Waikato River Works

​​​​Waikato River Works is a major project to safeguard vital city assets and increase our community’s access to ​the awa (river). The project starts in early November 2020 and is expected to be complete by February 2021. We have bundled together three projects to create efficiencies:

  • replacement of the central city jetty
  • replacement of the Ferrybank revetment or retaining wall
  • installation of a floating device (a deflector) to protect critical water pipes.​

We are committed to creating a more vibrant central city and to opening up the river for Hamiltonians and visitors. The awa is a much-loved taonga for our whole community and we are lucky to have 16km of the mighty Waikato River flowing through our great river city. 

A new-look jetty

The central city jetty is below Waikato Museum. The current jetty is a fixed wooden structure that is no longer fit for purpose. It will be replaced with a pontoon and gangway design that rises and falls with river levels, making it suitable for yea​​r-round use. The jetty is expected to be in use by December 2020.

 The Hamilton City River Plan vision is for more people to have greater access to the river – projects such as Victoria on the River and the Waikato Regional Theatre are other examples of how Council has responded.​

The replacement jetty will feature public art – another theme of the River Plan. We have worked with mana whenua on a design that includes pou (carvings). The five pou will show key aspects of the five Kirikiriroa hapuu. The jetty gives us a canvas to celebrate the history of the hapuu, acknowledge our city’s Maaori heritage and create a welcoming and attractive new inner-city entrance for locals and visitors alike.

Concept only

The revetment wall

The 350m-long Ferrybank revetment wall prevents the riverbank from erosion and protects our popular river path, which is also a key section of the popular Te Awa River Ride. The wall will be replaced through this project.

We’re taking the opportunity to reshape the ground above the wall into terraces. Terracing will make the riverbank more appealing and accessible for busy workers who want to bring a sandwich down at lunchtime and watch the water flow by or weary walkers and cyclists looking for a place to rest. The revetment wall project is expected to be completed by February 2021.

This part of the city has always been well used. Ferrybank, at the south end of Victoria St, was historically a gateway between the river and Kirikiriroa, both in pre-European times when it was a landing place for waka and after European settlement when a punt transported early residents across the river before the first bridge was built.


A floating device (a deflector) will be placed on the river in front of major water pipes near Hamilton Gardens. The pipes were exposed by a riverbank collapse in 2017, making them vulnerable to damage.

The device will protect this critical infrastructure, which supplies water to the city’s northern and eastern suburbs, by deflecting debris and river traffic. The jetty and deflector projects will share use of a barge, reducing both projects' costs. The deflector project will also provide Hamilton Gardens with a permanent water intake, ensuring our prized gardens are healthy and well-watered. This project should be finished by January 2021.

Click here to view FA​Qs about the Waikato River Works project

Page reviewed: 01 Jun 2021 8:03am