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Peter Wood chimed in during Public Forum this morning to berate the Board members for having allowed the wool to be pulled over their eyes during the discussion on the Sugar Loaf. Actually, it was the Council - not TCB that went blindly into this decision, but let us not be deflected by detail!

Peter correctly identified the information on dredging and disposal of the allegedly toxic dredgings that was the basis for the $70m estimate for the Kopu option as distinctly odiferous. He pointed out that far larger barges are currently using the loading facility that carry road metal to Auckland, and wondered why all the fuss about getting a few 100 tonne mussel barges in and out of the ramp. He pointed to the existing infrastructure, and finally the advantage of getting all those B Trains off SH25.

Peter French asked if he had read the Report, to which Peter replied that he had not had the opportunity, but wondered what it could contain that could possibly contradict his local knowledge. Actually, he is right - the report goes out of its way to gazump the Kopu option in such a way as to completely remove it from contention, and in my view loses credibility as a result. 

Undoubtedly, it would be better if the sand-bars were not there, and likewise the toxic arsenic, mercury etc., but in what way can these elements in the substrate affect the operation of a terminal - the report indicates that the same elements exist to varying degrees over the entire Gulf, including Sugar Loaf, so this is a nonsense. We appear to have been taken in by all the scare-mongering.

It is not too late for Council to reconsider this matter before it gets into an expensive legal tussle with the residents of Te Kouma. There is no reason why the Council needs to allow itself to be led along by the nose by industry interests, and it is time to bring in some rationality to the situation.

They could start by initiating a peer review of the reports which form the basis of the Dunbar-Smith / Reynolds Recommendations that in turn formed the basis of the recommendations in Ben Day's Report to Council on 18 April.

It is time the people and commercial interests of Thames took some initiative to demand a review of the decision taken on that date - it will have far reaching consequences for this town otherwise.




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Reader Comments (9)

I see greed is still alive and well in Thames in that those with Thames interests at heart are activly trying to steal the mussel industry from Coromandel town and have it for themselves. I suppose this is driven by the fact that Thames has lost much of its local industry in the last few years to closurers so is understandable from that point of view
This is the situation that existed when I was on council and which I was very vocal about.
It appears that our local councillor is inept at defending his ward and is prepared to sit back on his laurels and pander to the Te Kouma residents and run the risk of losing what is the life blood of this town.
Coromandel needs to wake up to the threat that is posed by those with soley Thames intersts at heart and defend what is thiers
John Morrissey

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morrissey

Good one John - you are spot on - it is not over until it is over!
Those worthy people of Te Kouma deserve our support - it is only fair!
Oh for the good old days when we have good old barney at the table - the present bunch of wimps cannot stand up to Leach so they just let him walk over them. What a bore!
I have not seen a good stouch the whole time I have going to their meetings.
I do miss the old Morrissey v. Minogue battles.
I would love a good old fashioned debate over Sugar Loaf v. Kopu - it would be a trimmer!
Actually, in the words of Mr Ben Day - Public Relations AND Economic Development Tsar for Thames Coromandel "there could be a win/win situation here - we just need to think outside the box"!

May 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Hi Bill
I dont know if I share your views re Minogue v Morrissey
I am reminded of something the late David Lange once said about Richard Preeble and how he compared working with him as to being akin to being locked in a room with the mad axe murderer and then the lights were turned off
Working with Del was much the same. You never knew when the lights were going to be turned off and your head was likely to be lobbed off by one of his mad swings
Anyway regards Del
John Morrissey

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morrissey

Typical policeman - if he is going to get bitten, better it be done by a poodle than a pit-bull

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Hi Tony
It would appear that you would know a little bit about lap dogs and thier yapping as they too tend to hide in corners when they do thier yapping much like yourself.
Come out in to the ring where the men are and attach your surname to your postings so that at least people will know who has the strength of thier convictions and who does not

John Morrissey

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morrissey

Okay - that's it, enough already!

May 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

It should be the mussell farmers who decide where and if they want facilities in the District, and what they want, and they should be funding it, with Council providing advocation and streamlining of the process. If they want to go to Coromandel fine, or Thames, thats OK too. However, I get the feeling that the best the District can realisticly hope for with the expansion, is jobs around harvesting and servicing the boats. Processing will be done where the expanding critical mass can be best handled - Tauranga, Auckland and the like. The Marine farmers simply want to get the product away for processing as fast and as cost effectively as possible. Sure there will be a number of local employment opportunities, but I am sorry to say I can't see it as being the big local economy saviour that we are being lead to believe by our earstwhile Mayor and Ben "mini-me" Day.

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGunna

Gunna is absolutely right - mussel and fish farming will not provide the job numbers the Mayor is expousing.
The factory upgrade in Tauranga was in the region of $21m and what did that upgrade do -- put in the latest technology to REDUCE staff numbers.
The only saving that mussel farmers acknowledge they can achieve is a saving in transport cost and that would ONLY occur if the mussel are moved by barge to a point closer to Tauranga and that is where Kopu could come in.
Morrissey lives in a dream world if he thinks that 100's of jobs will suddenly appear if they grow Sugar Loaf - particularily when the 2nd largest mussel farmer [living within 2kms of Sugar Loaf] told the investigating group "that he would fight an extension of Sugar Loaf'-- and seriously what will be the cost to ratepayers to fight the Te Kouma ratepayers group - bearing in mind the law is on their side!!!
Coromandel is and will always will be a service centre for mussel/fish farming - no more no less!!

May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKingfish

Hi Bill

Great to see responses to your blog thats what is needed.
A little provocation can start debate something that I agree is missing at the moment in the media and at council level.
How ever while I accept that submiters do have a right to not use thier names and in certain circumstances that may be a wise thing to do I believe that most people should declare themselves and not hide behind anon or what ever. To do so weakens their arguement some what as they may have a percunery interest in the subject. For example who knows what Kingfish does.
Declare and stand for your position dont hide in the dark corners
John Morrissey

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morrisey

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