Mauao, Mt Maunganui

Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
Tauranga City Council

The project

Following extensive fires in 2002 a large unstable rock mass was revealed high on the bluff above the campground. Fresh spalling indicated imminent failure of 250 tonnes of rock in 5 large boulders, each with the potential to run far into the campground.

Avalon team members on ropes inspecting a fire damaged rocky slope

The issues

An on-the-spot geotechnical assessment forced Tauranga District Council to act immediately; there was only one option – scale the loose rock. The camp was evacuated and fifty shipping containers were brought in as temporary barriers.

The Avalon team drilling into rock high above city buildings and beach

Our response

Avalon devised a deck loaded drill and blast plan to split the rock into small pieces which would roll with minimal energy. A plant was quickly mobilised and our two rigs drilled hundreds of metres of shot holes in just three days.

An Avalon technician installs blasting charges in rock

The outcome

Amid intense media coverage, high security and OSH scrutiny, Avalon's spectacular blast safely eliminated the hazard only three weeks after it was first identified.

Avalon received an unsolicited letter of thanks from TDC's CEO, congratulating us on our professional operation.