Wharf 7 Project

The rebuild is underway

After years in the planning work is underway on Wharf 7, the first major activity of Stage 1 for our Twin Berth project

The original Wharf 7 was built in 1967 and is no longer fit for purpose. In December 2020, we were granted resource consent to demolish and rebuild it.

We have worked with designers and construction specialists McConnell Dowell to come up with an innovative and balanced design. 

This is a major milestone for the port and the region. The new Wharf 7 will be:

  • A vital and resilient lifeline asset that will support Tairāwhiti’s growing exports.
  • Strong enough to accommodate ISO’s three mobile harbour cranes.
  • Capable of withstanding a one-in-2500-year earthquake event, providing significant regional resilience in the event of a natural disaster.

Infrastructure construction specialists McConnell Dowell have been awarded the contract for Wharf 7. A range of sub-contractors from Tairāwhiti will be used throughout the rebuild.

Read more about the construction timeline, and key consent conditions, below.

Innovative, collaborative design

Following a significant value engineering process, collaborating with McConnell Dowell’s engineering team, we significantly refined and improved the original wharf design.

It now needs just 50 percent of the piles compared to the initial design. The piles will be drilled prior to driving, so considerably less noise will be generated from the project.

The enhanced deck-on-pile design will further increase seismic resilience, improve operational longevity, reduce steel use by 70 percent and minimise the environmental impact of the structure.

No hardfill is required anymore. This leaves the seabed below as it is today, without interrupting the rua koura (crayfish puerulus) and local ecology. It also results in 3,300 fewer truck movements through the city.

We’ve formalised consultative partnerships with the hapū of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, to ensure cultural values and relationships are considered and recognised. Each hapū was given the project management plans for review and feedback, prior to approval and construction.

This is a significant logistical exercise, as we’ll be undertaking the work while continuing to keep the port operational. Throughout the build process we’re being mindful of our neighbours, everyone who uses the harbour, the wider community and our customers.

Follow our Facebook page and check the news section of this website for ongoing updates.

Rua koura

Juvenile crayfish settlement devices are deployed beneath Wharf 7, to provide additional habitats for the rua koura in our harbour.

We’ve removed them for summer, which is the low settlement period, as we get ready for construction to begin. We’ll put some back below Wharf 6 soon, and once Wharf 7 is completed we’ll attach the artificial habitats to the new piles under Wharf 7.


We’ll be putting up a silt curtain to provide a full depth physical barrier between Wharf 7 and the wider marine environment. It will be run around the site to contain sediment-laden run-off from the construction work.

Most of the sediment generated by the project will be from drilling under the water, which will be contained within the piles.


Additional noise monitoring will be installed to supplement Eastland Port’s existing monitor.

Together with McConnell Dowell we’ve changed the construction methodology from our initial plans – with the “drill and drive” method for piles, the expected noise emissions have been significantly reduced. We’re confident work will comply with the limits of our resource consent.

Wharf 7 Management Plans

Construction activity timeline: We are currently in stage 7

STAGE 1: Establishment. McConnell Dowell will establish their site offices, erect site signage, and install any environmental controls before they start any works.

STAGE 2: Piling. The front of the existing wharf deck will be removed and holes cut through the rest of the deck to make way for new steel piles. Once complete the new piles will be installed.

STAGE 3: Demolish Wharf 6. Part of Wharf 6 will be demolished completely by removing a portion of the existing deck and piles at the south-west end to make way for the new build.

STAGE 4: Demolish Wharf 7. The entire wharf deck and Wharf 7 piles will be removed. All concrete from the project will then be taken to our Matawhero site for recycling into our future projects.

STAGE 5: Pile plugs and headstocks. Once the steel piles are installed, the top of each pile will be plugged with reinforced concrete to support and connect with the concrete headstock beams. These will run between the piles to support the new wharf deck.

STAGE 6: Install pre-cast concrete deck planks. Pre-cast concrete planks will be cast onsite. Once manufactured these will be lifted into place to form the bottom portion of the new wharf deck.

STAGE 7: Pour concrete wharf deck. Reinforced concrete will be poured on top of the installed pre-cast deck planks once they are all installed, to complete the new deck slab.

STAGE 8: Install fenders, bollards and utilities. All the purchased parts needed to complete the wharf will be installed. These include new bollards and fenders for the ships to moor, as well as firefighting pumps, stormwater collection pipes, and electrical services.

STAGE 9: Demobilise from site. With Wharf 7 complete it will be time for the contractor to remove all site offices and environmental controls.

Construction video

Wharf 7 construction timelapse