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The review of its former Category 2 status was prompted by Bruce Comfort, a retired Oamaru man and self-described ``engineering heritage advocate'', who has pursued an amateur study of the 1872 breakwater for the past six years.
The 42-page review report, by Heritage New Zealand Otago historian Heather Bauchop, details the structure's historical importance for the development of the town and in shaping the district.
At the time of the breakwater's construction, Oamaru had been ``notorious for drownings and shipwrecks'', the report said.
Afterwards, Macandrew Wharf was completed in 1875, Normanby Wharf in 1878 and Cross Wharf in 1879 to produce Oamaru's now safe harbour.
PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN