Spit and polish

Janna Sherman

Two plaques at the Tambo shipwreck memorial have been reinstated as work continues to improve the Hokitika River spit.
Inscriptions on a shipwreck memorial plaque and a plaque on the history of the anchor on display at the site were recently re-done by Thompsons Funeral Directors. The memorial recognises the 42 vessels lost on the Hokitika River bar between and 1865 and 1982.
The Tambo was the 25th to be claimed by the sea. The plaque laid at the anchor, which was washed away with the boat, gives a brief account of its fate.
The schooner was moored to the anchor after grounding in November 1866. A flood dragged both out to sea and south along the beach. The anchor was salvaged during blacksanding in 1987.
The anchor itself, which was removed from the site last year due to worsening erosion, was recently refurbished and placed back on a new concrete pad.
The remaining grassed foreshore area has also been remodelled, with gardens and a car parking area and access steps to the beach.
Hokitika Lions president Jim Butzbach said lights around the replica vessel would be replaced and better protected against vandalism.
Since January, the wider spit has also been upgraded with new picnic tables and planting.
The Hokitika Rotary Club has also recently completed an upgrade of the watch tower at the river mouth.