HGM Construction were engaged to install a 8.5m, totara pou whenua (land post) that had been carved at the Lyttelton Carving School on Ōtamahua (Quail Island). HGM worked closely with Department of Conservation engineers to value engineer a cost effective, robust reinforced concrete foundation solution.
Location and accessibility were the largest challenges as the pou was installed on the highest point of the Island. As Quail Island is a culturally significant location for Ngāti Wheke as well as being a popular public recreation area, minimising any potential environmental impact to the Island during installation was a key factor. For this reason, using a helicopter to fly all plant, equipment and materials to the Island was decided to be the safest and least environmentally disruptive option.
HGM engaged Independent Helicopters to fly its 1 ton excavator as well as the required tools, equipment and materials to the Island from Naval Point in Lyttelton. The helicopter was also used for transporting concrete for the foundation in skips and for transporting and standing the completed 785kg pou.
Public safety was also a major consideration with both the Island and the Naval Point staging area being popular public recreation areas. Detailed flight plans were created for every helicopter operation and additional staff were on the ground at both locations to manage public access and other associated hazards.
The Project Team were present for the flying and standing of the pou and HGM Construction received positive feedback on the skill and professionalism shown throughout the project duration. All stakeholders involved were happy with the outcome of the project.