Kōpū Marine Servicing and Business Precinct
- Project typeInfrastructure
- Project value$15.3m
- Contractor nameFulton Hogan, Land + Sea Civil and the Heron Group
Safety alert: Please note, this area is dangerous and out of bounds to members of the public. Without the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) or induction safety training there are a number of hazards on the wharf.
Works update: 8 December 2023
Construction of this major facility for the district is entering its final few months, on track to be opened for use in May 2024.
The commercial wharf has been constructed up to the T head (the section of the wharf structure that looks like the letter "T" when viewed from above).
The piling barge Calliope has relocated and is currently setting up the temporary works to enable the installation of the remaining wharf and fender piles. All wharf piles are due to be installed before Christmas.
The commercial slipway is currently being constructed. The concrete ramp is going to be poured in two halves with the first pour due the week beginning 11 December. The full concrete surface will be constructed before Christmas.
After the Christmas break, Heron Construction and Land + Sea Civil will be returning to site on 8 January to pour the wharf’s concrete topping slab, install wharf furniture and place the floating pontoons to the recreational boat ramp and wharf.
Fulton Hogan will be returning to site on 15 January to complete the formation of King Street. Once King Street has been constructed, Fulton Hogan will move into the precinct area to complete their finishing works which include widening the Quay Street entrance, laying services, topping up the pavement areas and installing the lights, CCTV cameras, fences, gates and signage.
27 October 2023
Work on the project is progressing well with the piling barge Calliope having commenced the seaward-side pile-driving operations on the commercial wharf.
Twenty-four piles have been driven in by Calliope and filled with steel and concrete. The pre-cast concrete headstocks and unispan panels have also been installed, meaning approximately 50m of the commercial wharf has been constructed.
The cofferdam is complete and has been dewatered. Excavations for the commercial slipway are underway.
The target date for the commercial slipway to be complete is the end of December 2023, while the commercial wharf is expected to be competed by the end of March 2024.
Progress video Tuesday 10 October 2023
Join Councillor Peter Revell for a look on progress at the Kopu Marine Servicing and Business Precinct in the video below.
Background to the construction
Contractors Fulton Hogan completed the first stage of works at the end of March 2023. These works included forming the base for the recreational parking and commercial areas, installing piles to support crane pads, and connecting the newly formed King Street to the precinct, including installing communications, electrical conduits and water.
Urban Solutions is overseeing construction under Council direction, with contractors Fulton Hogan, Land + Sea Civil and the Heron Group carrying out the work. Local sub-contractors will be used as much as possible throughout the build.
Fulton Hogan will return in early 2024 to complete the carpark surface, King Street paving and Quay St entrance widening.
When it’s finished, the facility will consist of:
- an 80m long commercial wharf and floating pontoon enabling in-water marine servicing and vessel loading
- an expanded, unsealed haul-out
- an upgraded, concrete reinforced slipway; and
- a public boat ramp and car park.
The whole precinct is now due to be completed by April 2024. Jobs will be created through the precinct’s construction, with the potential for up to 100 positions longer term, once the build is complete.
As the project progresses, our Council's Health and Safety team would also like to acknowledge how proactive and responsive the contractors have been at managing the safety of staff on-site. The on-site management team have been excellent in sharing health and safety messages with their staff. They have robust reporting and communication processes in place, as well as contributing meaningfully to health and safety discussions.
Financing the project
Most of the $15.3 million cost of the project is being met through an $8.2 million grant from the government’s Crown Infrastructure Partners Fund, $4.05 million from the Three Waters Reform ‘better off’ funding from the Department of Internal Affairs and $1.4 million from the Thames Community Board’s Thames Urban General-Purpose Reserve.
A further $565,000 has been granted from the Waikato Regional Council’s Regional Fund. The Thames Community Board has currently underwritten the contingency shortfall while external funding is sought for the remaining $565,000.
Local business involvement
Thanks for the following local businesses, organisations and suppliers who have been working on the project:
- Fulton Hogan – Waikato-based team
- Kerepehi Transport for test piling operation
- HG Leach engaged to supply quarry materials
- Cirtex engaged to supply geogrid and geotextile materials
- Hydra-Care engaged for hydro-excavation to locate underground services
- Kōpū Engineering for minor truck repairs.
- Avalon Motel used to locally house Fulton Hogan staff
- Local hospitality ie Kōpū Hotel, Kōpū Cafe
- Local Porter Hire branch for plant and equipment hire
- Ngāti Maru for cultural induction and cultural monitoring
- Ngaati Whanaunga for cultural induction and cultural monitoring.
2020 - $8.2m approved by the government for the development of a marine and business precinct in Kōpū
2018 - A feasibility study for Kōpū was completed and an application to the central government Provincial Growth Fund for a business case to progress the project was approved.
2015 - Kōpū Doing Business Better programme was launched. A working group was established with representation from our staff, NZTA, Waikato Regional Council ,iwi and the Kōpū Landowners Association. In conjunction with BECA, a professional services consultancy, it has produced a draft Kopu Develoment concept plan. The draft Kōpū Development Concept Plan which has been submitted to Council's Proposed District Plan.
2014 - With input from the Working Group, BECA produced a draft Kōpū Development Concept Plan - Stage 1 Report which was presented to Kōpū businesses on 5 March 2014 for their comment and submission to the Proposed District Plan prior to 14 March 2014. Thames Community Board submitted to the Proposed District Plan in favor of the concept plan. This concept plan is intended to be a development framework which will form an additional layer of detail to the Kōpū to Thames Structure Plan.
2013 - A survey of Kōpū business operators was conducted which helped identify infrastructure and service needs and ideas for the Kōpū business park upgrade and gateway concept. The survey resulted in the Kōpū Concept Plan Analysis Summary.
In August 2020 the government funded $8.2 million towards revamping the marine-servicing infrastructure and create new economic development opportunities.
This project is being supported from the $3 billion ‘shovel ready’ fund set aside in Budget 2020 to kick-start the post COVID-19 economic recovery.
This will not only support employment in the Thames township, it will also provide alternative marine-servicing options for vessels from the Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel, Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei.
It will have immediate benefits for the local community by creating up to 13 jobs in the short-term. Another 19 jobs will be created through the precinct’s construction, with potential for up to 108 downstream jobs when the project is complete.
It is estimated that the Kōpū Marine Precinct could bring economic returns of up to $58.5 million over the next 30 years. It brings fresh opportunities to the boat repair and maintenance, aquaculture, trade and transport industries.
“We’re breaking out the bubbly to celebrate,” says Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Kōpū has been a prime site we’ve been promoting for business opportunities for some time and we’re grateful to the government for recognising the potential and opportunities this area has.”
“This is not just good news for us and our neighbours, but also in boosting potential Maori economic development opportunities for Ngati Maru in the longer term as Treaty settlements are finalised over the next few years.,” says Mayor Sandra. “This also complements the Te Ariki Wahi/Sugarloaf Wharf project, which also benefitted from Provincial Growth Funding (PGF) of $19.95million to expand the wharf for the marine industry, in a joint venture between our Council, the Coromandel Marine Farmers (CoroMFA) and the Crown.”
The $8,2million funding for Kōpū will go towards planning and construction of a new access road, upgraded boat ramp and car park. A floating pontoon and mud berth – which allows boats to rest on the seabed – will facilitate in-water servicing and dismantling.
While the project provides new commercial opportunities, it also features upgrades that will benefit recreational users and will enable the continued use of Kōpū by the community.
“Kōpū already has excellent connections to Tauranga, Auckland and Hamilton and a good foundation of existing marine-related businesses. This project will enhance and diversify local economic opportunities while improving the resilience of the marine industry
In December 2018 central government through the Provincial Growth Fund approved $270,000 towards a business case began investigating Kōpū as a centre to support marine servicing operations across the Hauraki Gulf, as well as being a connector for water-based tourism opportunities – connecting across the Hauraki Gulf as well as through to the Paeroa Wharf .
- This project sits within Council's wider "Productivity Plan" aimed at improving the economic outcomes for our District. Some of the outcomes of the is to produce tangible benefits for the community, including employment and improved use of Māori assets. It will focus on ensuring the protection and enhancement of our District’s natural features, while ensuring productive assets can be managed sustainably into the future, considering the potential effects of climate change.
- Through market research and feasibility testing, talking to Iwi, key stakeholders, users, marine construction industry and others, the business case provided a robust and realistic investment ready option at a level of detail that provides high degree of certainty. This included design plans, consenting information and on-going overhead costs.
Why is the facility being built?
The project is focused on marine servicing at the Kōpū Marine Precinct to increase productivity and reduce the barriers to entry for service providers, attracting new businesses to the area, enabling economic growth and jobs.
The project also provides for diversification and resilience by creating all tide loading facilities for servicing vessels including (but not limited to) marine farming barges at Kōpū with excellent roading infrastructure connection to Tauranga, Auckland and Hamilton.
What does it include?
Once built the infrastructure will consist of:
- An 80m long commercial wharf and floating pontoon enabling in-water marine servicing and vessel loading;
- An expanded, unsealed haul out area and upgrade to Quay Street entrance, suitable for truck deliveries and boat haulage to hardstands within the marine precinct;
- An upgraded, concrete reinforced slipway;
- Formation of a new access road (King Street);
A public boat ramp and car park for recreational trailer boat users to provide safe separation from commercial activities.Who does it cater for?
This project primarily carers for the Marine servicing industry, providing infrastructure to enable growth of marine servicing businesses in Kōpū and further afield. Some examples of Marine servicing include:
- Marine engineering and manufacturing companies
- Boat maintenance and builders
- Boat de-fouling businesses
- Marine electricians, upholsters, mechanics,
- Boat haulage companies
- Marine logistics and parts
- Marine retail
Who will own and manage it?
TCDC will be the asset owner. Management of the facility will be undertaken through a qualified maritime company. Expressions of interest will be sought for an appropriate management company to operate the facility on behalf of Council and the users.
Will there be space for recreational boats?
Yes, one of the key outcomes of the project is to ensure separation of the recreational and commercial operations to address health and safety risks and operational issues. The formation of King Street will provide public access to a dedicated public recreational boat ramp and parking area. A barrier and gate will segregate the recreational and commercial areas.
What about commercial use?
A wharf and floating pontoon is proposed to enable in-water marine servicing and vessel loading;
An expanded, unsealed haul out area is proposed as well as an upgrade to Quay Street entrance to facilitate truck deliveries and boat haulage to hardstands within the marine precinct;
The existing slipway will be upgraded and sealed to help with commercial boat launching and retrieval.
Will there be any fees/charges to use it?
There will be fees and charges set for use of the new facility for both commercial and recreational users.
What’s the benefits of having this facility?
The projected benefits to be gained from this development are identified as:
- Enable existing marine operations to be met
- Reduce the conflict between commercial and recreational facility operations
- Meet future demands for servicing of aquaculture and charter vessels
- Growth in aquaculture servicing needs
- Growth in recreational and charter fishing
- Providing resilience for the aquaculture industry
- Stimulate economic growth in the Thames-Coromandel and surrounding districts by:
- Creating opportunities for partnerships with Iwi, community, and public/private sectors
- Generating sustainable, skilled employment opportunities for locals and attract workers to the district, increasing productivity.
Are iwi supportive?
The project has been in partnership with Ngati Maru who have been involved since the Business Case was undertaken in 2018. Iwi have contributed and informed the design of the facility and are providing a Cultural Impact Assessment to help with the Resource Consenting stage of the project.
Kōpū, Thames View Map