Big Ti­tahi Bay mast comes down


The big Ra­dio New Zealand trans­mis­sion mast was re­moved from the Ti­tahi Bay sky­line last Tues­day.

The 220-me­tre struc­ture above Owhiti St, north of Porirua, was de­mol­ished af­ter months of prepa­ra­tion. About 50 peo­ple turned up to watch the mast come down.

The weather was not ideal – there was a strong northerly wind. How­ever, Martin Wil­son, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ab­seil Ac­cess, the com­pany that re­moved the mast, said it came down as planned.

‘‘It was a re­lief to have the job com­plete, with six months of plan­ning com­ing down to one but­ton,’’ he said.

‘‘Noth­ing went wrong. That’s the main thing.

‘‘It didn’t quite hit the tar­get I marked for fun.’’

Wil­son said the top of the mast would have hit the ground at about 350kmh.

About 40 grams of the con­trolled ex­plo­sive Pow­ergel was used for the job.

The top 20 me­tres of the mast was re­moved be­fore Christ­mas.

The tower, along with a 50m mast de­mol­ished late last year, trans­mit­ted five AM ra­dio sta­tions, in­clud­ing Ra­dio New Zealand Na­tional and New­stalk ZB.

Built in 1937, it was New Zealand’s tallest struc­ture un­til Auck­land’s Sky Tower was opened in the mid-1990s.

It was opened by Prime Min­is­ter Michael Joseph Sav­age and al­lowed na­tion­wide ra­dio broad­cast­ing for the first time.

The re­main­ing 10-year-old 137m mast will now trans­mit all the ra­dio fre­quen­cies.

Ra­dio New Zealand’s Matthew Finn said that mast also had rust and would have to be re­placed at some point.

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