Century-old Nelson waterfront venue damaged by storm set to reopen

Nearly nine months on from the ex-cyclone that caused widespread damage across the top of the South Island, a century-old waterfront venue in Nelson is reopening.

The Boathouse was badly damaged by ex-cyclone Fehi in February.

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    Homes were wrecked and roads became rivers as ex-cyclone Fehi hit the top of the South Island. Source: 1 NEWS

    Boathouse manager Amie-Jo Trayes said, "The job got bigger, the damage became deeper - it went all the way from the piles right up to the ceiling".

    The Boathouse was badly damaged by ex-cyclone Fehi in February. Source: YouBuild

    The rebuild includes new futureproofing designs. Gangways have been built where the former deck was - making space for the water to come and go, and reducing the pressure under the floorboards.

    "Underneath the building we've had massive holes drilled so once again, rather than water just hitting that concrete and having nowhere to go, it should go through the concrete," Ms Trayes explained.

    The project's a snapshot of a region under repair from ex-cyclones Fehi and Gita. To date, Nelson and Tasman councils have spent more than $13 million on the recovery.


    A Nelson City Council spokesperson told 1 NEWS all damage to structures along its waterfront by Cyclone Fehi have been repaired.

    Chairs are left scattered after Cyclone Fehi tore through Ruby Bay. Source: Kester Macfarlane

    Rock protection work has also been carried out along the peninsula at Monaco, along Atawhai Drive and also along areas around the Port.

    Temporary repair work was carried out at Glenduan with a proposal for a longer-term solution for residents yet to be decided.


    Tasman District Council has also finished its recovery work.

    The McKee Memorial campground has reopened and the seawall at Broadsea Avenue has been repaired with over 300 tonnes of rock.

    Future concerns

    Some Ruby Bay residents are frustrated with council decision-making and feel left to defend their properties without support.

    The erosion protection wall in Ruby Bay is built short of a number of properties.

    "Everybody on this coast, in the 22 houses this way, have had to look after themselves," Ruby Bay resident Kester Macfarlane said.

    "People have done it various ways, they've used logs like I have, people have built gabion walls or boulders cemented in."

    The aftermath of Cyclone Fehi in Ruby Bay. Source: Kester Macfarlane

    Ruby Bay Homeowners representative Chrissie Small wants to see more consultation with the community on future solutions.

    "Why the council don't do a continuous structure that is the same at the same height all the way through is beyond me," Ms Small said.

    The council says the purpose of the wall is to control erosion, not protect properties against inundation.

    Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said, "We've got a huge amount of coastline, we can't protect it all".

    Mr Kempthorne said the council is working with individual property owners to resolve the issue.

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      The Boathouse was badly damaged in February. Source: 1 NEWS