Living seawall for Tauranga’s waterfront

001: Artist impression of how the ‘living seawall’ will look at the northern end of the Tauranga waterfront reserve. Image: supplied.

A new ‘living seawall’ that will attract marine plants and animals to the waterfront along The Strand in Tauranga City is under construction.

The seawall will include 100 water pods specially designed to attract tidal plant and animal life and make the waterfront an even more beautiful place for people to enjoy.

The concrete pods, weighing from 130kg to a whopping 2000kg, will be placed among 8000 tonnes of rocks to protect the coastline while promoting biodiversity and sea life.

The project is one of several aimed at transforming the Tauranga Moana waterfront as part of a once-in-a-generation investment plan for the city centre.

Tauranga City Council’s city development and partnerships general manager Gareth Wallis says the projects will help people better connect with Te Awanui Tauranga Harbour.

“This project will also promote biodiversity and flourishing local sea life right in the heart of our city centre.”


Gareth says council will also make the area around the seawall safer, with stepped ledges for viewing and shallower waters so people of all ages can explore the plant and animal life.

Council has gratefully received support for the project from the Port of Tauranga, which has contributed towards the cost of the living seawall pods and rock boulders, says Gareth.

“The living seawall will be a testament to our shared commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Tauranga Moana,” says Port of Tauranga chief executive Leonard Sampson.

“By fostering a healthier marine environment and enhancing coastal protection, this project represents a significant contribution to our city’s wellbeing.”

Tauranga-based marine researcher and professor Chris Battershill says: “These innovative living seawall boulders offer a sustainable solution for coastal defence”.

“They mimic natural habitats, encouraging the growth of marine organisms, restoring coastal ecosystems, and providing protection against erosion and storms. 

“The living seawall is a great example of how solutions to coastal protection in an urbanised setting can be designed to enhance the resilience of our marine estate.

“It is pleasing to see the Port of Tauranga and Tauranga City Council’s commitment to sustainable coastal management while safeguarding our city's natural beauty,” says Chris.

Artist impression of the coastal reserve at the northern end of the Tauranga waterfront. Image: supplied.

Two stages

Construction of the living seawall will be done in two stages, with stage one happening along the northern section of the waterfront, from Fisherman’s Wharf to the tidal stairs.

Work on this stage is underway and expected to be completed by next summer.

Stage two, between the tidal stairs and the southern boat ramp, will commence in 2025.

Other projects progressing as part of the waterfront transformation include creation of a new green reserve, which will provide a flexible event space available all year round; a new state-of-the-art playground; shared pathway upgrades; and a new boardwalk that will connect people with the recently-installed railway underpass along The Strand Extension. 

For more information about these and all projects happening in the city centre, visit:

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