15 May 2009

Wellington wharf repairs expected to cost millions

7:40 pm on 15 May 2009

Wellington ratepayers face a multimillion-dollar repair bill to fix the capital's ageing wharves.

The council-owned Wellington Waterfront is responsible for the development of the 20-hectare site.

The estimated $40 million repair bill includes the cost of fixing piles under an area known as the outer T on Queens Wharf and the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

It does not include the cost of repairing the area under Shed 6, which includes Fergs Kayaks and restaurants Shed 5 and Dockside.

The total cost of repairs will not be known until the future of each site becomes clear.

Wellington Waterfront chief executive Ian Pike estimates it will cost up to $6 million to repair the piles. He says the company has about half the money it needs and work will begin in the next 18 months to three years.

The company will hold a competition shortly calling for the public's ideas on the future of the outer T area after an Environment Court decision last year quashed plans for a Hilton Hotel on the site.

Lobby group Waterfront Watch won the court appeal against the hotel development and says Wellington City Council has neglected its responsibilities to maintain the area.

Meanwhile, the Environment Court is expected to release its decision on the future of plans to redevelop the passenger terminal in about two months.