A detailed artist’s model of the historic Mangawhai wharf, showing how it will appear when constructed

Historic wharf plans in action

by Andy Bryenton

A trust formed in Mangawhai to bring about the construction of a wharf in the seaside town has reached the halfway point in its campaign to raise funds for resource consent.

The Mangawhai historic wharf would be a modern recreation of the structure, which facilitated transport and commerce from colonial times through until the post-war era. Public desire for a new wharf is strong, and supported by many local institutions, clubs and groups, says Mangawhai Historic Wharf Trust chairman Colin Leach.

“It’s been discussed by many sectors of the community what a wonderful addition to the town it would be to restore the historic wharf,” he says. “The beginning of the idea came out of the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society, who have as one of their aims ‘to restore the historic nature of the harbour’. The original wharf was a big part of early Mangawhai life, and only went out of service at the end of World War ll.”

The concept for a new wharf, to be constructed near the historic Mangawhai Tavern in the village end of town, has been easier to conceive thanks to the existence of detailed hand-drawn plans from the 1920s, outlining a refurbishment of the original wharf from the 1880s. Completed the wharf will stretch 12 metres out into the channel to allow access for tourist boats and anglers. A shelter structure will replicate the old cargo shed, which graced the original wharf, and of course, modern, longer-lasting materials will be used in its manufacture.

“We’re rebuilding it for the public to enjoy and use, as well as in its role as a historic landmark,” says Mr Leach. “It will be for kids to swim off, people to fish from, and to promote tourism.”

Currently, the trust is raising funds to meet resource consent costs, in preparation for the build. To help make this project a reality and to find out more visit mangawhaihistoricwharf.com.