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.