respected over the last few years, but I have seen a recent spike in the number of unauthorised people accessing the project area. It might be because the project is nearing completion and there is now boat access through the new channel, so maybe in some people’s minds the project is already complete,”

“But we still have quite a bit of land-based work to do before the project is finished, so the last thing we want is an injury or near-miss this close to the finish line," Wyeth says.

“While the beaches and seawalls may seem complete there are still a number of hazards present within the site that may not seem obvious at first glance. Please respect our worksite while we finish the remaining activities,”

Ōpotiki District Council advise, Ōpōtiki Harbour project is on track to be completed (excluding final reinstatement works and wetland plantings) in the coming months.

The entire four-meter draft across the width of the channel is expected to be accessible to boaties by July, with complete public access to seawalls, as well as parking and pedestrian pathways.

In the interim, Mr. Wyeth reminded the public to adhere to the marked-out channel for boating and avoid crossing the erected fence lines on the beach.

Image: Ōpōtiki District Council

Public Interest Journalism funded by New Zealand On Air.


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