Saxton Creek Upgrade - Stage 3

Saxton POnd

Contractor: Downer NZ Ltd
Project Manager: Nelson City Council
Budget: $6.5 million
Status: Stage 3 started 


Saxton Creek bridge Aug 2019

August 2019

Work to construct the channel and bridge at the end of Hill Street North is complete. This new bridge will serve the Summerset Retirement Village.

Construction of the channel between Saxton Field and Ngati Rarua Street will continue this financial year, as the resource consents and landowner agreements allow.

May 2019

One aspect of Stage Three of the project is progressing well. This is the construction of the stream channel and a new bridge at 1 Hill Street. The abutments have been constructed and are curing ready for the bridge beams to be placed. This new bridge is 8.2m wide and 15.5m long and will provide access to the Summerset Retirement village. The project is on track for completion by the end of June.

As Council was able to obtain landowner and resource consent, this aspect of the final stage of the wider project has been able to get underway. Staff are currently working on a resource consent for the rest of the Stage 3 works.  

Saxton Creek bridge


September 2018

Work on Stage 2 of this project has been successfully completed. Resource consents for Stage 3 (between Saxton Field and Ngati Rarua St) are currently being sought so that the creek upgrade works can continue. Consents are expected to be approved by January 2019.

November 2017

The works in Saxton Field are complete, apart from the footpath on the northern side of the pond, which will be constructed over summer. Irrigation will be installed to help with establishing grass and plant growth.  

June 2017

Work on the current stage of the upgrade has been progressing well, although wet weather earlier in the year has had a knock-on effect on the timing. Work in the pond is complete and it is now refilling. The pedestrian bridge and box culvert are complete. Downer is currently doing bulk earthworks which will be closely followed by the new footpath installation and landscape planting. Downer expecting to finish the work in August at this stage

March 2017

The concrete weir is now complete and work has now moved on to the construction of the new box culvert and pedestrian bridge. The bed of the pond has dried out sufficiently to allow it to be excavated out, which will be happening in the coming weeks.

January 2017

The contractor is now back on site and continuing to work on the detention pond spillway.

December 2016

Downer has started work onsite and are making good progress with clearing the vegetation. The pond is being lowered in preparation for the weir construction and removal of sediment from the base of the pond. Work will stop over the Christmas period and start again in the new year. The site will be made safe during this time.   

October 2016

Due to a number of factors, the contractor has not yet fully established on site but should be doing so soon and then work can begin as outlined below.

August 2016

Downer NZ will be establishing onsite in early September in preparation for the construction of the next stage of the upgrade. This stage extends from Main Road Stoke upstream to the eastern boundary of Saxton Field and includes the deepening and widening of the creek channel, construction of walkways and landscape planting. The works are expected to last until May 2017. See the layout plan for this stage here. (2.7MB PDF)

Stage One was completed earlier this year. See the details below. 

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June 2016

Stage 1 of the work is complete. Construction is expected to recommence on Stage 2 later this year. An update will be provided closer to the time.

May 2016

Donaldson Civil have disestablished their site and the only outstanding work at the gravel trap is some planting and the hand railing, which is still being manufactured offsite. 

Downer have finished the shaping and rocking of the channel for the stage 1 works. The next step is to construct the walkway and then spread topsoil ready for planting. Recent rain has made the site wet, so Downer have temporarily halted work. The remaining work will carry on as soon as site conditions allow. 

April 2016

Donaldson Civil are nearly finished work on the gravel trap and will be packing up on site in the next week or two. There will be some minor tidy up works required once they leave. This includes the installation of the handrails on the retaining walls which will be completed by a subcontractor. Landscaping will be completed later this year once the Stage 1 works are finished.

Meanwhile Downer NZ have made good progress on stage 1, excavating and rock lining nearly half of the length of this stage of work.

Saxton Creek stage 1

 February 2016

Work has now started on the first stage of the Saxton Creek upgrade. This began with clearing the site of vegetation with the main construction to follow. Construction is expected to take 15 weeks. See the plan above.

Work on the gravel trap has taken slightly longer than expected due to the presence of a thick layer of large boulders on site. The new channel between the gravel trap and the Tasman District Council culvert is finished. The rest of the work on the gravel trap and the access track should take between four and five weeks.   

January 2016

Work on the channel upstream and down stream of the gravel trap is now complete. Contractors are now building the retaining walls and access track for the gravel trap.

Work is expected  to start on Stage One (see plan above) of this project in mid-February. The contractor will be in touch with affected residents before work starts.

December 2015

A 100m section of gravel trap below Champion Road is currently under construction, with completion expected early 2016. Champion Road is currently reduced to one lane while Tasman District Council are working on the culvert upstream. Once the culvert is complete, the disruption on Champion Road will be reduced, but there will still be construction traffic present until the gravel trap works are complete. Pumping of the creek will continue during construction, but the pump will be turned off during weekends where possible, as well as over the Christmas break.

Tenders for the remaining 1.7km of work closed on 15 October, and the tender was awarded to Downer NZ Ltd at the Works and Infrastructure Committee Meeting on 26 November. Downer will start onsite in early 2016 on Stage One of this project.



During the December 2011 and April 2013 extreme weather events, large quantities of gravel were deposited in the bed of Saxton Creek. Downstream commercial and residential properties experienced flood damage as a result. Through the Long Term Plan 2015-25, Nelson City Council has endorsed the upgrading of streams and rivers in the central Nelson area where the risk to people and assets is high. Council will undertake upgrade works for the section of Saxton Creek channel downstream from Champion Road to cater for future one in 100 year (Q100) flows.