Dolomite Point Experience Centre
We’re well under way with the foundations for a new visitor Experience Centre at Dolomite Point in Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island. Working in this beautiful, remote location has given us the chance to get up close to some of the locals!
We needed to complete the site excavations in June, as this limited the impact on a number of native birds in the area, including the roroa (great spotted kiwi), koekoeā (long-tailed cuckoo), pīhoihoi (New Zealand pipit), tāiko (Westland petrel) and kakaruai (South Island robin).
Before starting the excavations, an approved kiwi dog and handler checked the site footprint and surrounding bush to make sure that we wouldn’t affect any kiwi.
We took care of the local flora when we cleared the site too – our Site Manager spent more than two weeks working closely with the excavators, Paul Smith Earthmoving, to keep disturbance to the regenerating native bush surrounding the site to a minimum – some of the larger nīkau palms are understood to be 100-150 years old.
The steel and glulam engineered timber Experience Centre has been calculated to achieve a 30% reduction in embodied carbon (relative to a standard ‘reference’ build) and will feature a green roof with over 2,000 trays of locally sourced and propagated native plants. Conservation Volunteers NZ has gathered seeds and seedlings of suitable native species from the local area and are raising them at their nursery.
Meanwhile, back on site, most of the build labour on the project is from the West Coast, making it a good community project.
The Experience Centre is due for completion in September 2023. We look forward to sharing more progress updates as we go.