Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New boardwalk steps out in Mangōnui

Mangōnui’s waterfront is being transformed by a boardwalk extension project that will improve access to the popular Doubtless Bay destination, provide more parking and improve safety.

The existing wooden boardwalk is being extended by about 350 metres from the War Memorial on Waterfront Road to Tasman Street. This will then link to a 550-metre gravel path ending at Māori Point, Far North District Council said in a statement.

The design includes dual walking and cycling boardwalks to connect the village with the harbour and a new jetty and pontoon to provide access to the water for recreational activities, including boating, fishing and swimming. 

The extension work involves installing piles at the water’s edge, attaching joists to the piles, then a layer of wooden decking on top of the joists to create the boardwalk. Over half of the boardwalk has now been completed with the remainder due to be finished by the end of February next year.   

The project is the culmination of five years of work by the Mangōnui Waterfront Facilities Working Group that included input from Kenana Marae. A community survey in 2019 found strong support for plans to extend the boardwalk, increase parking and install a gangway and pontoon at the circular wharf.

Far North Mayor, John Carter says the project, which is managed by Far North Holdings Limited, will increase Mangōnui’s waterfront recreation area. It will also boost parking by up to 40 spaces, improve street and boardwalk lighting, extend footpaths, and add concrete steps for swimmers at an upgraded jetty, gangway and pontoon, he said.

Mayor Carter says safety improvements will be substantial.

“There was a danger that people parking along the waterfront could accidentally step off the road and into the sea. This will no longer be a problem with the new three-metre-wide boardwalk and a safety barrier,” he said.

In September 2020, an 89-year-old woman died after falling into the water from Waterfront Road. A coroner’s report released in November 2021 found that the fall was caused by a medical event. The coroner did not recommend any new safety features for the area because of work now underway to extend the boardwalk, Council said in a statement.  

The project is being funded by $5.56 million from the Council’s Long Term Plan and a $1.5 million contribution from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. 

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