Buller District Council

Media Release – Work starts at Westport Port

29th July, 2020

Work has started on a $4m project to install floating pontoons at Westport Port. The project was announced in February as part of a $8.5 million funding package from the Provincial Development Unit. The funding aims to help secure the West Coast’s fishing industry that employs 250 persons and contributes approximately $35m GDP per year.

The funding package included $4m to Grey District Council to install floating pontoons at Greymouth and $500,000 to Westland District to repair the wharves at Jacksons Bay, south of Haast.

At the Westport floating basin, divers have been inspecting underwater piles and electricians have been deconstructing services ahead of the old jetty being removed.

Programme manager Ray Mudgway says a request for tender to construct the jetties at Westport and Greymouth is out in the market via Tenderlink. It closes at the end of July with construction expected to start in August.

“The construction timeframes are yet to be defined. The aim is for both port developments to be complete this year.

Mudgway says both the developments have been designed in consultation with other users.

“For example, the walkways established around the Westport lagoon are protected for ongoing public use while also creating a fully secure commercial fishing precinct. This ensures that the public continues to enjoy access to their ports outside of the commercial operations which creates a safer and more efficient facility for all users.”

Late in 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund funded a port strategy that identified the need to protect the existing fishery and provide catalyst investment to underpin confidence in the sector.

The strategy identified that investment into infrastructure would enable jobs and economic growth by increasing the catch able to be processed at the ports of Greymouth and Westport.

Following the port strategy review, the councils of Westland District Council, Grey District Council, Buller District Council, West Coast Regional Council and iwi submitted a joint funding bid to the PGF to renew the fishing jetties at Westport and Greymouth, and to carry out urgent repairs and maintenance at Jackson Bay.

Fishing vessel operators at Westport and Greymouth have been involved in the design of both ports and the new structure. The layout will enhance the capacity, usability and efficiency of the ports.

The PGF funding was approved and contracted in April this year and detailed planning has been completed to support the West Coast’s position as an important New Zealand fishing region.

 

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