Preliminary work to prepare the wharf for demolition in early 2024 began this week (8 December).
Initial activities include;
- Removing the yacht club ‘starter box’ from the wharf head
- Removing wharf furniture and installing bird nesting deterrents
- Installing temporary pile strengthening splinters so demolition can be undertaken safely
Work is being carried out in partnership with CentrePort. They are the owners and operators of the adjacent Seaview Wharf which is being upgraded at the same time. This has given us the opportunity to utilise the same contractor, Brian Perry Civil (BPC), improving the overall delivery of both projects.
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The Point Howard Wharf is located on the north-eastern side of the Wellington Harbour, between the suburbs of Seaview and Sorrento Bay in Lower Hutt. It was Wellington’s primary oil terminal until the completion of the Seaview Wharf in 1979, although chemical tankers continued to use the wharf for a few years after that. In 1993 the wharf was designated for recreational use, accessible to the public for fishing and sightseeing.
Public access to the outer T of the wharf was ceased in 2010 due to poor condition, and this section of the wharf was demolished in 2013. In 2015 a comprehensive condition survey was completed by Calibre Consulting.
A visual survey of Point Howard Wharf was undertaken following the Kaikoura earthquakes in November 2016. The report from this revealed continued deterioration of the wharf as well as damage sustained during the earthquakes.
For public safety, the entire wharf was closed to the public in 2019 and a gate installed to prevent access.
In 2021, the wharf piles were assessed by Calibre Consulting Ltd for defects and degradation. Of the 99 piles assessed, 54 were of fair condition, and 45 in poor to very poor condition. Deterioration of piles was common and some piles were already broken in half, had previous repair done, or are experiencing top-end splitting. The only piles in a satisfactory condition were those encased in concrete; however, the lower section of the steel formwork had started to corrode on some of these piles.
In June 2021, following the assessment which showed the poor and deteriorating condition of the wharf, and the prohibitive cost for refurbishment, Council resolved to remove the entire structure of the wharf.