Media Release

22 December 2022


Contractor appointed for repairs to Westport’s north-eastern tiphead

The contract to repair to the north-east tiphead wall (officially known as the Eastern Westport River Training Wall) has been granted to Rosco Contractors Ltd, following a tender process.

The tiphead is a Buller District Council port asset at the mouth of the Buller River. It sustained damage during both the July 2021 and February 2022 weather events.

Flood waters flowed through the structure and overtopped the inner revetment wall. The overflow undermined the groyne by removing supporting rocks and base infill. Runoff scoured the revetment foundation and ultimately undermined a large section of the revetment wall. Remedial work is required to prevent a major breach of the tiphead.

The repairs are being funded by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as part of a $17million programme of essential infrastructure repair work in Buller.

Buller District Council Chief Financial Officer Douglas Marshall says the project consists of placing around 3,000m3 of Riprap (rock) on the eastern side of the tiphead road to reinforce the road embankment. The 360m area of embankment will be broken up into four 90m sections.

The trees, bushes and topsoil will be cleared before backfilling with rock. The trees will then be replanted once the rock has been placed.

“In terms of impacts of the work, we recognise that some of the land area required for the work site is used by a local cycle group. They have also recently replanted this area. Unfortunately, the plantings will need to be uplifted, but the area will be replanted and cycle trails reinstated once the tiphead is repaired.

“We also ask local residents to bear with us as there will be about 10 truck trips per day carrying rock to the site for about 25 days. We will try and reduce the impacts on residents as much as possible while we complete these repairs,” says Mr Marshall.

Draft design for the tiphead repairs is complete and Rosco Contractors Ltd will commence work in mid January 2023. Works are expected to be completed by March.


Northern Tiphead repairs will impact on cyclists and pedestrians using paths in the area for about two months from mid January. Roscos will have traffic management in place, but cyclists are warned to be aware of changes to the track layout and large vehicle movements during that time.