Take a look: New $50 million wharf on Chatham Islands a mammoth logistic effort

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1 NEWS

The Chatham Islands' economy received a significant boost today with the opening of a $50 million wharf.

Locals have told a government delegation that it's not the only lifeline they need.
Source: 1 NEWS

The process of building a small port 800km from mainland New Zealand was no easy feat for those involved.

Project manager Hugh Miliiken had to ship cranes across sea, find accommodation for 40 workers and develop a quarry site on the rocks to build a breakwater.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do," he said.

"Challenging conditions. We were here eight months before we did anything down here." 

The wharf is vital to the island's fishing and farming economies, and it's also necessary to ship in all their everyday essentials like food and fuel.

A delegation of politicians, including seven New Zealand Government Ministers, visited the island today for the opening ceremony.

But locals have told a government delegation it's not the only lifeline they need.

"Now that we have a wharf it would be great to have a good boat that could service that wharf," Hokotehi Moriori Trust's Maui Solomon said.

An added wish-list includes a cell phone network and a longer runway.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters at least seemed attentive.

"Can I just say, if you've got the crayfish, we're listening," he said to applause.

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