Asbestos removal and demolition begins to make way for New Plymouth’s multimillion-dollar shopping complex

By Brianna Mcilraith,

Asbestos removal and demolition of one of Taranaki’s biggest eyesores is under way.

Auckland-based Nikau Group has begun clearing the asbestos-contaminated and rundown former Ravesndown site on State Highway 3 at the northern entrance to New Plymouth.

Nikau Group director John Paul Stil said the work began on November 7 and involves removal of all asbestos and then full site demolition, excavation services and remediation.

At the weekend, workers dressed in protective gear could be seen being craned to the top of a building.

“All suitable concrete [is] to be recycled and reused for the civil construction works,” Stil said.

The site is owned by Bluehaven Group and will be the new home of a multimillion-dollar shopping complex.

There are 15 people working at the site and Stil said there was no risk to the public.

“All asbestos will be removed as per the regulations and consents, and comprehensive monitoring, including boundary surveillance, is being done daily. Therefore the risk to the public is extremely low.”

Nikau Group has previously completed deconstruction work at the Pātea Freezing Works and the Port Taranaki Power Station, but Stil said the 7.44-hectare deconstruction was the company’s largest project in Taranaki.

It is due to be completed in September 2021.