Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced additional funding of $700,000 for the restoration of Kaikōura Harbour, bringing the government’s total contribution to $5.7 million.
Two major commercial operators, Whale Watch Kaikōura and Encounter Kaikōura, have been working with the Kaikōura District Council and the Crown and have also agreed to help fund the harbour’s restoration.
Mr Brownlee says the collaborative approach between local and central government and business operators will mean this essential facility will be better than it was before the magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
An initial $5 million government contribution to repairs was announced in December after the earthquake rendered the harbour unusable outside high tide.
“With this additional funding we’re well on track to getting the harbour fully up and running again by October.
“The harbour is an essential part of infrastructure for Kaikōura, providing livelihoods for the operators and supporting businesses and the platform for a world renowned tourist experience.
“The initial $5 million grant was a rough estimate so repairs could get going immediately. Now that the detailed design is complete, we have a better picture of the total costs.
“It’s been a huge job. Massive amounts of material were dredged and removed after the seabed was raised by up to 2m in places by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
“The additional funding will restore the four berths and jetty, which are vital to the operations of the whale and dolphin watching tourist ventures.
“Knowing the facilities will be restored and enhanced provides a welcome platform for operators to support further development.
“Now we have certainty for Whale Watch Kaikōura and other operators. They can now plan for next season, safe in the knowledge that the harbour will be ready in time,” Mr Brownlee says.
Kaikōura Mayor Winston Gray says he welcomes the government funding and support and looks forward to the ongoing partnership with the local operators.
“Marine-based tourist attractions are so important for Kaikōura.
“They are our main drawcard. A good proportion of our workforce is dependent the tourism industry, so getting the harbour functional again by the tourist season will be welcomed by the whole town,” Mr Gray says.
Attachments: The aerial map shows what work has been completed to date and the design drawing shows what restoration project entails.