Coromandel Harbour 
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 11:54AM
Bill Barclay

Here is my recent post on the subject.

Based on the PR that emerged from the Castle on Monday in relation to the Second Public Briefing Meeting, it appears that the Project Team are now ready to proceed with the Fury’s Creek Shallow Channel business case, and the resource consent for the developments at Sugar Loaf. And in addition “longer term have the potential inclusion of other development within the harbour” - whatever that means!

It was stated at the 13 August Meeting that the Chief Executive and Mayor were to “immediately sit down with the Coromandel Marine Farmers Association to discuss their financial commitment to the project.” There is no mention of such a meeting having taken place in the Presser, so I guess it can be assumed that it has not yet taken place, otherwise we would surely have been made aware of the contents of any agreement. After all, it was stated categorically at the meeting by the Mayor that their participation was critical to progressing these developments – before any commitment was made by Council to proceed.

We always knew of the Association members’ desire to proceed with development of Sugarloaf, and Furey’s Creek in order to get the recreational fishers off their backs, but also their reluctance to contribute financially. Gilbert James’s ability to corral his members into such a commitment is of course limited, but until Council puts a line in the sand, and secures same, nothing should proceed. And of course, the recent announcement by WRC that the Aquaculture Fish Farm Project at Wilson's Bay will not proceed "in the meantime" gives added import to the financial participation of existing mussel farmers.

The Working Party and attendees at public meetings may have no interest in the commitment, but we as District ratepayers surely do. It is time that Leach and Hammond did what they said they would do, and at the same time ensure that any commitment is soundly based from a legal standpoint – not easy with members of an Association.

In the meantime, we need to watch very carefully to ensure that this is the extent of the development at this stage (no mention of the $56m North Basin!), and ensure that the sediment investigations are adequate for the limited shallow draft dredging to Furey’s Creek – something that must surely become an integral part of the Business Case, rather than left until after the decision has been taken to proceed.




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