The Experience Centre construction site at Dolomite Point
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Carpenters from Fox River, Pahuatane and Barrytown are among those hard at work on the site of the new Experience Centre at Dolomite Point, Punakaiki.

Date:  05 October 2022

Employment for locals is just one of the economic benefits DOC’s Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project is providing.

“This is DOC’s largest capital project in the country. There are tangible economic benefits for the wider West Coast as well as Punakaiki,” says Western South Island Director Operations Mark Davies.

“Local subcontractors are undertaking about one-third - $6.1million - of the total spend on the project. They include Paul Smith Earthworks, Gray Brothers Engineering and CYB Construction.”

Staff from main building contractor Naylor Love are staying primarily at the Punakaiki Beachfront Motels but also at the Punakaiki Tavern accommodation at times.

“Naylor Love estimates they’ll spend between $75,000 and $85,000 on accommodation in Punakaiki alone,” says Mark Davies.

“Along with that they try to get their team to the tavern once a week so they can all eat a meal together. They’ve also opened an account with the Pancake Rocks Café which they’re using to provide some incentives for demonstrating good health and safety practices onsite as well as putting on general progress shouts there.”

Other subcontractors who are not local will also stay in the Punakaiki area as the work progresses.

Piling for the Experience Centre has been completed. Foundation formwork, reinforcing, and concrete works are in progress. The building is scheduled to be finished in September 2023.

Background information

DOC is leading the Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project on behalf of key partners including Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit (RDU) at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Other key stakeholders include the Punakaiki community, Waka Kotahi, Buller District Council and Development West Coast.

Dolomite Point is one of New Zealand’s most visited spots with more than half a million people visiting the site every year. It is also a significant site for Ngāti Waewae.

A concept plan for the redevelopment of Dolomite Point was finalised in October 2018. The work is being funded through a $25.6 million grant from Kānoa – RDU’s Provincial Growth Fund and $2.15 million from DOC.

Work on the Experience Centre began in May 2022 as part of the first stage of the main construction. Other work in this stage includes the creation of safer and improved pedestrian access to the Pancake Rocks and new toilets.

Read more about the Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project


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