Inner harbour pontoon to reopen
Engineers have inspected the pontoon at the boat ramp where six-year old Oska Smith lost two of his toes in a freak
accident on Sunday. The area has since been cordoned off.
Engineers confirmed there are no maintenance issues needing attention before the pontoon can be opened up before the
weekend. “There are a couple of little things we can do to make it safer,” says Gisborne District Council chief
executive Lindsay McKenzie, “but generally the pontoon is in good condition.”
“We will be installing a buffer and protective rail along the wharf embankment. This will give some protection for feet
against pontoon movement. The pontoon will be closed again next week while this is installed and a hinge replaced. This
is likely to take 2-3 days. The international hazard signs are on their way and will hopefully be installed before the
The pontoon is well used and essential to ensure the safety of boat ramp users. “We believe that there is a risk of
people slipping if they can’t use the pontoon so we are keen to get it back in use as soon as possible.”
Council staff have been in regular contact with Oskar’s family since hearing of the accident.