Pakihikura Harbour closes due to dredging

HEB Construction, the contractors building Ōpōtiki’s new harbour entrance, will shortly start opening a channel between the two new seawalls.

Opotiki District Council photo

Pakihikura Harbour and the area around the Waioeka River mouth will be closed to all boat traffic (except Coastguard) from today, so that the works and ongoing dredging can be completed safely.

Project director, John Galbraith, said that the team has been working closely with the Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster and Coastguard to ensure everyone’s safety over the coming weeks.

“From Monday, 24 July, boat access to open water will not be available for a couple of weeks as the team start the process of slowly opening a channel between the seawalls,” said Galbraith.

Also, Mr Galbraith added that the work will then continue to fully open the river flow between the seawalls and slowly close the existing river mouth using the huge stockpile of sand.

“There are a lot of factors that will determine when the channel between the seawalls will be able to open for everyone to use and we may not know that date very far in advance. The project in full won’t be completed until early 2024, but we expect to be able to enjoy the milestone of the first boats passing through the gap as soon as August.”