Kaikōura Marine Development Project - Wakatu Quay

History of Wakatu Quay

Wakatu Quay (the New Wharf), costing a total of £7,762, was officially opened by the Premier, Sir Joseph Ward, on 8 May 1909.

Throughout the 20th century the New Wharf served mostly as a hub for various commercial fishing related activities. By 2016 the area housed a community run aquarium and pāua processing plant. After the earthquakes all three of the 20th century buildings were derelict and in poor condition, having been subject to a combination of neglect, earthquake damage, and vandalism.

Image - collection of Kaikōura Museum - Kaikōura Pier Hotel and New Wharf area c1920. Aerial view of Regatta with boats racing & spectators watching from the wharf.

Provincial Growth Funding

In 2018 Kaikōura District Council was awarded $200,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to investigate the suitability of three concepts for funding including the development of Wakatu Quay and South Bay Harbour.

Input was sought from locals, experts and government. Based on these investigations Council successfully applied to PGF for $10.88M – up to $9.88M to develop Wakatu Quay and up to $1M to study how South Bay Harbour and its surrounds could be developed.

PGF funds for the Kaikōura Marine Development Project are to

- enhance economic development opportunities
- create sustainable jobs
- boost social inclusion and participation
- build resilient communities

Kaikōura Marine Development Project

The Kaikōura Marine Development Governance Group were put in place to oversee and manage the project in line with requirements from the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) who administer the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). 

Members of the group are Chair Danny Smith, Mayor Craig Mackle, Councillor Neil Pablecheque, Warren Gillberson; MBIE, Ata Kahu; Chair Te Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, Darren Kerri Keepa, Neroli Gold, Lynette Buurman, Joe Van Rooyen and Gerald Nolan. 

The Project Lead is Chris Sturgeon and the Project Coordinator is Emma Duncan.

For more information on the project contact kmdp@kaikoura.govt.nz



The development of Wakatu Quay will celebrate the strong cultural history and unique identity of this site while providing innovative opportunities for economic growth, sustainable employment and expansion and community gathering spaces.

The vision for Wakatu Quay is to create a connected mixed use space, accessible for all with a vibrancy and distinct sense of place; establishing the area as an enduring cultural, tourism and community asset for now and into the future.

Download the full Vision for Wakatu Quay

What's Next

Early 2021
The project has commenced the design concept phase.
Feedback was 
sought from the community in early February, this was chance for people to share their thoughts on what they would suggest could be built on the site. 
Engage the market for concept design.

Mid 2021
Release of designs.

Late 2021/early 2022


Feedback from community

Thanks to everyone who took part in the feedback survey for the Wakatu Quay development.

Over 150 people took part and about 400 suggestions were received. The feedback has been included in the concept design proposal that is currently out to tender.

Project Coordinator, Emma Duncan and Project Lead, Chris Sturgeon drew the winner of the flight with Wings Over Whales on 16 February, congratulations to Sabrina Lücht. Thanks to Dan Stevenson and the Wings over Whales team.

You can download a graph of the Community feedback we received here.


Updates and more information

For more information contact kmdp@kaikoura.govt.nz

You can also sign up to our online newsletter which will keep you in the loop with all things to do with the Kaikōura Marine Development Project.

17/01/2020 Media Release - $10.98million of Provincial Growth Funding Announced for Kaikōura
07/08/2020 Media Release - Kaikōura Marine Development project begins with a blessing.
28/09/2020 Media Release - Project Lead appointed for Kaikōura Marine Development Project
03/12/2020 Media Release - Wakatu Quay opens to the public in time for summer season


15 February 2021