Tryphena Wharf stands silent, awaiting urgent repairs amidst collapse concerns.

Auckland Transport Challenges SeaLink’s Safety Concerns, Tryphena Wharf Stays Open

In a defiant response to SeaLink’s claims of structural peril at Tryphena Wharf, Auckland Transport (AT) insists the facility remains open and safe, sparking a contentious divide over Great Barrier Island’s main port.

Joshua Hyland, AT’s Delivery Manager for Public Transport Facilities, critiqued SeaLink’s decision to cease operations to Tryphena on Monday, stating, “Auckland Transport has not closed Tryphena Wharf, and our engineers have assessed it as safe to use under normal conditions.”

Hyland’s statement late Tuesday downplays SeaLink’s safety concerns, which led to an abrupt rerouting of ferry services, unsettling plans for the looming Easter weekend.

“SeaLink has made the independent decision to stop services to Tryphena Wharf based on their own risk assessment,” Hyland elaborated, marking a clear rift between the ferry operator’s cautionary stance and AT’s assurances of safety.

The saga began when SeaLink, citing a ‘risk of collapse,’ announced an indefinite diversion of its ferry services from the wharf last night.

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‘The urgency of this [the diversion] has come as a surprise to us,’ SeaLink said in a statement Monday evening.

The alarming assessment prompted the immediate and indefinite diversion of all ferry services to alternative ports, Port Fitzroy and Whangaparapara Wharf, effective immediately.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

SeaLink says the wharf’s support piles are reportedly compromised, a situation severe enough to warrant the response, the company argued.

With the diversions in place, freight heading to Tryphena, the island’s largest settlement, will need to be hauled by truck from Whangaparapara, 20 km away, or take the hour-long trek from Port Fitzroy in the north.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

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Passengers without vehicles should use the ‘People and Post’ shuttle service, reachable at 0800 426 832, or liaise with their rental car operator.

AoteaGBI.News has learned contractors were initially scheduled to service Tryphena Wharf at the end of the month. However, a regular user of the wharf alleged Auckland Transport (AT), responsible for its maintenance, “had no idea” about the deteriorating condition of the facility.

Regardless of the conflicting opinions on the wharf’s safety, AT concedes the diversion creates an opportunity to bring forward the planned maintenance.

“SeaLink’s decision to divert services from Tryphena Wharf does provide an opportunity to expedite the project and reduce the overall duration of works and the period of disruption,” Hyland said.

“We will be keeping the Local Board and the community informed on this.”

The revised sailing schedule is as follows:

  • 26th March, Tuesday: 7:30 am from Hamer St/Viaduct Quarter to 2:30 pm at Fitzroy
  • 27th March, Wednesday: 7:30 am to 2:00 pm at Fitzroy
  • 28th March, Thursday: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm at Fitzroy
  • 29th March, Friday: 5:30 am to 12:00 pm at Whangaparapara
  • 30th March, Saturday: 5:30 am to 12:00 pm at Whangaparapara
  • 31st March, Sunday: 7:00 am to 2:00 pm at Whangaparapara
  • 1st April, Monday: 7:00 am to 2:00 pm at Whangaparapara
  • 2nd April, Tuesday: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm at Whangaparapara
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