Coromandel Harbour Update
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 1:01PM
Bill Barclay

Here is the content of today's presser regarding the progress of planning for the Coromandel harbour project.

1. The Sugarloaf expansion for aquaculture.

The funding arrangements and project structure arrangement with Coromandel Marine Farmers Association and iwi is a priority. We are working on the consenting and consultation strategy. The consent process is expected to take up to two years. Our proposed Long Term Plan (LTP) budget will be amended to reflect the timing of this.

2. Business Case for Furey's Creek dredged channel and the Coromandel Wharf Dredged Basin.

This is being developed internally with limited specialist contractors on board. The business case should be ready by the end of the year. The Furey's Creek option includes improvements proposed to make the facility more functional and user-friendly. The projected consenting, initial upgrades and new channel and reclamation costs will be schedule in the proposed LTP budget. The concept will be refined through further consultation with our stakeholder working group.

3. A Long-Term Dredged Basin option.

This needs further substantial work to better inform a business case. The cost for the dredged basin project has been added to the proposed LTP budget as a year 11 project (ie significant project but outside the Ten-Year planning period).

I have left out the Barry Brickell proposal (see the URL) because it does not appear to be going anywhere with an $18m cost, but it is apparently being pitched to the UEDC at its meeting on 14 November - can't see it getting much of a hearing there!

Note above under 3. that acceptance of the impracticality of the Dredged Basin option has finally been accepted - it has been consigned to the 'never-never' land of Year 11 of the TYP - that means that it is unable to be funded in the foreseeable future, for which we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

I can't see any provision for ferry operation at Sugar Loaf at this stage - it will be interesting to see it it gets up into the final redesign of that facility. The low-grade Furey's Creek channel dredging looks like it will get up, but the final report on the sediment disturbance, and toxicity levels remains to be established. They appear determined to complete the resource consent application before this definitive report has been prepared.

It remains to be seen just just what the final contribution of the Marine Farmers Association members will be to the proposed Sugar Loaf changes - something that Mayor Leach and CEO Hammond were asked to complete some months ago. This will indeed be a delicate negotiation, but the state of the Council finances generally will mean that their tootsies will need to be held to the fire on this issue. The industry has been doing extremely well lately, so lets have no 'crying poor' as in the past. 

The OMP (Operational Management Plan) for Sugar-Loaf was dealt with in the same presser. It appears that most if not all of the Waipapa Bay Protection Society (Russell de Luca) issues have been dealt with in the revised OMP, but its legal status (and thus enforceability) remains in limbo. I am sure that Russell with have a great deal more to say on the matter before it is finally resolved. He will surely insist on water-tight legal provisions as outlined in his letter, and continued adequate consultation.  Here is his letter on the matter - it makes interesting reading. Note that all references to Greenshell NZ Ltd. should include the words 'In Receivership.'

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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