First passengers check in at new temporary terminal in Waitohi Picton
Otago University students and sisters Laura and Emma were the first to check in when the temporary terminal opened on 19 June. Both had travelled the long haul from Dunedin to Picton by bus, and were excited to be sailing to the other side to join family
iRex Programme Director David Warburton says the opening was a milestone in the true sense of the word.
"The ferries that cross this Strait are part of the main rail trunk line and a key extension of State Highway 1's freight route. When we have the new ferries here, we will need the infrastructure to support them, and the opening of the new temporary terminal for foot passengers is a big step in the process."
Te Ātiawa o te Waka-o-Māui Trust Chair Racheal Hāte says the opening of the temporary terminal to travelers is a good thing for the community.
“The new temporary terminal building offers a fresh, warm and welcoming environment for travelers, a lot like the Interislander team who take such good care of passengers every time they make that iconic trip between the North and South Islands.”
“We are proud to be partners in this project. We are excited about what it brings to the people of the community through jobs, opportunities for local accommodation providers and local businesses.”
Mana Whenua partners, Te Ātiawa o te Waka-a-Māui Trust in Waitohi Picton, and Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira in Te Whanganui-a-Tara provide governance and cultural leadership to the programme.
The project is expected to create more than 200 jobs in construction, traffic management, accommodation and services supporting a construction project of this size.
Work to date is already providing opportunity for local contractors CMT who installed and fitted out the temporary terminal building, and Simcox who delivered civil works around the terminal area and Dublin Street service relocation work.
iReX Picton Project Manager for Waitohi Picton Harry Singh says working with local contractors is a pleasure. “Having a local team with the skills needed to get the project underway has set us up well. We know that even with the main works contract being led by Downer HEB JV, there will always be room for good local contractors to be doing their bit.”