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Wednesday
Feb152012

Sugarloaf Gets the Nod

Ben Dunbar-Smith and Gordon Reynolds were appointed by the Hauraki-Coromandel Development Group to undertake a review of all site options for a new wharf for the aquaculture industry. Their Report on the options is now in.

Its recommendations are as follows:

1) Select Sugarloaf as the preferred site for wharfing expansion.
2) Directs the Project Team to proceed with the development of a business case for the proposed Sugarloaf expansion
3) Agrees that subject to negotiations with the aquaculture industry, the wharfing expansion at Sugarloaf which directly relates to the aquaculture industry should be funded by the aquaculture industry.
4) Directs the Project Team negotiate with the aquaculture industry to secure confirmed industry commitment to funding such wharfing infrastructure.
5) Asks the Project Team to investigate options, including the potential use of bylaws to ensure that all aquaculture vessels using the existing Sugarloaf are required to fund the expansion of the new wharf on an equitable basis – and that no aquaculture user can simply opt to continue using the existing wharf without contributing to the new upgrade.
6) Asks the Project Team to provide advice on options for managing the financial and other risk associated with the Sugarloaf Wharf, including considering whether it should be recognized as a district-wide asset given the economic benefits that would result for the district as a whole.
7) Agrees in principle that the Hannaford‟s wharf be upgraded to make it more suitable for ferry access, and that the car parking at Hannaford‟s be also upgraded with marking and sealing – with funding set aside in the Council‟s Long Term Plan for the upgrade.
8) Agrees that it will consider suitable upgrades for recreational access to Sugarloaf as part of any wharfing expansion – and that the cost of this upgrade be funded as part of Council‟s contribution to the wharfing project.
9) Agrees that if Council selects either Sugarloaf or Puhi Rare as the preferred option, then funding be proposed in the Long-Term Plan for improvements to the intersection at Te Kouma Road/SH25.
10) Agrees that once the Business case is completed, options for part-funding from regional and central government should be more fully explored – recognizing that these are only likely to materialize once a resource consent is obtained.

This recommendation to expand Sugarloaf will cause hyge ructions amongst the residents of Te Kouma who have opposed this option all the way, and they are well resourced to mount a challenge through the courts should the Council adopt the recommendation.

The reasons for dumping Kopu as an option appear flimsy - how on earth possible sediment contamination with mercury could effect the operation of shipping is a mystery to me - if that is the case then both Auckland and Tauranga Ports should be closed immediaterly. The dredging required would be minimal, and the steaming times quoted are totally false. Methinks that these two approached this task with less than a totally open mind. My impresion from early discussions with Ben Dunbar-Smith that he favoured Sugarloaf right from the start. 

The removing the 'B' Trains from the coast highway would appear to make this option by far the most advantageous, but it is unlikely that Council will reject the Sugarloaf recommendation, so I guess that's it, unless  the Te Kouma residents suceed in stopping this option. That will be interesting.  

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

here we go again - a already over used area with no running water, suitable toilets or refueling facilities [other than the recently granted provision to use trailer tankers --2010] is going to be loaded up with more barges, more trucks, more noise and in direct conflict with amateur fishers-- I cannot see the local people wearing this- in fact one of the largest mussel farmers has already stated ' I will oppose any further developement to the Sugarloaf facility' - told directly I believe to Mr. Dunbar-Smith whilst he was on an earlier site visit.
With some dredging, and some leadership - the Kopu area would be the most logical site - have WRC actually completed any test bores in the vicinity of the propsed unloading area at Kopu to test just how much mercury is there??
As for more 'B' trains on the coast road- madness- large trucks and tourists don't make for a good mix!!
Not forgetting in a Nationwide poll, the Thames Coast road was voted No3 as one of the best drives available in NZ- bearing in mind it is the longest stretch of SH with water lapping at it's edge - some 35 kms I believe- so any talk of widening the road needs to be put to bed now---- don't even think about team!!
Then of course the mussel farmers could always barge the musssels direct to Auckland-just a thought

February 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKingfish

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