Customer: Eastland Port

Contract: Design and Construct

Location: Gisborne/Tairāwhiti, New Zealand


Project Capabilities

Civil Fabrication Marine

Fast Facts

  • Rebuild a 240m long wharf
  • Enhanced pile-on-deck design
  • Uses 70 per cent less steel
  • 50% fewer piles than original design
  • Drill & drive method to reduce noise, vibration and environmental impacts

Eastland Port in Gisborne, New Zealand awarded McConnell Dowell the design and construct contract to rebuild Wharf 7 in late March 2022 after a very successful six-month value engineering exercise. Construction is expected to take about 18 months to complete.

The contract is part of Stage One of the $60 million Twin Berth Project which will enable two handymax (180-200m long) ships to load and unload at the port safely, simultaneously.

The new wharf will be strong enough to accommodate three new mobile harbour cranes and will be capable of withstanding a one-in-2500-year earthquake event providing significant regional resilience in the event of a natural disaster. 

Marty Bayley, Eastland Port’s infrastructure manager, overseeing the project said the wharf design had been significantly refined. 

“We’ve taken the time to work closely with McConnell Dowell to refine and modify our original concepts and come up with some innovative solutions.”  

Following a six-month value engineering process collaborating with the Port McConnell Dowell’s in house engineering team refined the design and used digital engineering and animation capabilities to refine the staging:

  • To maximise value and sustainability
  • Remove the need for 49,500 tonnes of hardfill
  • 3,300 fewer truck movements through the city are needed  
  • Minimise disruption to port activities
  • A drill and drive method will mitigate noise and vibration during piling
  • The design and construction also minimises the impact of the project on the marine environment, (Rua Koura (crayfish puerulus)) local ecology and seabed. 

We are also planning to use a range of sub-contractors from Tairāwhiti throughout the rebuild.  See infographic below.

Managing demolition and construction around the port operations is the key to successfully rebuilding the wharf.  Coordinating sub-contractors and maintaining a Covid-19 safe environment while working around the operational wharf will be a challenge but one that the team have experience overcoming.

For more information visit the Eastland port website here:


Port infographic landscape v6 001

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