Korokoro Dam

Engineering Work (eg road, bridge, sawmill, dam)


This dam is believed to be the first concrete gravity dam in New Zealand.

The Korokoro Dam was engineered by one Samuel Jickell as Borough Engineer to the Borough of Petone. He had previously been City Engineer to the Nelson council, advising on a concrete dam for water supply. From the building of similar dams elsewhere in New Zealand in the following years (1904 onwards) it is clear that the use of mass concrete for dam building was topical among his contemporaries. It was fortuitous that the Petone council’s need for such a dam should arise at a time that resulted in Samuel Jickell “getting in first” so to speak.

Samuel Jickell went on to build similar dams for the Palmerston North City Council. It seems that this small dam marks the transition in New Zealand from masonry to mass concrete in New Zealand dam building. This was not the first use of concrete in New Zealand. It had been used for a variety of purposes that include diversion weirs for water supply, for wave protection on an earthen dam, etc. The historical significance of the Korokoro Dam arises from its mass concrete form, the purpose for which it was built, the extent to which it precipitated conflict over use of the water resource, and the form of spillway used.

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Belmont Regional Park, Wellington

Wellington / Kapiti

Access Info
Access can be obtained through Cornish St Petone or Oakleigh St, Normandale. For information on Wellington Regional Parks visit, www.gw.govt.nz

Nature of Engineering


Officials at the laying of the Foundation Stone for the Petone Waterworks, 25 April 1903. Godber, Albert Percy, 1875-1949: Collection of albums, prints and negatives. Ref: APG-0071-1/2-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. URL: http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22735327

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Korokoro Dam, August 2013. K. Astwood, IPENZ

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Korokoro Dam reservoir, August 2013. K. Astwood, IPENZ

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Lat: -41.197684 Long: 174.874545