Coastal wharf upgrades

We are planning an upgrade of the coastal wharves in the CBD and Eastern suburbs. This will help to ensure the structures are safe and can be used by the community for years to come.

About the project

The purpose of the upgrades is to ensure the wharves are maintained in structurally sound condition, and those beyond repair are demolished.

The upgrade is also important for contingency planning. In the event of an emergency, the wharves will allow continued access to the CBD and Eastern suburbs, even if roads are closed.

Work started in late 2019 will continue over the next few years. 

The works have been funded in the Annual Plan budget 2019/2020 and are part of a 10-year investment strategy to ensure coastal structures are maintained appropriately.

Who we are working with

We are working closely with key stakeholders, including:

  • our treaty partners
  • Heritage New Zealand
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council.


In 2017, the council commissioned a detailed condition assessment report on coastal assets, which included engineering and diving surveys. The report identified a number of structures that required immediate intervention to retain their structural integrity.

In light of the report findings, we committed to an upgrade of the coastal wharves in the Eastern suburbs.

Some of the wharves are identified heritage structures or have links to interesting historical events in Wellington Harbour. This means any repairs will need to use identical materials and structures to the original, replacing ‘like with like’ where possible. We are working closely with Heritage New Zealand on this.

Over the last twelve months, we have been working with external technical services to carry out a number of reports to support planning the repairs.

What's being done

Queens Wharf and Police Wharf - Completed

The upgrade included strengthening of around 50 piles and replacing fendering. Work was completed in late 2020. 

Seatoun Wharf

The assessment identified an area of immediate concern with the outer section of the wharf. In the short term, we have been able to keep the majority of the structure open and in use by fencing off a section of the outer end. Engineers have advised that due to its age, condition and use, the wharf structure requires a substantial upgrade. They have prepared a design in conjunction with a heritage advisor. Building and resource consent applications have been secured.

Work has been underway since July 2021 and the wharf is expected to be closed for 12 months. During the closure period the East by West Ferry is not operating at this stop. 

Repair works include:

  • Repairing the piles by splicing new sections above seabed level
  • New bracing on the outer wharf section to provide loading capability for boats, and to resist waves
  • Retaining existing handrails and kerbs, and putting new ones where needed
  • New energy absorbing fenders on the outer landing, to replace the existing tyres
  • Replacing all cross bearers and some deck joists with new hardwood
  • Replacing decking timber with new hardwood planking
  • Strengthening the four eastern most piles on the wharf head, using steel embedded into the seabed
  • Installing new ladders and a life ring
  • Lighting will be renewed

Cog Wharf, the Patent Slip Jetty and the Clyde Quay Boat Harbour Slipway

These structures were to be demolished, however in discussions with heritage advisors it was seen as more appropriate to repair and retain the Cog Park Wharf, also known as the Flying Boat Jetty. The demolition of the Patent Slip jetty and the Clyde Quay Boat Harbour slipway will proceed as planned, due to their poor condition and the cost of rebuilding.

Sadly, time and the elements have had their way the Patent Slip Jetty, which has now decayed beyond the point of repair. However, as part of the demolition we looking to keep and rebuild the first one or two bays of the Jetty, about 10 to 20 metres (it is currently 100 metres long) and will be adding signage and interpretation to keep the history alive for future generations to come. We have also proposed to do 3D modelling of the Jetty as a way to record the structure so it can be viewed online.


  • Late 2021: Application for resource consent
  • 2022: Demolition and part rebuild to begin

Karaka Bay Wharf

We are starting repairs on the Karaka Bay Jetty mid-July 2022, with an estimated closure of around 2 months. There will be no access to the jetty while the works are being carried out.

Work includes: 

  • Repair of the two outer piles with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) jackets
  • The addition of four new timber joists 
  • Resurfacing of the asphalt deck

Project timing

The timeframe for each of structure depends on a number of processes. This page has the latest information. 

More information

Joel de Boer, Parks, Sports and Recreation
Phone: 04 - 499 4444