Kauaeranga River Mouth Deterioration
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 11:45AM
Bill Barclay

Carl Jenson and President Peter Ganley of the Thames Sailing Club turned up in public Forum at TCB on Monday to explain their extreme concern at the state of the mouth of the River, amidst other concerns arising from the impending Hauraki Settlement. It is the view of the Club that the mouth is rapidly becoming un-navigable. 

The Club has had an arrangement to oversee the pull-out and other facilities at the Wharf, including the hard stand. This arrangement has had the written support of Ngati Maru, but understandably needs the situation to be formalised alongside other outstanding land matters arising from the Settlement. It may well end up as a long term lease arrangement, but who knows - there is still a great deal of water to flow past the wharf before this is finally resolved. Part of trhe land is under DoC Lease, and the remainder is TCDC Reserve. All a bit of hodge-podge to be truthful. And in fact, as pointed out by a commenter, the WRC is entirely responsible for the river, including groynes and dredging.

Carl spoke, and asked that the Club be allowed to continue the current arrangements (subject to agreement with Ngati Maru). Secondly, that dredging be undertaken to open the outer channel 500 to 1000m to a depth of 2m. Carl was adamant that the silting has resulted from total lack of channel maintenance over many years, and the destruction of the groyne on the corner opposite the Wharf. Finally, that urgent maintenance be undertaken on the Wharf itself - long overdue, and possibly raises health and safety issues. TCDC also needs to take this up with WRC as a matter of urgency.

The Club is correct when it states the "The lower reaches of the Kauaeranga River are arguably Thames most important cultural, commercial and historical feature to both Maori and pakeha." It even suggests that it currently generates $2m annually to local economy, and that the facilities, and current uses need to be retained for the use of future generations.

The Channel needs attention - that is a given. I have seen no interest in this matter expressed over recent years by either the Board or Council officers. It is about time that it was given attention, and funds found for the purpose. The responsibilities of the WRC need to be defined, and the necessary pressure applied in that direction. As Carl indicated -"This is only wharf between Maraetai and Coromandel."




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