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Ben Day Responds on Greenshell

Ben very kindly worked on his day off to assemble this information, and for that I am grateful.

Here are his answers to the questions I put:

1.      No arrangements have been entered into. The Sugarloaf project was paused while the Harbour Strategy is being developed (which will answer the question of what to do with Sugarloaf). Industry are committed to paying their way.

2.      No agreement, but any future agreements will be established formally. Wharfs and harbour facilities will have bylaws concerning fees and management going forward etc

3.      N/A, but we will be working via the Coromandel Marines Farmers Association and other user groups affected by the harbour strategy. Whatever happens it is critical that the various user-groups support the projects.

4.      N/A, especially if Aquaculture are left at Sugarloaf and recreational boaties moved elsewhere(Te Kouma Residents would still have access under this scenario), then it is unlikely that Sugarloaf will need expansion for some years to come

5.      No commitments - all will be revealed I guess once a strategy is developed and consulted (There is are community workshops scheduled for February)

6.      The receivership doesn't affect Council. The private sector will sort out the receivership. Given the high prices for mussels I am sure the assets will be picked up by other farmers and corporates. Our biggest concern are Peter's mussels no longer going to OPC, but to Tauranga, but we have no control over this

To sum up, TCDC has no arrangements in place with aquaculture and has made no commitments. The Harbour Strategy will lay the foundation for us to develop commitments from all user-groups and facility users.

 While the issue is topical, the receivership is really an anomaly given the debt issues surrounding this one farmer and not indicative of the state of the industry at all.

Clearly, my impression that TCDC was far further ahead with its arrangements with the CMFA was incorrect - the intention to proceed was certainly indicated earlier this year, but clearly there is now much water to go under the wharf before commitments are entered into. The Sugarloaf deal is now clearly tied to the overall Harbour-Facilities-Project, and that is probably just as well, because it did appear that Peter V. was intimately tied up with the negotiations over Sugarloaf.

I do have concerns over the ability of the Council to tie the CMFA down to any repayment deal - each farmer or company will surely need to individually enter into any such arrangement, and that may be rather like herding cats I suspect, but time will tell.
In any case, it appears that we are off the hook for the present.   And thanks Ben - much appreciated.

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