The Cornish Pumphouse

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Location: Waihi

Completed: 2007

Heritage; Relocation

An innovative hydraulic leveling and runway system was developed to shift and save the 2000 tonne, century-old Cornish Pumphouse, which was tilting dangerously and at risk of falling on its original site next to the Waihi gold mine.

Moving such a heavy and historically significant structure over difficult and unstable ground conditions was a major task - even though it only had to move 350 metres. A ‘runway’ was created with 18 metre long concrete beams, which spread the weight of the building over their length, and Teflon-coated steel rails that slid over the ground almost as skis do.

Coupled with strengthening, the move has given new life to this Historic Places Trust Category 1 relic, constructed in 1904 to pump water from the gold mine.

Client: Newmont Waihi Gold
Contractor: R B Steel