Oamaru breakwater repairs needed to continue harbour protection

Friday 24 July 2015, 12:16PM
By Waitaki District Council


Preventative maintenance work on the Oamaru harbour breakwater is being proposed to be brought forward due to its age and continuous impact from heavy seas and exposure to the coastal marine environment.

The harbour breakwater, built during the 1880s, is seen as a significant asset for a small local fishing industry and recreational users and has the potential to be developed for future eco and water-based tourism activities.

Water Services and Waste Manager Martin Pacey says the repair work was scheduled to be done in 2016, however, there has been significant damage done to the breakwater and the repairs have become more urgent.

“Recent heavy seas have inflicted substantial damage on the breakwater resulting in urgent remedial work being required,” says Mr Pacey.

“The breakwater was constructed well over 100 years ago, was extended and raised in the 1930s and 1940s and had additional strengthening work done in the 1950/60s, however, most of the strengthening work has been lost by continual pounding of the sea.”

Repair work is likely to cost in the vicinity of $200-$250,000 and although repair methods are still to be finalised it is anticipated to involve the placement of fill, concrete and rock to support and protect the undermined sections of the breakwater.

“To build a new, equivalent structure would cost anywhere from $24 to $45 million so even though considerable money is needed to do remedial work, it is far less than a complete replacement which would be a heavy burden for ratepayers.”


For further information please contact:

Martin Pacey
Water Services and Waste Manager
Phone: 021 341 916
Email: mpacey@waitaki.govt.nz