$7m for work on port at Greymouth

The Coast saw the country's highest increase in regional house sales in July. Photo: Getty Images
Greymouth. Photo: ODT files.
The Port of Greymouth is enjoying its biggest investment in probably 60 years, with $7million for dredging, new wharves and an expanded slipway.

The fishing port was developed in Erua Moana Lagoon in the 1960s, but subsequent investment by the harbour board and later the council dwindled to nothing.

A renaissance began in recent years, when Talley’s and Westfleet took over their wharves, and carried out strengthening work. In 2014, Westfleet built a multimillion-dollar fish factory.

The Government has now come on board with a mixture of Provincial Growth Fund and post-Covid economic stimulus funding — $3million to strengthen the slipway at Steer Ave, $800,000 for a new dredging operation, and several million dollars for floating pontoons to replace some of the worn moorings.

The Government also spent $750,000 on urgent dredging after the port became so silted up that boats were grounding, and $125,000 for port feasibility studies.

Greymouth Port team leader Franco Horridge said the current investment would create a ‘‘modern, safe facility’’, that was more user-friendly for the fishing industry.

The dredging would also keep the port at a usable depth.

Mr Horridge said work had begun on the floating pontoons to go on the inland side of the lagoon, south of Talley’s and Martins Quay.

The new pontoon wharves would stretch 180m. Installation was due to start next month.

Former mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the last big investment was when the lagoon was cleared in the 1960s, after the government had introduced incentives to encourage the fishing industry.

The footbridge between Blaketown and Gresson St was removed as more boats had to pass under and into the lagoon wharves.

‘‘I was the last one over it, with a mate,’’ Mr Kokshoorn said.

By 1996, the port’s fortunes were waning and the council of the day decided not to spend another dollar, he said.

Greymouth Mayor Tania Gibson said yesterday she hoped the new investment was the start of a new chapter with the port.

Already businesses had been asking about potential opportunities.

 — Greymouth Star


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