Bridge project delayed

Will not be ready for Tuia 250th commemorations

Will not be ready for Tuia 250th commemorations

A BRIDGE TOO FAR?: A concept drawing of the 1000-year Puhi Kai Iti walk bridge. Councillors have budget concerns over the bridge. Picture supplied

A multimillion-dollar bridge connecting the Cook Landing site to Titirangi/Kaiti Hill will not be ready in time for the 250th commemoration of first formal meetings between Europeans and Maori.

The contract for the “1000-year walk bridge” was previously authorised by Gisborne District Council’s Future Tairawhiti committee, subject to it being within budget, but costs of the bridge have exceeded the expected budget.

A committee report this week said it “would not be delivered” before October’s Tuia 250 ki Turanga commemorations.

“The council and stakeholders are progressing with care to ensure our community receives facilities and assets that are well considered and deliver enduring tourism propositions,” the report said.

“Detailed design for the 1000-year Walk Bridge are 85 percent complete. Initial costings and delivery timeframes have been identified through the Early Contractor Involvement process.

“Subject to council’s approval, the next step is to proceed to open the competitive tender process.”

A council spokeswoman today said construction on the 1000-year pedestrian bridge had been delayed. A paper on the bridge project would go to a full council meeting on April 4.

Meanwhile, construction has started on the $1.63 million redevelopment of the Puhi Kai Iti-Cook Landing Site with a timeline for completion set for the end of August.

“Enhancements to the monument, landscaping and installation of a sculpture to acknowledge the whare wananga Puhi Kai Iti and the landing site of the navigator Maia’s waka, will be completed by the end of August.

“The Ruatanuika lookout on Titirangi to acknowledge the ancestor Te Maro, will also be completed as part of the project — all in time for sestercentennial commemorations in October.”

“The council completed an initial process with contractors to identify costs to build the bridge prior to the October event. Costs were significantly increased for delivering the project within timeframes and funding available.

“Ngati Oneone, the Department of Conservation and the council are delivering the project in partnership and we want to ensure our community receives an asset that is well considered.

“Taking the project forward now will involve completing the detailed designs for the full bridge specifications and undergoing a competitive tender process in order to get the best value for money for the community.

“In the meantime, Currie Construction are progressing work on the site as planned.”

Mayor Meng Foon is pleased the work has started.

“The installations and stories that will be told will honour the tipuna of Turanga iwi in a respectful way.”

The bridge project was included in a $3 million grant from the Lotteries Special Projects Fund last year. That also included funding for a commemoration area on Titirangi to acknowledge Te Maro, a tipuna shot and killed on the first day Lieutenant James Cook and some of his crew landed in New Zealand.

Also see editorial

A multimillion-dollar bridge connecting the Cook Landing site to Titirangi/Kaiti Hill will not be ready in time for the 250th commemoration of first formal meetings between Europeans and Maori.

The contract for the “1000-year walk bridge” was previously authorised by Gisborne District Council’s Future Tairawhiti committee, subject to it being within budget, but costs of the bridge have exceeded the expected budget.

A committee report this week said it “would not be delivered” before October’s Tuia 250 ki Turanga commemorations.

“The council and stakeholders are progressing with care to ensure our community receives facilities and assets that are well considered and deliver enduring tourism propositions,” the report said.

“Detailed design for the 1000-year Walk Bridge are 85 percent complete. Initial costings and delivery timeframes have been identified through the Early Contractor Involvement process.

“Subject to council’s approval, the next step is to proceed to open the competitive tender process.”

A council spokeswoman today said construction on the 1000-year pedestrian bridge had been delayed. A paper on the bridge project would go to a full council meeting on April 4.

Meanwhile, construction has started on the $1.63 million redevelopment of the Puhi Kai Iti-Cook Landing Site with a timeline for completion set for the end of August.

“Enhancements to the monument, landscaping and installation of a sculpture to acknowledge the whare wananga Puhi Kai Iti and the landing site of the navigator Maia’s waka, will be completed by the end of August.

“The Ruatanuika lookout on Titirangi to acknowledge the ancestor Te Maro, will also be completed as part of the project — all in time for sestercentennial commemorations in October.”

“The council completed an initial process with contractors to identify costs to build the bridge prior to the October event. Costs were significantly increased for delivering the project within timeframes and funding available.

“Ngati Oneone, the Department of Conservation and the council are delivering the project in partnership and we want to ensure our community receives an asset that is well considered.

“Taking the project forward now will involve completing the detailed designs for the full bridge specifications and undergoing a competitive tender process in order to get the best value for money for the community.

“In the meantime, Currie Construction are progressing work on the site as planned.”

Mayor Meng Foon is pleased the work has started.

“The installations and stories that will be told will honour the tipuna of Turanga iwi in a respectful way.”

The bridge project was included in a $3 million grant from the Lotteries Special Projects Fund last year. That also included funding for a commemoration area on Titirangi to acknowledge Te Maro, a tipuna shot and killed on the first day Lieutenant James Cook and some of his crew landed in New Zealand.

Also see editorial

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John Fricker - 2 months ago
Amazing, 250 years to prepare for an event and these clowns blow it.
Not all bad, though - it isn't worth doing now, looks crap and is a waste of time and money. If they start planning for the 300-year commemorations right away and a dollop of common sense is introduced, it is still possible to come up with a far superior memorial to James Cook's amazing achievement. With luck the 2019 hijackers won't be dominant in 2069.

John - 2 months ago
Why bother with it now then ?