Kaiapoi wharf

The historic Kaiapoi Wharf area suffered extensive damage in the 2010 Canterbury Earthquake.

Investigations and consultation have been carried out to decide on its future redevelopment. As a result, the booking of new berths at the wharf is suspended until further notice.

Following consultation on various options for the wharf area, along with engineering assessments, the Council has agreed to retain the 'new wharf ' and to demolish the 'old wharf ' and the berth that formally served the vessel MV Tuhoe. A replacement floating pontoon structure is proposed in place of the old berth for use by casual boaties and the Coastguard in conjunction with the new slipway.

It is also intended to have a floating pontoon as well as improving the pedestrian connection between the Williams Street Bridge and the wharf area in conjunction with the redevelopment of the former Hansen's site.

Redevelopment progress

(Updated 1 November 2016)

Work on the redevelopment of the Kaiapoi Wharf has begun, and will see some disruption for regular users while the strengthening and upgrades to both the wharf and the wharf side area are completed.

This project, which is being undertaken by the Waimakariri District Council in conjunction with Environment Canterbury (ECan), is part of the overall earthquake recovery and regeneration of the Kaiapoi Riverbanks area.

The redevelopment of the wharf area includes the following keys items of work:

Item Scope Provisional timing
1 Enabling works, services disconnections/relocations, some stopbank works (ECan) Complete
2 Railway platform and downstream wharf deconstruction Complete
3 Stopbank raising (behind wharf) and bank re-shaping (ECan) Complete
4 Upstream wharf strengthening works Complete
5 Wharf side site-works, including new access roads and parking areas November 2016 - February 2017
6 Stopbank repairs and realignment (toward Williams Street bridge) TBC (ECan)
7 Landscaping works March 2017

The downstream (older) part of the wharf has been replaced with a rock revetment, with bank re-shaping.

The railway platform canopy was deconstructed in sections to allow for future reinstatement (new site yet to be determined). Salvaged parts of the MV Tuhoe berth will be incorporated into the new landscaping around the wharf.

A key part of the redeveloped area is the inclusion of more green space, and the changing of the access road configuration. The new layout for the area was approved by both the Riverbanks Steering Group and the Kaiapoi Community Board last year.

Impacts of the redevelopment:
  • The wharf will be closed to the general public, and fenced, for the duration of the works.
  • There may be limited access for boat owners at certain stages, if vessels are tied alongside.
  • Vessels will need to be removed from alongside the wharf for stages 2 through 4 (the period from the start of March until the end of May approximately).
  • While vessels will potentially be able to be tied alongside the upstream wharf from stage 5 onward, the site will still be a construction area at this point so vehicle and pedestrian access may be limited.
  • There will be no power or water supplies from the commencement of the programme in March 2016 until the completion of stage 5, scheduled for the early 2017.
  • The physical works are likely to create noise, dust, increased heavy traffic movement and siltation. The contractors will actively manage the control of any environmental effects to limit disruption, ensuring that these are both within suitable guidelines and in line with the conditions of resource consents for the works.
  • The playground on Morgan Williams Reserve has removed as part of these works. The playground equipment will be reused elsewhere in Kaiapoi. Nearby playground facilities are now located at the new recreation precinct at Trousselot Park.


View the concept plans for the whole Kaiapoi riverbanks enhancement project (pdf, 492.7 KB).

Kaiapoi River boat ramps

The lower Kaiapoi River can be accessed by a public launch point at Askeaton Park (off Hall Street in Kaiapoi). 

A new 20 metre-wide boat ramp shared with the Waimakariri-Ashley Coastguard has been completed. This will open when the Wharf side siteworks is completed in early 2017

Access to the ramp has been designed on the basis of a 6.5 metre long boat trailer, which is larger than most boat trailers used at Kaiapoi. This design gives drivers the choice to drive into the Coastguard area and then reverse onto the ramp. When there is no Coastguard boat present, boat owners could potentially use a bigger area of the ramp to launch.